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Inon Barnatan Launches Aspen Festival with Tchaikovsky, Joins Alan Gilbert for Messiaen, Plays Mozart in Chicago, and More This Summer

Celebrated for his consummate artistry in all corners of the piano literature, Inon Barnatan’s summer concerto engagements span two hundred years and three widely differing styles. Following his inaugural season as first Artist-in-Association of the New York Philharmonic, the Israeli pianist reunites with music director Alan Gilbert at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival for an account of Messiaen’s modernist epic, Des canyons aux étoiles (Aug 23). By contrast, at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival, he turns to one of the best-loved masterworks of the Classical era, joining artistic director and principal conductor Carlos Kalmar for Mozart’s G-major Concerto, K. 453 (Aug 5). And for his return to the Aspen Music Festival, Barnatan headlines this year’s season-opening concert under the leadership of music director Robert Spano, as soloist in Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, one of the iconic mainstays of the Romantic repertoire (July 5).

These high-profile orchestral appearances crown a full summer that also sees the pianist undertake chamber collaborations with a who’s who of today’s leading instrumentalists, including Augustin Hadelich and Paul Neubauer at Portland’s Chamber Music Northwest (July 13–16), Ray Chen and Johannes Moser at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival (July 20–24), and Erin Keefe and Clive Greensmith at Music@Menlo (July 31–Aug 2). This summer’s edition of the California festival is devoted to Schubert, in whose music Barnatan has consistently proven himself to be “truly world-class” (Chicago Classical Review).

About playing the piano solo in Des canyons aux étoiles at Santa Fe, Barnatan explains:

“The Messiaen is one of the biggest pieces I know, in every possible way – in terms of expression, in terms of length, and in terms of scope. It is this humongous, incredible work that, like a lot of what he wrote, is beyond time, beyond space, beyond music. To be able to do it in Santa Fe – a place that can capture the spirituality of nature that Messiaen is trying to convey – is very special.”

Taking the podium for Messaien’s otherworldly masterpiece in Santa Fe is New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert. When naming Barnatan the orchestra’s first Artist-in-Association, Gilbert called him “the complete artist: a wonderful pianist, a probing intellect, passionately committed, and a capable contemporary-music pianist as well.” To inaugurate this unprecedented three-season partnership, the Israeli pianist made his concerto debut with Gilbert and the Philharmonic in Ravel’s whimsical, jazz-inflected Piano Concerto in G, and joined members of the orchestra for chamber collaborations at Avery Fisher Hall and the 92nd Street Y. Next season, he looks forward to rejoining the Philharmonic for Mozart with Jaap van Zweden, Beethoven under Gilbert, and Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals on New Year’s Eve, besides returning to the music of Messiaen when he joins members of the orchestra for the French composer’s transcendent Quartet for the End of Time at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

High-resolution photos may be downloaded here.

Inon Barnatan: summer engagements

July 5
Aspen, CO
Aspen Music Festival & School
TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23
Aspen Festival Orchestra / Robert Spano

July 13, 14, 16
Portland, OR
Chamber Music Northwest

July 13 & 14: Celebrating the Viola with Schubert, Schumann, and More
SCHUBERT: Sonata in A minor for Arpeggione and Piano, D. 821
BRIDGE: Three Songs for Medium Voice, Viola and Piano
MASSENET: Elegy from The Erinyes, Op. 10
DARGOMYZHSKY: Elegy – She is Coming
SCHUMANN: Quintet in E-flat for Piano and String Quartet, Op. 44
(with Paul Neubauer, viola; Daniel Phillips, violin & viola; Fred Sherry, cello; and Evanna Chiew, mezzo-soprano)

July 16: BEETHOVEN Violin Sonatas
No. 1 in D, Op. 12; No. 4 in A minor, Op. 23;
No. 9 in A, Op. 47, “Kreutzer”
(with Augustin Hadelich, violin)

July 20, 22, 24
Seattle, WA
Seattle Chamber Music Festival

July 20: MENDELSSOHN: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D, Op. 58
(with Johannes Moser, cello)

July 22: BRAHMS: Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano in B, Op. 8
(with Andrew Wan, violin; Johannes Moser, cello)

July 24 (7pm): Solo recital
FRANCK: Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue, Op. 21
BARBER: Sonata Op. 26

July 24 (8pm): BRAHMS: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A, Op. 100
(with Ray Chen, violin)

July 31–Aug 2
Menlo Park, CA
Music@Menlo: Schubert

July 31 & Aug 1: “The Setting Sun, 1827”
SCHUBERT: Impromptu in F minor, Op. 142, No. 1, D. 935: Allegro moderato
SCHUBERT: Impromptu in G-flat Major, Op. 90, No. 3, D. 899: Andante
SCHUBERT: “Sei mir gegrüsst,” Op. 20, No. 1, D. 741 (with Nikolay Borchev, baritone)
SCHUBERT: Fantasy in C Major for violin and piano, Op. posth. 159, D. 934, “Sei mir gegrüsst” (with Erin Keefe, violin)

Aug 2: “Schubertiade IV”
SCHUBERT: Trio No. 1 in B-flat for Piano, Violin and Cello, Op. 99, D. 898 (with Erin Keefe, violin; Clive Greensmith, cello)

Aug 5
Chicago, IL
Grant Park Music Festival
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Grant Park Orchestra / Carlos Kalmar
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K.453

Aug 23
Sante Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Festival Artists-in-Residence / Alan Gilbert
Messiaen: Des canyons aux étoiles

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© 21C Media Group, June 2015

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