bio

pianist jeremy denk

Mr. Denk, clearly, is a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs, in whatever combination – both for his penetrating intellectual engagement with the music and for the generosity of his playing.“   – The New York Times

Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists – an artist The New York Times hails as someone ‘you want to hear no matter what he performs’. Winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year award, Denk was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. Denk returns frequently to Carnegie Hall and has recently appeared at the BBC Proms with Michael Tilson Thomas, and in the US with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as on tour with Academy St. Martin in the Fields.

Following the release of his disc of the Goldberg Variations--which reached number one on Billboard’s Classical Chart--Denk performed the piece throughout Europe, including at the Wigmore Hall, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Denk’s 2015-16 engagements included a fourteen-city recital tour of the US -- including Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, and San Francisco - and culminating in his return to Carnegie Hall; while in the UK, he appeared in solo recital, and on tour with the Britten Sinfonia. He also returned to the San Diego and Detroit Symphonies in Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, and continued as Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with multiple performances throughout the season. In the Summer, he returned to the Tanglewood and Aspen Festivals.

 In 16-17, Denk embarks on a recital tour of the UK, including the Wigmore Hall, and makes his debut at the Philharmonie in Cologne. He appears on tour in recital throughout the US, including Chicago Symphony Hall, and at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival in a special program which includes a journey through seven centuries of Western music. He also tours with the St. Paul Orchestra to New York, and returns to the National Symphony and St. Louis Symphony.  He will release a solos recording - "The Classical Style" - of music by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, and joins his long-time musical partners, Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis in a recording of Brahms' Trio in B-major. Future projects include a US tour of the Ives Violin Sonatas with Stefan Jackiw, and a new Piano Concerto commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

In 2014 Denk served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he wrote the libretto for a comic opera. The opera was also presented by Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Festival. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” The pianist’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir for future publication by Random House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK. Recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing, his blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives.


In 2012, Denk made his Nonesuch debut with a pairing of masterpieces old and new: Beethoven’s final Piano Sonata, Op. 111, and Ligeti’s Études. The album was named one of the best of 2012 by the New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post, and Denk’s account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Denk has a long-standing attachment to the music of American visionary Charles Ives, and his recording of Ives’s two piano sonatas featured in many “best of the year” lists. In March 2012, the pianist was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to appear as soloist in the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks festival, and he recorded Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto with the orchestra. Having cultivated relationships with many living composers, he currently has several commissioning projects in progress.


Denk has toured frequently with violinist Joshua Bell, and their recently released Sony Classical album, French Impressions, won the 2012 Echo Klassik award. He also collaborates regularly with cellist Steven Isserlis, and has appeared at numerous festivals, including the Italian and American Spoleto Festivals, and the Verbier, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen Music, and Mostly Mozart Festivals.
Jeremy Denk graduated from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He lives in New York City, and his web site and blog are at jeremydenk.net.

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