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Inon Barnatan Begins La Jolla Music Directorship; Plays Aspen, Santa Fe, Tanglewood and Spoleto Festivals This Summer

Inon Barnatan – “a true poet of the keyboard, refined, searching [and] unfailingly communicative” (London’s Evening Standard) – takes up his post this summer as the new Music Director of the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, an annual chamber music festival at which he has been a favorite performer since his first appearance there in 2012. Entering its 34th season as Barnatan’s tenure begins, the festival (Aug 2-23), also celebrates the opening of a new primary venue: the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, a/k/a The Conrad. As part of his programming in La Jolla, Barnatan presents his own “Synergy” concert series, in which he collaborates with such luminaries as Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cecile Mclorin Salvant, visionary director and visual artist Doug Fitch, and the Mark Morris Dance Group, making its festival debut with a program featuring the world premiere of a newly choreographed piece. The summer lineup also includes Composer-in-Residence David Lang, clarinetist and conductor Osmo Vänskä, the Brentano String Quartet, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and a host of other world-class artists. A season brochure with complete artists and listings for the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest can be found here. Additional summer highlights for Barnatan include appearances at Tanglewood, the Spoleto Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival.

Barnatan takes over the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest as only the fourth Music Director in the event’s history, following the 18-year tenure of Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin. As the pianist told the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“Chamber music has always been in some ways central to me. Whether I was playing with orchestras, playing solo or with smaller ensembles, it’s always been the basis of my ideas about music – collaboration that involves listening, interaction and curiosity. And, for me, this basically brings all of these things together.”

Under Barnatan’s curation, the upcoming season reveals connections between different musical genres and artistic disciplines as it explores the theme of transformation, in particular the organic process of evolution by which new artistic ideas can be achieved by building and expanding on older ones. In addition to the three-concert “Synergy” series, produced in collaboration with Clara Wu Tsai and emphasizing cross-genre collaborations, Barnatan also plays in five other concerts during the August festival. Performed by an outstanding roster of chamber musicians, each program exemplifies the ever-intriguing musical journeys that have become the pianist’s trademark in his own performances.

“One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (New York Times), Barnatan also looks forward to a busy schedule of performances in summer festivals around the U.S., many of which showcase his interpretations of the Classical repertoire. Following a spring tour of the U.S. playing Mozart with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the pianist continues his exploration of the Classical master’s concertos with two performances of Concerto No. 23, first at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival under the baton of Carlos Kalmar (Jun 19), and then at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Nicholas McGegan (Sep 5). He also joins pianist Jonathan Biss for a performance of Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat in the last La Jolla Summerfest concert: “Finale: Concerto Grosso.” Beethoven also figures prominently in Barnatan’s summer lineup, with a performance of his Piano Trio in D at the Spoleto Festival, and both the “Archduke” Piano Trio and the E-flat Piano Quartet at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. And after a season in which he performed all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos with various orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, Barnatan performs the Fourth Concerto this summer with the Boston Symphony led by composer and conductor Thomas Adès (Aug 11). When he played the Third Concerto for his Baltimore Symphony debut under Vasily Petrenko in 2016, the Washington Post declared that the “brilliant” performance “surpassed all expectations,” and “the poignant solos brought tears to the eyes because they were so tenderly wrought.”

Thomas Adès makes one more appearance in Barnatan’s summer schedule, this time as a composer. In Beverly Hills, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the pianist plays a recital that juxtaposes music from Baroque suites by Bach, Handel, Rameau and Couperin with more recent pieces inspired by that era and form, including Adès’s Blanca Variations and music by Ligeti, Barber, Brahms, and Ravel.

This past season saw Barnatan tour to Amsterdam, London, and four stops in the U.S. with his longstanding collaborator, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, joined by Armenian violinist Sergey Khachatryan and Scottish percussionist Colin Currie, with a program they reprise this summer at the Aspen Music Festival (July 25). Titled “Transfigured Night,” it centers on Schoenberg’s early and atmospheric piece Verklärte Nacht, which will be heard in Edward Steuermann’s piano trio setting. Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio, Rolf Wallin’s solo marimba piece Realismos mágicos, and a trio and percussion version of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 are also on the program. The arranger for the Shostakovich is famed Russian pianist and pedagogue Victor Derevianko, one of Barnatan’s earliest teachers, and Barnatan, Weilerstein and Khachatryan, along with percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, will reprise that arrangement in August as part of the La Jolla Summerfest lineup. Also in Aspen, Barnatan gives a rendition of the virtuosic Barber Concerto – of which his performance last spring with the Cincinnati Symphony was called “eye-opening” and “earth-shaking” by the Cincinnati Business Courier – with the Aspen Chamber Symphony led by Alondra de la Parra (July 26).

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.


Inon Barnatan: summer 2019 engagements

June 4-9
Charleston, SC
Spoleto Festival USA

June 4, 5
BACH: Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052
With Geoff Nuttall and Owen Dalby, violin; Meena Bhasin, viola; Nina Lee, cello; Doug Balliett, double bass

June 5, 6
FAURÉ: Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 15
With Geoff Nuttall, violin; Meena Bhasin, viola; Nina Lee, cello

June 8, 9
BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in D, Op. 70, No. 1, “Ghost”
ROSSINI: Overture from The Barber of Seville, arr. Todd Palmer
With Todd Palmer, clarinet; Amy Harman and David Byrd-Marrow, bassoon; Geoff Nuttall and Karen Gomyo, violin; Meena Bhasin, viola; Joshua Roman and Nina Lee, cello; Paul Holmes Morton, theorbo; Doug Balliett, double bass; Pedja Muzijevic, piano

June 19
Chicago, IL
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Grant Park Music Festival
Carlos Kalmar, conductor
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 23

June 22
Beverly Hills, CA
Brad Goldsmith Theater
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
BACH: Toccata in E minor, BWV 914
HANDEL: Allemande from Suite in E, HWV 430
RAMEAU: Courante from Suite in A minor, RCT. 5
COUPERIN: L’Atalante
RAVEL: Rigaudon from Le Tombeau de Couperin
ADES: Blanca Variations
LIGETI: Musica Ricercata Nos. 11 & 10
BARBER: Fugue from Sonata for Piano, Op. 26
BRAHMS: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

July 16
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Gala
BACH/BUSONI: Chorale Preludes
MENDELSSOHN: Songs Without Words
SCHUBERT: Impromptu in G-flat, D. 899, No. 3

July 17
Santa Fe, NM
New Mexico Museum of Art
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
BEETHOVEN: Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 16

July 21-22
Santa Fe, NM
New Mexico Museum of Art
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
BEETHOVEN Piano Trio in B-flat, Op. 97, “Archduke”

July 25
Aspen, CO
Harris Concert Hall
Aspen Music Festival
Transfigured Nights with Alisa Weilerstein
BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 “Ghost”
ROLF WALLIN: Realismos mágicos for Solo Marimba
SCHOENBERG: Verklärte Nacht for Piano Trio (trans. Steuermann)
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 15 for Piano Trio and Percussion (trans. Derevianko)

July 26
Aspen, CO
Benedict Music Tent
Aspen Music Festival
Aspen Chamber Symphony
Alondra de la Parra, conductor
BARBER: Piano Concerto, op. 38

Aug 2-23
La Jolla, CA
La Jolla Summerfest 2019
The Conrad: The Baker-Baum Concert Hall 

Aug 2
OPENING NIGHT: The Time Traveler’s Suite
7:00 pm
Pre-concert interview with Inon Barnatan
8:00 pm
BACH: Allegro from Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, BWV 1047
HANDEL: Trio Sonata for Two Violins and Continuo in G minor, Op. 2 No. 5, 3rd mvt
RAMEAU: “La Poule” from 6 concerts transcrits en sextour and “Entrée de Polymnie” from Les Boreades
COUPERIN (ARR. ADÈS): Les Baricades Misterieuses
RAVEL: Rigaudon from Tombeau de Couperin
STRAVINSKY: “Serenata” from Suite Italienne
WUORINEN: Selections from Bearbeitungen Über das Glogauer Liederbuch
G. CONNESSON:Techno Parade
BACH: Finale from Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, BWV 1047
CONRAD TAO: New work for violin and piano (world premiere)
HALVORSEN: Passacaglia (after Handel)
RACHMANINOFF: Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 17
With Ben Beilman, Stefan Jackiw, Erin Keefe, violin; Masumi Per Rostad, viola; Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Timothy Cobb, bass; James Austin Smith, oboe; Valentin Martchev, bassoon; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Frank Renk, bass clarinet; Conrad Tao, piano 

Aug 3
BACH: Ich habe genug, BWV 82
MESSIAEN: Movement VII from Quatuor pour la fin du temps
MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 for Soprano and Chamber ensemble
With Susanna Phillips, soprano; Tyler Duncan, baritone; Ben Beilman, Stefan Jackiw, Erin Keefe, violin; Masumi Per Rostad, viola; Kenneth Olsen, Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Timothy Cobb, bass; James Austin Smith, oboe; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Valentin Martchev, bassoon; Dustin Donahue, percussion; Conrad Tao, harmonium and piano; Osmo Vänskä, conductor 

Aug 4
DEBUSSY: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
CRUMB: Voice of the Whale
RAVEL: 3 Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
RACHMANINOFF: Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 19
With Susanna Phillips, soprano; Ben Beilman, Stefan Jackiw, Erin Keefe, violin; Masumi Per Rostad, viola; Kenneth Olsen, Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Timothy Cobb, bass; James Austin Smith, oboe; Rose Lombardo, flute; Anthony McGill, Osmo Vänskä, clarinet; Valentin Martchev, bassoon; Conrad Tao, piano; Osmo Vänskä, conductor 

Aug 6
YSAŸE: Sonata No. 2 for Solo Violin in A minor, Op. 27
ARENSKY: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 35
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 15 (arr. for Piano Trio and Percussion)
With Erin Keefe, Sergey Khachatryan, violin; Yura Lee, viola; Kenneth Olsen, Alisa Weilerstein, cello; red fish blue fish, percussion

Aug 7
With Cecile McLorin Salvant, vocalist; Aaron Diehl, piano 

Aug 15
SYNERGY SERIES II: Music at an Exhibition
MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition
With artist, designer, and director Doug Fitch 

Aug 21
COWELL: Set of Two for Violin and Harpsichord
DVOŘÁK: Bagatelles for String Trio and Harmonium
Arr. BEETHOVEN: Irish and Scottish Folk Songs
HANDEL: Cantatas Tanti strali al sen mi scocchi and Beato in ver
With Mark Morris Dance Group; John Holiday, countertenor; Robin Tritschler, tenor; David Pershall, baritone; Augustin Hadelich, Andrew Wan, violin; Edward Arron, Clive Greensmith, Annie Jacob-Perkins, cello; Colin Fowler, harpsichord 

Aug 23
BACH: Concerto for Three Violins in D, BWV 1064R
MOZART: Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat, K. 365
VIVALDI: Concerto for Two Celli in G minor
HANDEL: Violin Sonata in D
ELLEN ZWILICH: Concerto Grosso 1985
VIVALDI: Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op. 11
With Paul Aguilar, James Ehnes, Augustin Hadelich, Kate Hatmaker, Jun Iwasaki, Cho-Liang Lin, Tatjana Roos, Jeanne Skrocki, Rachel Stenzel, Andrew Wan, violin; Eva Kennedy, Travis Maril, Richard O’Neill, viola; Edward Arron, Clive Greensmith, Annie Jacobs-Perkins, Hannah Moses, cello; Nico Abondolo, bass; Rose Lombardo, flute; Laura Griffiths, Lara Wickes, oboe; Jonathan Biss, piano; Nicholas McGegan, harpsichord and conductor

Aug 11
Lenox, MA
Koussevitzky Music Shed
Tanglewood Music Festival
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Adès, conductor
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4

Sep 5
Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 23

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© 21C Media Group, May 2019

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