Jeremy Denk launches U.S. recital tour in Boston; upcoming tour highlights include world premiere of new commission
At Boston's Gardner Museum on January 12, Jeremy Denk launched a three-month U.S. solo recital tour with a program of personal favorites by Mozart, Schumann and Ligeti. As the Boston Globe observed, these "choices revealed a fascination for works in which disparate and even contradictory ideas and moods could find common ground insheer musicality." A centerpiece of the tour is Denk's upcoming world premiere performance of Fantasy, a new commission from Brad Mehldau – "one of the most consistently fascinating voices in current jazz" (Jazz Times) – at Pennsylvania State University on January 29, and additional highlights include dates at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society (Jan 26), Santa Monica's Maestro Foundation (March 30), and the Peoples' Symphony Concerts in New York (April 12).
Jeremy Denk Is Musical America's 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year
Jeremy Denk has been named Musical America's 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year. One of classical music's highest honors, the award will be presented by the venerable performing arts resource at its annual ceremony on December 17, when Denk will be joined by Audra McDonald (Musician of the Year), George Benjamin (Composer of the Year), Pablo Heras-Casado (Conductor of the Year), and the International Contemporary Ensemble (Ensemble of the Year). Describing the unique combination of achievements that led to Denk's selection, Musical America explained: "His flourishing concert schedule, the second release in his Nonesuch recording contract (Bach's Goldberg Variations), his widely read blog called 'Think Denk,' and articles for the New Yorker, which led to a Random House book commission, attest to his multi-faceted artistry.
Ojai Music Festival, June 12-15, 2014, premieres commissioned opera The Classical Style with libretto by Music Director Jeremy Denk and
Among the highlights of the 68th Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Jeremy Denk, June 12-15, 2014, is the anticipated world premiere of a commissioned opera The Classical Style based on the eponymous award-winning book by legendary American pianist and scholar Charles Rosen. With libretto by newly named MacArthur Fellow Jeremy Denk and music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, the comic opera will be premiered at the Ojai Music Festival on June 13, 2014.
Jeremy Denk's Recording of Bach's "Goldberg" Variations Lands at #1 on Billboard Classical Chart
Jeremy Denk's new recording of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations, has earned the top spot on the Billboard Traditional Classical Albums chart. The album, released late last month in the US and is now available internationally, includes a companion DVD with video "liner notes," in which Denk demonstrates passages on the piano as he explains certain details of the iconic piece. The Wall Street Journal recently praised Denk's performance on the album as "gorgeously and insightfully played" and the DVD as "the kind of fresh thinking of which we can never have too much."
Jeremy Denk will give a live interview and performance at as a featured guest on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show (Oct 31). This live appearance comes during what has already proven to be a banner fall for the pianist. Since being named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow in September, he has contributed to the New Yorker magazine and podcast, and scored twin triumphs with Bach's Goldberg Variations, on tour and on his most recent recording. Released on the Nonesuch label, this CD/DVD-set currently ranks number one on both the Billboard "Classical Albums" and "Traditional Classical Albums" charts (week ending Nov 2), and has earned an abundance of rapturous reviews. As the Wall Street Journal observes, "of all America's up-and-coming classical instrumentalists, Jeremy Denk, the pianist-blogger who won a MacArthur Foundation 'genius grant' in September, might well be the most interesting."
Pianist Jeremy Denk has written a brief personal history for this week's New Yorker, the "Money Issue." In the new piece – his third contribution to the magazine, titled "Piano Man" – Denk shares a story from early in his career when, as a struggling artist, he was tempted by one particular gig that he hoped would improve his finances. The article appears in the October 14, 2013, issue of the New Yorker, on newsstands now and available online for subscribers to the magazine at newyorker.com.
Pianist Jeremy Denk Wins 2013 MacArthur Fellowship
It was announced today that Jeremy Denk – “one of his generation’s most eloquent and thoughtful interpreters” (New York Times) – has been named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. Selected for his extraordinary originality, dedication in his creative pursuits, and a marked capacity for self-direction, the pianist is one of 24 recipients of this year’s “genius grant,” which awards each fellow a stipend of $625,000.
New Season Sees Jeremy Denk Issue “Goldbergs” on CD/DVD; Return to Carnegie Hall with San Francisco Symphony & MTT; Curate Ojai Music Festival; and More
Pianist Jeremy Denk – “one of his generation’s most eloquent and thoughtful interpreters” (New York Times) – launches the new season with the release of Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations on Nonesuch CD and DVD, accompanied by performances in Boston, Chicago, and Washington DC. Orchestral collaborations take him to three continents, in performances of concertos by Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Ravel, Ligeti, and Mozart – whose Concerto No. 25 is the vehicle for a U.S. tour with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. Crowning a full season of recitals, orchestral concerts, and masterclasses, the pianist will serve as Music Director of the 68th annual Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he is composing the libretto for a semi-satirical opera by Steven Stucky.
Jeremy Denk’s “Mesmerizing” Take on Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” Will Be Released – with Accompanying Video “Liner Notes” – by Nonesuch on Sep 30
Jeremy Denk’s recording of J.S. Bach’s “GoldbergVariations” will be issued by Nonesuch Records on September 30. A companion DVD offers video “liner notes” in which the pianist explicates features of Bach’s masterpiece from the keyboard (see an excerpt here). The “Goldbergs” have long been a staple of Denk’s repertoire; the New York Times notes his “profound affinity with Bach,” while the Philadelphia Inquirer calls his interpretation “mesmerizing.” Available directly from Nonesuch, the new CD/DVD-set marks the pianist’s second recording for the label; his first, Ligeti/Beethoven, was named one of the best recordings of 2012 by the New Yorker, Washington Post, NPR Music, and other media outlets.
Jeremy Denk Signs Book Deal with Random House
Jeremy Denk – "one of his generation's most eloquent and thoughtful interpreters"(New York Times) – has signed a deal with Random House for a book based on his article "Every Good Boy Does Fine," which appeared in the April 8 issue of the New Yorker. Also to be titled Every Good Boy Does Fine, the forthcoming memoir is due for publication in 2015 or 2016 and will paint a broader picture of Denk's years as a piano student, interspersed with his reflections on the piano repertory.
The pianist explains:
"Piano lessons are a weekly ritual, like laundry or church; they are moments of discovery and exploration; they are occasions for the passing of wisdom from one generation to the next; and they are also a form of psychological torture, spread out bit by bit for more devastating effect."
Jeremy Denk Discusses 2014 Ojai Music Festival
The 68th Ojai Music Festival, which takes place next June, will feature programming conceived by the festival’s 2014 Music Director, Jeremy Denk. Ojai recently announced details of the four-day festival (June 12–15, 2014) in a news release available here: www.ojaifestival.org/category/press-2.
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.
On Heels of Carnegie Hall Triumph, Jeremy Denk Returns as Writer to Pages of New Yorker
“Besides being a brilliant musician, Denk is simply one of the most interesting writers I know.”
– New Yorker music critic Alex Ross
The April 8 issue of the New Yorker presents a personal history by Jeremy Denk – his second contribution to the magazine – titled Every Good Boy Does Fine: A life in piano lessons. This full-length article appears days after the pianist’s main-stage solo recital at Carnegie Hall, where his “colossal interpretations conveyed the sense of composers grappling with the ineffable, inventing new vocabulary to express the inexpressible” (New York Times).
Jeremy Denk joins violinist Joshua Bell for a special appearance on Michael Feinstein's American Songbook. In an episode entitled "On the Air," Feinstein looks back on the Golden Age of Radio, and recalls showcasing the virtuoso talents of Bell, Denk, and other classical superstars on his own NPR program. The episode will air on PBS at 9pm EST on Friday, April 12. Please check local listings; meanwhile, more information is available here.
Jeremy Denk, Featured in April's Vanity Fair, Gives Main-Stage Carnegie Hall Recital on March 22
Jeremy Denk, who returns to Carnegie Hall’s main stage on Friday, March 22, is the subject of a photo feature in the April issue of Vanity Fair. Foregrounding the exploratory nature of Denk’s vision, the article describes him as “a frontiersman” who has a way with “music that catalogues the known world before striking out into the wilderness.” The pianist’s upcoming Carnegie appearance represents one of the high points of a 13-city solo recital tour that has already inspired rapturous reviews. “Denk gave a revelatory performance,” proclaimed the Boston Globe, praising the “masterful maze” of his program, which connected composers who, in their time, “both embodied their present and anticipated the future.”
Jeremy Denk’s Extensive Recital Tour Kicks into High Gear in March, with Solo Debut at Boston’s Jordan Hall and Return to Carnegie Hall
“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.”
– New York Times
Jeremy Denk’s far-reaching season kicks into high gear in the coming weeks when he makes his solo debut at Boston’s Jordan Hall (March 2) and returns to the main stage of New York’s Carnegie Hall (March 22), as two stops on a 13-city recital tour with a program of works by Bartók, Liszt, Bach, and Beethoven. The final piece on the program, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, can be heard on Denk’s first release for the Nonesuch label, which was named one of the best discs of 2012 by the New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post. Described as “a quintessential 21st-century performer” (Washington Post), the pianist also has chamber and concerto dates on the horizon, as well as a number of master classes.
Jeremy Denk Performs with Oberlin Orchestra, Jan 19 at Carnegie Hall
Jeremy joins other distinguished Oberlin Conservatory alumni to perform with Oberlin students as part of their four-concert 2013 Illumination Tour in New York City. The tour culminates in a performance at Carnegie Hall on the evening of January 19 when the Oberlin Orchestra, directed by Raphael Jiménez, shines light on the Conservatory's top-tier orchestral program. The concert includes the New York premiere of Christopher Rouse's Iscariot and features Jeremy as soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto in C Major, K 467. Ravel's La valse and the Suite from The Firebird fill out the repertoire. Tickets and more information available here.
Jeremy Denk returns to Toronto January 9 & 10 to perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21
The celebrated pianist, Jeremy Denk, performs Concerto No. 21, whose dreamy slow movement shot to fame as the theme from the film Elvira Madigan. This concert features the Toronto Symphony led by the Canadian Opera Company's Johannes Debus. Jeremy Denk recently performed Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 with the San Diego Symphony under its music director, Jahja Ling. James Chute of the San Diego Union Tribune remarked that "Denk's playing has a rare presence to it, a sense of being in the moment"… He continued "Everything was tasteful and elegant. Yet, even within Mozart's relatively tight stylistic boundaries, he played with a spirit of exploration. He kept you guessing about what he was going to do next — how he might shape a phrase, change dynamics, or pick up on the articulation of the orchestra in their musical conversation."
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21
Wed. Jan. 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm and Thursday, Jan 10 at 2pm
Roy Thomson Hall
More Best of 2012 Notices for Denk's Ligeti/Beethoven
Jeremy Denk's Nonesuch debut album, Ligeti/Beethoven, released in May 2012, continues to make its way onto numerous "best of 2012" lists. Along with recent picks by critics from the New Yorker, Washington Post, and NPR Music, Ronni Reich includes the album among the year's "bold performances" in her recap for Newark's Star-Ledger. Reich observes, "Jeremy Denk conquers the wild, devilishly difficult and unexpected turns of György Ligeti's etudes with stunning energy and imagination….Denk makes challenging material accessible, whether rapt in a meandering reflection or deliriously careening across the full range of the instrument. The music finds a surprisingly natural relative in Beethoven's Sonata No. 32, which Denk begins forcefully before beginning a captivatingly spun 'Arietta,' by turns tender and animated." Joining the chorus of praise is the UK's Arts Desk, which selected Ligeti/Beethoven as one of their top 12 classical releases of the year, noting, "This coupling of Beethoven's final, forward-looking sonata with Ligeti's Etudes is fascinating."
Ligeti/Beethoven chosen as one of NPR's Top Classical Albums of 2012
NPR announced their Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012, and Jeremy Denk's Ligeti/Beethoven was included on the list; Tom Huizenga writes, "Jeremy Denk is smart. Really smart… His performances of terrifyingly difficult music – like Ligeti's finger-crushing Etudes – seem as natural as the weather, but with a decidedly personal stamp… This coupling of Beethoven's final, forward-looking sonata with Ligeti's Etudes is fascinating." To see the full list, click here.
Ligeti/Beethoven included in New Yorker's Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012
Jeremy Denk's most recent recording, "Ligeti/Beethoven," was named one of the 10 notable recordings of 2012 by Alex Ross in his annual "best of" list for the New Yorker. Denk's album is the only solo piano disc that was chosen, alongside recordings by artists such as Joyce DiDonato, Claudio Abbado, and the Berlin Philharmonic. To read the full article, click here; to purchase the disc, click here.
Jeremy Denk reviews Paul Elie's "Reinventing Bach" in the December 6 issue of THE NEW REPUBLIC. The feature, listed with the title "The Pure and the Impure" on the magazine's cover, is Denk's first for the magazine, and is available on line here: http://bit.ly/TWWX79
Jeremy Denk's Philadelphia October 30 Concert Rescheduled to December 18
Due to Superstorm Sandy, Jeremy's sold-out October 30 concert at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia was rescheduled to December 18. He will be playing a juxtaposition of Brahms, Liszt and Schumann pieces; a pre-concert lecture with Jeffrey Kallberg will be held at 6:45 PM. Please click here for more details.
Pianist Jeremy Denk Follows Critically-Acclaimed Ligeti/Beethoven CD with August Dates at Aspen, La Jolla, and Santa Fe Music Festivals
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. More
DENK PLAYS LIGETI/BEETHOVEN AT LE POISSON ROUGE ON MAY 21
Less than a week after he makes his Nonesuch label debut with Ligeti/Beethoven, Jeremy Denk will play most of the music featured on the new album in his debut at Le Poisson Rouge, New York's popular downtown music club. For ticket information visit: http://lepoissonrouge.com/events/view/3314
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Jeremy Denk's review of Bernie Krause's "The Great Animal Orchestra" appeared on the front page of the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW on Sunday, April 15, 2012.
Nonesuch Releases Label Debut from Pianist Jeremy Denk, Ligeti/Beethoven, on May 15.
Album features Ligeti's Piano Études Books One and Two and Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111
THE NEW YORKER
Jeremy Denk's insider account of the pleasures/miseries/neuroses of making a recording. In The New Yorker: Flight of the Concord.
FRENCH IMPRESSIONS CD Now Available
Violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jeremy Denk offer a passionately nuanced interpretation of works by Saint-Saens, Ravel and Franck. Produced by multiple Grammy Award®-winner Steven Epstein, French Impressions features Camille Saint-Saens: Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in D minor Op 75 (1885); César Franck: Violin Sonata in A Major (1886), and Maurice Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Piano (1927). Pre-order the album now and get an autographed booklet and an instant MP3 download of "César Franck: Violin Sonata in A Major (1886) Allegretto poco mosso"!