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The Boston Globe

Music

In a time of Babel, the pianist as polyglot

The French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard is deeply admired for his interpretations of modern masters such as Ligeti and Messiaen, and has in recent years been broadening his central repertoire, reaching back to the music of Bach and Mozart with the same sense of intellectual and spiritual penetration.

At the same time, the pianist has been recognized with increasing frequency for his curatorial imagination, his gift for building programs that dart provocatively through music history. In 2009 he took on the artistic directorship of England’s Aldeburgh Festival, cofounded by Benjamin Britten, where he recently spoke to the Globe. He will also direct this year’s edition of the Tanglewood Music Center’s annual Festival of Contemporary Music, which starts up on Thursday and runs through Aug. 12.

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