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Jeremy Denk takes unique pianism to Aspen, La Jolla, & Santa Fe

Pianist Jeremy Denk Follows Critically-Acclaimed Ligeti/Beethoven CD with August Dates at Aspen, La Jolla, and Santa Fe Music Festivals

Honest and rounded humanity define these performances. … In all, it’s a marvel.” BBC Music on Denk’s Ligeti/Beethoven

As he heads for summer festivals in Aspen, La Jolla, and Santa Fe, pianist Jeremy Denk continues to rack up critical praise for Ligeti/Beethoven, his highly successful inaugural recording for the Nonesuch label, released May 21. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote of the album: “The formidable pianist Jeremy Denk offers a meaty combination of György Ligeti’s Etudes and Beethoven’s final sonata, Op. 111. The argument he’s making is a compelling one, linking the timeless expansiveness of Beethoven’s late style with Ligeti’s way of getting at similar horizons by eliding the beginnings and endings of his short piano studies. … What emerges is sharp-edged, fierce and electrifying.” The Observer called the disc “dazzling,” while NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas praised the album, writing: “Denk plays masterfully, opening up each puzzle box in turn with vitality, wit and absolute assurance. He cares deeply and passionately about these pieces, however impenetrable they may seem at first listen – and, through him, so do we.” BBC Music recently named the album its “Instrumental Choice” of the month, giving it its top rating – five stars out of five for recording and performance.

In August, Denk will bring his unique artistry to some of the nation’s top summer classical-music destinations when he presents music ranging from Beethoven and Schubert to Elgar and Marc-André Dalbavie, at festivals in Colorado, California, and New Mexico. At the Aspen Music Festival (Aug 3), he joins Robert Spano and the Aspen Chamber Symphony for Schoenberg’s four-movement Piano Concerto, Op. 42. The pianist then travels to the La Jolla Music Festival for the world premiere of Marc-André Dalbavie’s Piano Quartet, with violinist Yura Lee, violist Paul Neubauer, and cellist Felix Fan – on a program that also encompasses contemporary works by Gabriel Kahane, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (Aug 10). He teams up with the Tokyo String Quartet for a second La Jolla program (Aug 12), performing Elgar’s Piano Quintet in A minor, and follows this concert with four performances at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (Aug 16-20). In his opening program, the pianist joins violinist Benny Kim and cellist Lynn Harrell for Beethoven’s Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3, while the second concert finds him front and center in J.S. Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1053 (Aug 18). Denk concludes his Santa Fe residency with two additional concerts: in the first (Aug 19), the pianist once again joins forces with the Tokyo String Quartet for a reprise of Elgar’s Piano Quintet in A minor; in the second (Aug 20), he offers Schubert’s Piano Trio in B-flat Major, D. 898, for which he is joined by violinist Benny Kim and cellist Lynn Harrell.

2012 has proven to be a red-letter year for Jeremy Denk, with high-profile debuts and celebrated performances. Since the beginning of the year, Denk has debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and performed under Nicholas McGegan, Roger Norrington, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Denk has always received high praise for his self-written liner notes, as well as for his blog, Think Denk, but 2012 has seen his writing horizons broadened significantly. He was published in the New Yorker in February and in the New York Times Book Review in April, and an essay on Denk’s “Favorite Mistake” that ran in Newsweek in May can be read here. An interview with Denk offering insight into Ligeti/Beethoven was published on The Well-Tempered Ear blog this spring.

More information on Denk’s upcoming performances can be found below.

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Upcoming Performances:

Aug 3
Aspen, CO
Aspen Music Festival
Benedict Music Tent
Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Op. 42
Aspen Chamber Symphony / Robert Spano

Aug 10
La Jolla, CA
La Jolla Music Festival
Sherwood Auditorium
Marc-André Dalbavie: Piano Quartet (world premiere)
Yura Lee, violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; Felix Fan, cello

Aug 12
La Jolla, CA
La Jolla Music Festival
Sherwood Auditorium
Elgar: Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84
Tokyo String Quartet

Aug 16
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Beethoven: Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3
Benny Kim, violin; Lynn Harrell, cello

Aug 18
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Bach: Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1053
Benny Kim, violin; Kathleen Brauer, violin; L. P. How, viola; Joseph Johnson, cello; Kristen Bruya, bass

Aug 19
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Elgar: Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84
Tokyo String Quartet

Aug 20
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Schubert: Piano Trio in B-flat Major, D. 898
Benny Kim, violin; Lynn Harrell, cello