Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Jean-Yves ThibaudetThis “poet of the piano” is known for his interpretive depth and his cool, jazzy onstage demeanor.

Born: September 7, 1961 in Lyon, France

Career highlights

  • 1966-77: Enters the Lyons Conservatoire at age 5, graduating at 12. 3 years later, wins the premier Prix du Conservatoire
  • 1978-81: Wins a number of international competitions, including the Busoni International Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions.
  • 1982: He makes major recital and orchestra debuts.
  • 2001: He is made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Republic of France.
  • 2006,2008: He is featured playing solo piano on the soundtrack for Pride and Prejudice (Oscar nomination). Two years later, the same composer (Dario Marinelli) uses him for Atonement, and the score wins an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
  • 2007: He is awarded the Victoire d'Honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honor given by France's Victoires de la Musique.

Fun Facts


  • Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays the Allegro from Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.16 conducted by Gustavo Dudamel
    Styling: Since 2002, Thibaudet wears concert clothing designed by the London fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Before that, he wore a Versace suit and red socks, a trademark of his that dated to a concert at the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina when red socks were all he had on hand.
  • Old World and New: Thibaudet has homes in both Paris and Los Angeles. He maintains a heavy touring schedule and enjoys visiting Australia, among other places.
  • Company: Because of his schedule, he travels with his partner, Paul, and won't accept an engagement unless Paul is invited.
  • Jazz Fan: Thibaudet listens to jazz in his downtown and has even played some, recording famous jazz solo transcriptions on two albums: Conversations with Bill Evans (1997) and Reflections on Duke (1999).
  • Recording man: Thibaudet has recorded more than 40 albums.

SFCV Articles Featuring Jean-Yves Thibaudet

August 3, 2011

For the Trill of It: Jean-Yves Thibaudet

With a European tour, an American tour, and a Gershwin album, it’s safe to say the French pianist and artist extraordinaire Jean-Yves Thibaudet is a busy man. Even as I write this, Thibaudet is on his way to an airport in Boise, Idaho, then flying out just in time for a performance closing out a weeklong concertizing streak.

More »

January 11, 2011

Jean-Yves Thibaudet: On Top of the Liszt

Jean-Yves Thibaudet is one of the world’s foremost concert pianists. His solo recitals and appearances with today’s leading orchestras, in addition to his 40 records as a Decca artist, never disappoint. Along with sensitive and dazzling interpretations of his native French music, and other extensive repertoire (including jazz), his stage pizzazz sets him apart: The man is a PR dream, dressed in couture outfits by Vivian Westwood, with model good-looks, plus a youthful spirit and enthusiasm that is contagious

More »

July 24, 2007

Titanic Pianist, With Icebergs Lurking

Each of the works on the program, which consisted of Gabriel Fauré’s Suite from Pelléas and Mélisande, Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet, would have fit comfortably on a "pops" concert. But because the RNO is an exceptionally fine orchestra, the surprisingly subtle interpretations offered by conductor Stéphane Denève and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet managed to illuminate even the most hackneyed of these familiar works.

More »

Thumbnail: