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:  [ivɔn lɔʁjo] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); 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

Olivier Messiaen French composer, organist and ornithologist (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 employs a system he called modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from the systems of material generated by his early compositions and improvisations. He wrote music for chamber ensembles and orchestra, vocal music, as well as for solo organ and piano, and also experimented with the use of novel electronic instruments developed in Europe during his lifetime.

<i>Turangalîla-Symphonie</i> Musical work by Olivier Messiaen

The Turangalîla-Symphonie is the only symphony by Olivier Messiaen (1908–92). It was written for an orchestra of large forces from 1946 to 1948 on a commission by Serge Koussevitzky for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard French pianist (born 1957)

Pierre-Laurent Aimard is a French pianist.

Gilles Tremblay (composer) Canadian composer

Gilles Tremblay, was a Canadian composer from Quebec.

Paul Christopher Richard Crossley is a British pianist.

Claire Delbos 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.

Thomas Bloch

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).

Harawi is a song cycle for soprano and piano, written by Olivier Messiaen in 1945.

Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine is a 1944 piece by Olivier Messiaen for women's voices, piano solo, ondes Martenot, and orchestra, in three movements. The libretto for the piece was written by Messiaen himself.

Concert à quatre is one of the final works of the French composer Olivier Messiaen. It is 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.

Ondes Martenot 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 is a 1937 composition by French composer Olivier Messiaen. The work is scored for six ondes Martenots and was commissioned for the 1937 Paris Exhibition. The work was written to accompany the movement of the fountains at the Exhibition.

François Weigel French pianist, conductor and composer (born 1964)

François Weigel is a French pianist, conductor and composer.


  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. 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. Obituary: Le Figaro
  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.