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Jeremy Denk Plays Ravel with John Adams and National Symphony (May 30–June 1), Before Summer Crowned by Australian and Slovenian Debuts

“One of the most interesting pianists around” — Washington Post

Following the success of their previous collaborations, Jeremy Denk reunites with composer/conductor John Adams to play Ravel’s jazz-inflected Piano Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (May 30–June 1). The pianist’s other upcoming orchestral engagements include a reprise of the Ravel for his debut with the Slovenian Philharmonic, and renditions of Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Westchester Philharmonic and at the Grand Teton Music Festival with Ludovic Morlot. The Piano Quintets of two Romantic masters – Brahms and Franck – also figure prominently in Denk’s summer programming. He will showcase the Brahms on a six-city tour that marks his Australian debut, as well as performing both quintets at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and the Franck at the Ravinia Festival. Rounding out the pianist’s summer are two solo recitals that will be the highlights of his residencies at Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

When Denk gave his London Symphony Orchestra debut under John Adams’s direction, the Pulitzer Prize-winner described working with Denk as “pure pleasure,” adding, “He seems to be able to play anything, making it feel effortless and finding the essence of what the composer imagines.” With the National Symphony Orchestra, Denk and Adams will undertake Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, which – in its witty mix of syncopated rhythms and bluesy languor – testifies to the French composer’s engagement with the jazz he encountered on a US concert tour. Ravel’s concerto is also the vehicle for Denk’s Slovenian debut, for which he will join the Slovenian Philharmonic and Canadian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson in Ljubljana.

Denk recently demonstrated his way with Schumann at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, where his account of the Davidsbündlertänze inspired the Philadelphia Inquirer to doubt whether “there’s a pianist alive who…could more convincingly make the case that sweetness and profundity are so closely related.” Now the pianist turns his focus to the German Romantic composer’s only fully-fledged Piano Concerto, in performances with the Westchester Philharmonic under Tito Muñoz in Purchase, NY, and with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra led by Seattle Symphony music director Ludovic Morlot at the Wyoming festival.

For Denk’s first Australian appearances, he will play Brahms’s Piano Quintet on a nine-date national tour with four principal members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, which the UK’s Telegraph considers “probably the finest string ensemble on the planet” and Time Out New York calls “badass.” Denk will also explore canons by Bach and Conlon Nancarrow with the string quartet, besides performing one of Bach’s best-loved keyboard concertos and “The Alcotts” from Ives’s Concord Sonata for solo piano. The sonata – as featured on the album Jeremy Denk Plays Ives, which dominated “Best of 2010” lists – has become something of a calling card for the pianist; he describes it as “one of the most profoundly nostalgic and tender projects in all of music.”
 
Denk offers a preview of the Brahms at Michigan’s Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, where he also teams up with two-time Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird for a program of contemporary music and gives the summer’s first account of Franck’s Piano Quintet. With the Franck once again, he celebrates the 25th anniversary of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival.

Two further US festival appearances – both crowned by solo recitals – round out the pianist’s summer. As a 2013 Mosher Guest Artist at the Music Academy of the West, he will give a Guest Artist Recital and a pair of master classes, as well as honoring the Britten centennial with an account of Lachrymae for viola and piano. For his residency at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Denk’s solo recital will be followed by chamber performances of Beethoven and Brahms.

More information on Denk’s upcoming engagements can be found below, and further details are available on his web site: jeremydenk.net.

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Jeremy Denk: upcoming engagements

May 30 & 31; June 1
Washington, DC
Kennedy Center, Concert Hall
National Symphony Orchestra / John Adams
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G

June 6 & 7
Ljubljana, Slovenia (debut)
Slovenian Philharmonic / Keri-Lynn Wilson
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G

June 15–18
Southfield, MI
Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival

Events:  June 15: Franck: Piano Quintet & Kaplan: Whirligig
             June 16: Chamber concert with eighth blackbird (program TBA)
             June 18: Brahms: Piano Quintet

June 28 & 29
Purchase, NY
Purchase College Performing Arts Center
Westchester Philharmonic / Tito Muñoz
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

July 5
Highland Park, IL
Ravinia Festival
Martin Theatre
Franck: Piano Quintet

July 13
Aspen, CO
Aspen Music Festival
Harris Concert Hall
Janacek: Capriccio
Stravinsky: Concerto for Piano & Winds
Beethoven: Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97

July 15-18
Santa Barbara, CA
Music Academy of the West
Mosher Guest Artist

Events:  July 15: Solo piano master class
             July 16: Britten: Lachrymae
             July 17: Mosher Guest Artist Recital (program TBA)
             July 18: Piano chamber master class

July 23–29
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
St. Francis Auditorium

Events: July 23: Solo piano recital (program TBA)
            July 25: Beethoven: Quintet for Winds & Piano in E-flat, Op. 16
            July 28 & 29: Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in B, Op. 8

Aug 2 & 3
Teton Village, WY
Grand Teton Music Festival
Walk Festival Hall
Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra / Ludovic Morlot
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Aug 12–26
Australian Chamber Orchestra tour, with Richard Tognetti, director/violin; Satu Vänskä, violin; Christopher Moore, viola; Timo-Veikko Valve, cello
Brahms: Piano Quintet;    Conlon Nancarrow: Two Canons for Ursula; Ives: Concord Sonata (The Alcotts)
Bach: Concerto in F minor, BWV. 1056

Dates: Aug 12: Newcastle, Australia (Newcastle City Hall)
          Aug 13: Adelaide, Australia (Adelaide Town Hall)
          Aug 14: Perth, Australia (Perth Concert Hall)
          Aug 17, 20, 21, & 23: Sydney, Australia (City Recital Hall Angel Place)
          Aug 24: Wollongong, Australia (Wollongong Town Hall)
          Aug 26: Melbourne, Australia (Melbourne Recital Centre)

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