French pianist Adam Laloum, combining charisma and interpretive independence, was signed to the Sony Classical label in 2016.
Laloum was born in Toulouse in 1987 and took up the piano at age six. His teachers noticed his intensity and independence, and he enrolled at the Conservatory of Toulouse for lessons with pianist Daniel Beau. Without asking permission, at the age of 12, Laloum auditioned at the National Conservatory of Paris, and was accepted for studies with Michel Béroff. Beau was outraged, but the two later resumed speaking. Laloum attended the Maurice Ravel Academy and won a prize there in 2007. In 2009 Laloum won the Clara Haskil Competition, one of the world's most prestigious competition stages. Le Monde, reviewing his performances, observed that "he has that je ne sais quoi which captivates." That led to a contract with the Mirare label and to an album of Brahms piano pieces in 2011.
A follow-up album featuring Schumann's Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 11, and Humoreske in B flat major, Op. 20, appeared in 2013 and won the Diapason d'Or de l'Année and Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros awards, and an 'ffff' (the highest rating) from the French magazine Télérama, which likened Laloum to Vladimir Horowitz and Claudio Arrau. Laloum joined with the similarly youthful clarinetist Raphaël Sévère for an album of Brahms works in 2014, and with Victor Julien-Laferrière for cello sonatas by Brahms, Franck, and Debussy two years later. Those albums generated strong sales and commercial momentum, and Laloum began work on an album of Brahms piano concertos, his Sony Classical debut, released in 2018.
Devoted to chamber music as well as solo repertoire, Laloum founded Trio Les Esprits with violinist Mi-sa Yang and cellist Julien-Laferrière in 2014. The group has performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Laloum also established the chamber festival Les Pages Musicales de Lagrasse.