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Inon Barnatan: fall solo recitals in Chicago & Boston; chamber music in NYC

When Inon Barnatan made his solo debut at Manhattan’s SubCulture last month, the New York Times named him the “star attraction” of the venue’s piano festival; as the paper reported, “He demonstrated, in one of the most thoughtful and effective recitals I have heard from a pianist under 40, a sensitivity reminiscent of two other New York institutions, Emanuel Ax and Murray Perahia.” There are further opportunities to hear the Israeli pianist in solo recital this fall, when he performs at Chicago’s Harris Theater (Nov 3) and in the Boston “Celebrity Series” (Dec 10). Barnatan also looks forward to a number of high-profile chamber engagements, joining the Jerusalem String Quartet for an all-Brahms program at New York’s 92nd Street Y (Oct 23, 25 & 29); appearing at Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Nov 16); and returning to the Y to launch his unprecedented new three-year appointment as Artist-in-Association of the New York Philharmonic in company with Alisa Weilerstein (Dec 7). The Avery Fisher Career Grant-winner rounds out his full fall schedule with performances of Chopin’s First Piano Concerto with the New Jersey Symphony (Nov 28–30).

For his solo recital debuts at Chicago’s Harris Theater and Boston’s Pickman Hall, Barnatan’s program, as at SubCulture, features Bach, Barber, and Franck, in whose Prelude, Chorale and Fugue, Op. 21 he succeeded in maintaining “an uncommon, ideal balance between impulse and structural foresight, so that the concluding heap of themes, with bells pealing, carried transcendent, redemptive weight” (New York Times). He concludes both upcoming recitals with Schubert’s A-major sonata, D. 959, as heard on his 2013 Avie recording, which reveals “superior playing, in which penetrating musicianship, compelling interpretive insight, and elegant pianism achieve near perfect equilibrium” (BBC Music magazine).

A dedicated chamber musician who has been recognized with the Andrew Wolf Memorial Award, Barnatan previously played Brahms with the Jerusalem String Quartet last March in Vancouver. As in this week’s “Intimate Brahms” series at New York’s 92nd Street Y, their programs featured Brahms’s duo sonatas and F-minor Piano Quintet, in which the pianist “more than matched the bravura and energy of the quartet, ratcheting up the impact of the performance with impeccable pacing and a nonchalantly illuminating devotion to detail” (Classical Voice America).

Barnatan returns to the 92nd Street Y in December for his first engagement as Artist-in-Association of the New York Philharmonic. He and his regular duo partner, MacArthur Award-winning cellist Alisa Weilerstein, join such key members of the orchestra as Principal Associate Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, and Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, for Dvorák’s Piano Quartet in E-flat and Martinu’s La Revue de Cuisine. The New York Times admires how “temperamentally well matched” Barnatan is to Weilerstein; their New York appearance follows a duo recital at Berlin’s Philharmonie, where they perform music by Beethoven, Schubert, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninoff (Nov 24).

Completing the pianist’s fall chamber lineup is his upcoming collaboration with violinist Ani Kavafian, cellist Gary Hoffman, and other members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with whom he plays Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet and Chausson’s Piano Trio at New York’s Alice Tully Hall (Nov 16). This Lincoln Center concert crowns a tour that also takes the ensemble to Chicago’s Harris Theater (Nov 17) and Drew University in Madison, NJ (Nov 15).

Equally celebrated as an orchestral soloist, Barnatan undertakes Chopin’s First Piano Concerto on tour with the New Jersey Symphony and Stefan Sanderling (Nov 28–30). It was after a recent concerto concert with the Atlanta Symphony that Arts ATL pronounced the pianist’s performance “stunning, with clarity, inner voicings, sensitively well-shaped phrasing and excitement.” As the review continued:

“Orchestra and soloist felt to the listener ‘as one’ in their musical expression. It was one of those feelings of a musical coming-together at a level one rarely experiences in a concerto.”

Details of Inon Barnatan’s upcoming engagements are provided below, and more information is available at the artist’s web site:

Inon Barnatan: upcoming engagements

Oct 23, 25 & 29
New York, NY
92nd Street Y: Kaufmann Concert Hall
“Intimate Brahms: Jerusalem Quartet and Friends”
Chamber recital series with the Jerusalem String Quartet
BRAHMS: Sonata for Viola and Piano No. 2 in E-flat, Op. 120, No. 2 (Oct 23)
BRAHMS: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38 (Oct 25)
BRAHMS: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 (Oct 29)
BRAHMS: Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34 (Oct 29)

Nov 3
Chicago, IL
Harris Theater
Solo recital
BACH: Toccata in E minor, BWV 914
FRANCK: Prelude, Chorale and Fugue, M. 21
BARBER: Sonata in E-flat minor, Op. 26
SCHUBERT Sonata in A, D. 959

Nov 6
Birmingham, AL
Brock Recital Hall
Samford University
Solo recital

Nov 8 & 9
Pullman, WA
Washington Idaho Symphony
CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 1

Nov 15–17: tour with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
CHAUSSON: Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in G minor, Op. 3
SCHUBERT: Quintet for Piano and Strings in A, D. 667/Op. 114 “Trout”
With: Ani Kavafian (violin); Areta Zhulla (violin); Lawrence Power (viola); Nicholas Canellakis (cello); Gary Hoffman (cello); David J. Grossman (double bass)
Nov 15: Madison, NJ (Drew University)
Nov 16: New York, NY (Alice Tully Hall)
Nov 17: Chicago, IL (Harris Theater)

Nov 24
Berlin, Germany
Berliner Philharmonie
Recital with Alisa Weilerstein
BEETHOVEN: Sonata for cello and piano No. 5 in D
SCHUBERT: Fantasie in C, D. 934 (arr. for cello and piano by Weilerstein and Barnatan)
SHOSTAKOVICH: 24 Preludes, Op. 34, selection (arr. for cello and piano by Lera Auerbach)
RACHMANINOFF: Sonata for cello and piano in G minor

Nov 28–30
Tour with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra / Stefan Sanderling
CHOPIN: Concerto for Piano No. 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11
Nov 28: Princeton, NJ (Princeton University)
Nov 29: Newark, NJ (New Jersey Performing Arts Center)
Nov 30: New Brunswick, NJ (State Theatre)

Dec 3
Quebec City, Canada
Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec / Hugh Wolff
BEETHOVEN: Concerto for Piano No. 4 in G, Op. 58

Dec 7
New York, NY
92nd Street Y: Kaufmann Concert Hall
With Alisa Weilerstein, cello; musicians of the New York Philharmonic
DVORÁK: Quartet for Piano and Strings in E-flat, Op. 87
MARTINU: La Revue de Cuisine (“The Kitchen Revue”), Suite for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Violin, Cello, and Piano, H 161

Dec 10
Boston, MA
Pickman Hall
Celebrity Series of Boston
Solo recital
BACH: Toccata in E minor, BWV 914
FRANCK: Prelude, Chorale and Fugue for Piano, M. 21
BARBER: Sonata for Piano in E flat minor, Op. 26
SCHUBERT: Sonata for Piano in A major, D. 959

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© 21C Media Group, October 2014

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