Jean-Yves Thibaudet Performs at SPA in Houston Tonight, 11/8

Jean-Yves Thibaudet Performs at SPA in Houston Tonight, 11/8

One of today's most sought-after pianists, Jean-Yves Thibaudet returns to Houston for a recital concert tonight, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. in Jones Hall, presented by Society for the Performing.

Thibaudet's performance will feature an all-Debussy program including Preludes: Deuxieme Livre/Book 2; Suite Bergamasque; Estampes; and L'isle joyeuse.

Famous for sporting red socks and a Vivienne Westwood wardrobe while seated at the keyboard, the French pianist was first debuted by SPA in 1990. Thibaudet has the rare ability to combine poetic musical sensibilities with dazzling technical prowess. His musical depth and natural charisma have underlined a career with global impact, including 30 years of performing around the world and more than 40 recorded albums.

Thibaudet's masterful playing can be heard on the motion picture soundtracks of Pride & Prejudice, Atonement (the score won an Academy Award!) and the Tom Hanks/Sandra Bullock movie, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Having recently performed as the featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic's PBS-televised New Year's Eve Gala and as soloist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall, Thibaudet is recognized as one of the world's leading pianists.

Born in Lyon, France, his impressive career began at the age of five. At 12, Thibaudet entered the Paris Conservatoire to study with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Maurice Ravel. At 15 he won the premier Prix du Conservatoire, and three years later he won the Young Concert Artists Trust auditions in New York.

Since then, Thibaudet has performed regularly throughout Europe, North America, Australia and the Far East, collaborating with virtually every major orchestra and conductor including Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Gustavo Dudamel and Tilson Thomas. Equally at home in chamber music, recitals and the orchestral repertoire, he has appeared and recorded with artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Brigitte Fassbaender, Renée Fleming, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Angelika Kirchschlager, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Truls Mørk and the Rossetti String Quartet.

In 2001, the Republic of France awarded Thibaudet the prestigious Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2002, he was awarded the Premio Pegasus from the Spoleto Festival in Italy for his artistic achievements and his long-standing involvement with the festival. In 2007, he was awarded the Victoire d'Honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honor given by France's Victoires de la Musique. On June 18, 2010, the Hollywood Bowl honored Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame.

Tickets range from $35-$80 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 713-227-4772 or at the courtyard level ticket office at Jones Hall located at 615 Louisiana St. Hours of operation: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday. For groups of 15 or more call 713-632-8113.

SPA is offering a Piano Master Class with Jean-Yves Thibaudet on Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 4–5:30 p.m. at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston. Any upper-intermediate and advanced piano student may register for this master class. Observers are welcome. To register, visit

Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world's finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.