REMARKABLE YOUNG PIANIST ADAM LALOUM IN SONY CLASSICAL DEBUT
Adam Laloum, described by Le Monde as “a great artist and poet,” is recognized as one of today’s most exciting young French pianists. For his debut recording on Sony Classical, Laloum has chosen to record the two piano concertos by Brahms. Each is a titan of any pianist’s repertoire, making this choice a special statement of Laloum’s artistic confidence and strength. In the words of Le Monde, “Adam has that je ne sais quoi which captivates the audience.”
The winner of the 2009 Clara Haskil Piano Competition in Geneva, Laloum, 30, has quickly gained recognition throughout the musical world, most recently named Victoires de la Musique Classique (Instrumental Soloist of the Year) in 2017. The critic of Diapason d’Or has commented that Laloum’s is, “The remarkable playing of a pianist who possesses a musicality, a touch of madness and a certain nostalgia within himself.”
Adam Laloum began piano lessons at the age of ten and started his musical studies at the Toulouse Conservatoire before joining the class of Michel Béroff at the Paris Conservatoire. Further mentors included Paul Badura-Skoda, Dmitri Bashkirov and Evengi Koroliov in Hamburg, with whom Laloum studied following his win at the Haskil Competition.
His strong track record in German romantic piano music has already drawn notice, especially as this was largely the repertoire in which he proceeded to build his reputation after winning the Haskil contest. His recording of works by Schumann won the Diapason d’Or de l’Année, the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros and an “ffff” (the highest rating) from the French cultural magazine Télérama, which declared: “Only a few have had the privilege to record this kaleidoscope of emotion: Vladimir Horowitz, Claudio Arrau. And today, Adam Laloum.”
A passionate chamber musician, Laloum has been artistic director of his own chamber music festival, Les Pages Musicales de Lagrasse, since 2015. Prior to that, he founded the Trio les Esprits with cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière and violinist Mi-sa Yang. They recorded their first CD in 2014. He has also recorded an award-winning disc of Brahms’s Clarinet Sonatas and Trios with Victor Julien-Laferrière and clarinettist Raphael Sévère, which also received a Diapason d’Or and “ffff” in Télérama.
His solo career has taken him to venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Berlin Philharmonie, and the Verbier Festival. He has performed with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Orchestre de Paris and the Mariinsky Orchestra with conductor Valery Gergiev, among many more.
In his new recording of the Brahms concertos, Laloum is partnered by the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin under the baton of Kazuki Yamada. “I worked with Kazuki a few years ago with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, which was a very good experience,” Laloum says. “Therefore I was eager to ask him to do this recording with me. It was a wonderful working relationship because we were searching out the interpretation together, really sharing something. We weren’t trying to ‘fix’ the music, but to let it breathe, just giving our natural energy.”
Contrasting the two Brahms concertos, Laloum says: “I feel a sense of large landscapes in the D minor Concerto, something much colder than the B flat major work, yet also there is a special kind of light within it. The main character of the first movement is very dark, but still, in this work you find many different colours and feelings. The Second Concerto to me contains more fantasy, with an extraordinary sense of noblesse and a different type of generosity: it is warmer and more human, particularly in the third and fourth movements. Although it is an immense work, sometimes in it he talks about simple things and even about humour – always with a lot of tenderness.”