Yvonne Loriod

Last updated

Loriod teaching piano at the Conservatoire de Paris to Francois Weigel (3 June 1982) Yvonne Loriod.jpg
Loriod teaching piano at the Conservatoire de Paris to François Weigel (3 June 1982)

Yvonne Louise Georgette Loriod-Messiaen (French pronunciation: [ivɔnlɔʁjo] ; 20 January 1924 – 17 May 2010) was a French pianist, teacher, and composer, and the second wife of composer Olivier Messiaen. Her sister was the Ondes Martenot player Jeanne Loriod.



Loriod was born in Houilles, Yvelines to Gaston and Simone Loriod. Initially receiving piano lessons from her godmother, she later studied at the Paris Conservatoire and became one of Olivier Messiaen's most avid pupils. She also studied with Isidor Philipp, Lazare Lévy then Marcel Ciampi. She went on to become a nationally acclaimed recording artist and concert pianist and premiered most of Messiaen's works for the piano, starting in the 1940s. Messiaen said that he was able to indulge in "the greatest eccentricities" when writing for piano, knowing that they would be mastered by Loriod. [1] Both she and her sister Jeanne often performed as the soloists in his Turangalîla-Symphonie . [2] Loriod also orchestrated part of Messiaen's final orchestral work, Concert à quatre .

Loriod gave the French premiere of Béla Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1945, having learnt it in only eight days. [3]

In 1961, Loriod married Olivier Messiaen following the death of his long institutionalized first wife, Claire Delbos. [4] She is generally considered to be the most important interpreter of Messiaen's piano works. In her later years, she and Messiaen acted as mentors to the pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who has since become a great champion of the works of Messiaen. [5]

Olivier Messiaen died in April 1992 in Saint-Denis. She survived him by 18 years, dying on 17 May 2010 in Saint-Denis, Paris, aged 86. [6] She was survived by her other sister, Jacqueline Loriod, and stepson Pascal Messiaen. [7]



Selected recordings

Label: Erato, 4509-91705-2
3 August 1993
Label: Deutsche Grammophon, 31781
12 May 1992

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Olivier Messiaen</span> French composer (1908–1992)

Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist who was one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex. Harmonically and melodically, he employed a system he called modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from the systems of material his early compositions and improvisations generated. He wrote music for chamber ensembles and orchestra, voice, solo organ, and piano, and experimented with the use of novel electronic instruments developed in Europe during his lifetime.

<i>Turangalîla-Symphonie</i> Symphony by Olivier Messiaen (1908-92)

The Turangalîla-Symphonie is the only symphony by Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992). It was written for an orchestra of large forces from 1946 to 1948 on a commission by Serge Koussevitzky in his wife's memory for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Along with the Quatuor pour la fin du temps, the symphony is one of the composer's most notable works.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pierre-Laurent Aimard</span> French pianist (born 1957)

Pierre-Laurent Aimard is a French pianist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gilles Tremblay (composer)</span> Canadian composer

Gilles Tremblay, was a Canadian composer from Quebec.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Claire Delbos</span> French musician (1906–1959)

Louise-Justine Messiaen, more commonly known under her pseudonym Claire Delbos, was a French violinist and composer, and first wife of the composer Olivier Messiaen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Bloch</span>

Thomas Bloch is a classical musician specializing in the rare instruments ondes Martenot, glass harmonica, and Cristal Baschet.

Jeanne Blanche Armande Loriod was a French musician, regarded as the world's leading exponent of the ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument.

Feuillets inédits is a piece of music by Olivier Messiaen for piano and ondes Martenot. It is not known when the work was composed but it was put together by the composer's second wife Yvonne Loriod and published in 2001. The manuscript of the fourth part of the work was entitled "Déchiffrage" (deciphering).

<i>Harawi</i> (Messiaen)

Harawi - Chant d'amour et de mort are a song cycle for "grand, dramatic" soprano and piano whose music and libretto were composed by Olivier Messiaen in 1945. They are considered to be the first part of his Tristan trilogy, a collection of works inspired by the myth of Tristan and Iseult.

Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine is a cantata by Olivier Messiaen for women's voices, piano solo, onde Martenot, percussion battery, and small string orchestra, in three movements. Its libretto was written by Messiaen himself, who composed the work from 1943 to 1944.

Concert à quatre is the final work of the French composer Olivier Messiaen. It is a concerto written for four solo instruments and orchestra.

Ginette Martenot (1902–1996) was a French pianist, and an expert and leading performer on the twentieth-century electronic instrument the ondes Martenot, which was invented by her brother Maurice. At the age of sixteen, she entered the Paris Conservatory, where she studied counterpoint and fugue with the composer Arthur Honegger. She gave the first performance as solo ondist in Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie, with Yvonne Loriod taking the solo piano part.

Wolfgang Meyer was a German clarinetist and professor of clarinet at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe. He worked internationally as a soloist, in chamber music ensembles, and in jazz, with a repertoire from early music played on historical instruments to world premieres.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ondes Martenot</span> Early electronic musical instrument

The ondes Martenot or ondes musicales is an early electronic musical instrument. It is played with a keyboard or by moving a ring along a wire, creating "wavering" sounds similar to a theremin. A player of the ondes Martenot is called an ondist.

Quatre Études de rythme is a set of four piano compositions by Olivier Messiaen, written in 1949 and 1950. A performance of them lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.

French electronic music is a panorama of French music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production.

Fête des belles eaux, or Feast of the beautiful waters in English, is a 1937 composition by French composer Olivier Messiaen. The work is scored for six ondes Martenots and was commissioned for the 1937 Paris Exposition. The work was written to accompany the movement of the fountains at the Exhibition.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">François Weigel</span> French pianist, conductor and composer (born 1964)

François Weigel is a French pianist, conductor and composer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maîtrise de Radio France</span> Choir school of Radio France

Maîtrise de Radio France is the choir school of Radio France. The school and its choir were founded in 1946 by the composer Henry Barraud and the pedagogue Maurice David. Its first Director was Marcel Couraud. As a performing ensemble the Maîtrise choir has appeared on numerous recordings and in live concert performances, with a particular emphasis on choral works by French composers. It is one of the four permanent ensembles of Radio France along with the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre national de France and Chœur de Radio France.


  1. Griffiths, Paul. "Loriod, Yvonne". Grove Music Online [ permanent dead link ] (subscription access)
  2. Cynthia Millar (6 September 2001). "Obituary: Jeanne Loriod". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
  3. "Loriod". olivier.messiaen.org. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  4. Peter Hill (4 November 2005). "Sacred gift". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
  5. Andrew Clements (24 March 2000). "Mystery plays". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
  6. "Décès de la pianiste Yvonne Loriod". Le Figaro (in French). 18 May 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  7. Griffiths, Paul (18 May 2010). "Yvonne Loriod, Pianist and Messiaen Muse, Dies at 86". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 10 April 2019.