Yvonne Loriod

born on 24/1/1924 in Houilles, Île-de-France, France

died on 17/5/2010 in Saint-Denis, Île-de-France, France

Yvonne Loriod

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Yvonne Loriod (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, France. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire and became one of Olivier Messiaen's most avid pupils. She also studied with Marcel Ciampi and Isidor Philipp. At the age of 25, she was appointed professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. 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.

In 1961, Loriod married Olivier Messiaen following the death of his first wife, Claire Delbos.[3] 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.[4]

Messiaen died in April 1992. Yvonne Loriod survived him by 18 years, dying on 17 May 2010 at Saint-Denis, Paris, aged 86.[5]


  • Pièce sur la souffrance, for orchestra
  • Mélopées africaines, for Ondes Martenot, piano and flute (1945)
  • Grains de cendre, for soprano and chamber orchestra (1946)


  • Messiaen, Olivier. Traité de rythme, de couleur, et dornithologie (1949-1992) ("Treatise on rhythm, colour and ornithology"), completed by Yvonne Loriod. 7 parts bound in 8 volumes. Paris: Leduc, 1994-2002.
  • Messiaen, Olivier. Analyses of the Piano Works of Maurice Ravel, edited by Yvonne Loriod, translated by Paul Griffiths. [Paris]: Durand, 2005.

Selected recordings

  • Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus
Label: Erato, 4509-91705-2
3 August 1993
  • Olivier Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphonie
Label: Deutsche Grammophon, 31781
12 May 1992


  1. Griffiths, Paul. "Loriod, Yvonne". Grove Music Online (subscription access)
  2. Cynthia Millar, Obituary: Jeanne Loriod, The Guardian, 6 September 2001. URL accessed on 2008-01-27.
  3. Peter Hill, Sacred gift, The Guardian, 4 November 2005. URL accessed on 2008-01-27.
  4. Andrew Clements, Mystery plays, The Guardian, 24 March 2000. URL accessed on 2008-01-27.
  5. Obituary: Le Figaro

External links

This page was last modified 23.05.2012 08:57:09

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