“You can always learn, be happier, communicate better. I’m no hero, and I’m not interested in being employed. What I want is to help young people understand that when you do what your heart desires, it’s always worthwhile. It’s a question of letting go and finding your point of equilibrium.”
-André Laplante, March 2005, LaScene Musicale Magazine
Need any more be said about a true Canadian musical icon?
One of Canada’s musical jewels, Andre Laplante has firmly established himself as one of the great romantic virtuosos of our time. Andre comes from a small Canadian town, Rimouski, just outside of Montreal.
He is considered to be a Franz Liszt specialist and is widely associated with the music of Maurice Ravel. Liszt is a 19th century Hungarian composer who is known for his virtuosic piano works and considered to be one of the greatest pianists and composers of the era. Ravel is also a 19th century French composer known for his masterful orchestrations and rich musical textures.
Andre garnered international attention after winning prizes at the Geneva and Sydney International Piano Competitions, then capturing the silver medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The Tchaikovsky Competition is one of the internationally acclaimed piano competitions to date. Critics have compared Andre with Ashkenazy, Horowitz and Rudolph Serkin, placing Andre in the elite circle of virtuoso pianists who do not hesitate to take risks. The above pianists are the most highly regarded pianists of their time and are considered in the same category as of them is a testament to Andre’s elite musicality and brilliant skill.
In 2005, Andre was inducted into the Order of Canada, reinforcing Andre’s great success as a Canadian pianist and ambassador. When not giving a concert, Andre teaches at the Montreal Conservatory and also spends a few weeks in the summer teaching in Canada and the United States.
In an interview Andre did with LaScene Musicale Magazine (2005), he describes himself as “just wanting to be known as simple musician”. Even among his many accolades and awards, this sentence alone speaks to the philanthropic nature of Andre. He continues to dazzle audiences with his flying fingers and extraordinary performances. In a concert he gave in 2012, John Terauds from Musical Toronto described Andre’s performance as, “like finding oneself gently turning inside a giant musical kaleidoscope.”
For a taste of the musical brilliance Andre creates, join the HPO on September 20 at 7:30pm at FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) for Opening Night: Andre Laplante Plays Beethoven. Andre will be performing Beethoven’s fifth piano concert with the orchestra.
Check out this very uniquely filmed video of Andre at the piano: