Laplante's career accelerated after his success in several international contests; he took third prizes in the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Competition in Paris (1973) and in a competition in Sydney, Australia (1977), and in 1978 he tied with the French pianist Pascal Devoyon for second prize in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. His great popular success in Moscow, with 91 pianists from 23 countries competing, made him known around the world.
After a brief tour in the USSR Laplante returned to Canada and was soloist in Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 with the Toronto Symphony at Ontario Place and with the MSO in the Joliette Cathedral; and 21 Oct 1978 he made his recital debut at New York's Carnegie Hall. He played the same program 13 November at the Place des Arts in Montreal and 24 November at Toronto's St Lawrence Centre. He later played Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 with the MSO, and in October 1979 he repeated it with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra.
1980 - Present
Laplante's career continued to grow internationally, and he made important recital tours (including a second appearance at Carnegie Hall in March 1980) and gave concerts with orchestras in Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, and the Far East. In 1983 he toured Europe with the Toronto Symphony, and the following year he gave four recitals with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and New York (Lincoln Center). In 1988, he formed the André-Laplante Trio with Ernö Sebestyén (violin) and Martin Ostertag (cello). The ensemble performed in Montreal in 1991 for the Pro Musica Society.
In addition to performing with most major Canadian orchestras and many smaller ensembles, Laplante has participated in numerous festivals including Debussy (France), Pécs (Hungary), Cascaïs (Portugal), Salzburg (Austria), Varna (Bulgaria), Mozart (Vermont); in Canada at the Festival d'été international de Québec, Elora Festival, Orford Festival, and Festival international de Lanaudière; and at festivals in the US. He has been a member of several international juries, including including the CBC National Competition, the Honens International Piano Competition, and Australia's International Music Festival. A founding member of Piano Six, he has taught at Ohio State University and at the Orford Arts Centre.
Laplante moved to New York in 1979. That year the Canadian Music Council named him Performer of the Year, and CBC TV presented 'Portrait d'André Laplante,' a documentary produced by Peter Symcox. He returned to Canada in 1996. He has received Opus awards for concerts (1999) and as performer of the year (2006), and was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 2004. Laplante is considered one of Canada's foremost concert pianists.
Author Stephen Willis, Betty Nygaard King
André Laplante in Moscow. Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3, final round, Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Lazarev conductor. 4 Jul 1978. CBC SM-352 / reissued 1996 Analekta FL 2 3107
Brahms Sonata no. 3 for piano in F minor, Op 5. 1995. Analekta AN 2 9270
Bach-Busoni Toccata in C - Chopin Sonata No. 2. 1977. RCI 440
Grieg Concerto. Vancouver SO, Akiyama conductor. 1985. CBC SM-5020
Ravel Gaspard de la nuit - et al. (1991). Elan CD-2232
Ravel Prélude - Menuet - Pavane - Jeux d'eau - Miroirs. 1995. AN2 9271, FL2 3038
Ravel: Mélodies. Catherine Robbin mezzo, Toronto Symphony. 2001. CBC MVCD 1128
Jacques Hétu: Concertos. Robert Cram flute, CBC Radio Orchestra, M Bernardi conductor. 2003. SMCD 5228
Petrowski, Nathalie. 'André Laplante - les débuts d'une brilliante carrière,' Montreal Le Devoir, 1 Aug 1978
'From Russia with fame (and probably fortune),' Maclean's, 21 Aug 1978
Whittingham, Tony. 'André Laplante,' Fugue, vol 3, Feb 1979
Petrovski [sic], Nathalie. 'Le gang des pianos à queue,' Actualité, Apr 1979
Dumesnil, Thérèse, 'André Laplante, pianiste,' Perspectives, vol 21, 15 Dec 1979
Thompson, Leslie. 'Laplante turns instant fame into a concert career,' Music, Jan-Feb 1980
Renaud, Lucie. "André Laplante: A fine balance / L'atteinte de l'équilibre," La Scena Musicale, Mar 2005
Links to Other Sites
Search for album details, audio and video clips, and special features about your favourite classical performers at the ANALEKTA website.
The official website for the Piano Six Foundation, a non-profit organization that brought outstanding musicians to small communities across the country.
The website for Canadian pianist André Laplante, highly acclaimed romantic virtuoso. Offers a biography, concerto repertoire, discography, and online audio selections of his music.
André Laplante - A Fine Balance
An article about the life and music of André Laplante from “La Scena Musicale” magazine.