Press Room

Pianist Jeremy Denk’s spring concerts

Pianist Jeremy Denk
Heads South for Ives in Miami and Beethoven in Boca

One of the world’s finest
chamber musicians, whose performances combine soloistic depth with
collaborative insight, pianist Jeremy Denk also maintains an admirable solo
career and an internationally-treasured blog, “Think Denk”.  His winter/spring schedule includes two
visits to warmer latitudes, when he plays Ives’s monumental “Concord” Sonata in
Miami (Feb 22) and the splashy “Emperor” Concerto at the Festival of the Arts
Boca (March 10), before embarking on an eclectic array of repertoire in
multiple cities.  Of special
interest is May’s New York performance of Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations, which
Denk repeats in June at the West Coast’s Ojai Music Festival.  Between these dates, however, he is far
from idle: he helps illuminate Robert Schumann in a Family Concert at New
York’s storied 92nd Street Y; celebrates Felix Mendelssohn’s 200th
birthday with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in newly-renovated
Alice Tully Hall; plays Beethoven’s animated First Piano Concerto three times
in Detroit; and tours the capitals of Europe with Joshua Bell.

During its Charles Ives
“In-Context” Festival this month, Miami’s New World Symphony will feature
Denk’s performance of the knuckle-busting Ives Piano Sonata No. 2, “Concord,
Mass., 1840-60”.  When he performed
the work to great acclaim at Carnegie Hall earlier this season, the New York

real argument for the linkage between these pieces [Ives’s “Concord” and
Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier”] came with Mr. Denk’s thrilling performances.  He played these daunting scores, each about 45 minutes, from
memory, bringing a rare combination of command and spontaneity to his dynamic

New York magazine named Denk’s Carnegie Hall performance
Number Two in its list of the “Top Ten Classical Music Events of 2008”:

“The pianist
ferociously dispatched two monsters in one night: Charles Ives’s “Concord”
Sonata and Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier”. 
He didn’t gloss over Ives’s crashing non-sequiturs or Beethoven’s
mad-scientist version of a fugue; he gloried in them.  A hyperarticulate musician who writes the blog “Think Denk”,
he played with cinematic clarity, as if both pieces had been just waiting for
his touch to render them simple.”

The Miami performance of
Ives’s indelible landmark for solo piano will be followed by a performance of
Henry Brant’s orchestration of the work, known as “A Concord Symphony”, to be
conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas (Feb 22).

On March 1, Jeremy Denk
performs at New York’s 92nd Street Y with English cellist Steven
Isserlis, one of his frequent musical partners, and other musicians, in a
Family Concert exploring the world of Robert Schumann.  (A “Think Denk” blog entry in January
has a hilarious description of Denk’s breakneck trip to London to celebrate
Isserlis’s 50th birthday.)

Before three performances of
Beethoven’s sparkling Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
under Sir Andrew Davis, Denk swings by the new Festival of the Arts Boca for a
single performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with the Russian National
Orchestra under its founder, Mikhail Pletnev (himself a great pianist), on
March 10.

Jeremy Denk’s musical
affiliation with violinist Joshua Bell is uniformly praised, most recently in
the New York Times, which
reviewed a joint recital in early February:

“These two musicians are an ideally
matched duo, with Mr. Denk’s fiery playing complementing Mr. Bell’s luxuriant
singing tone.  Mr. Denk played
the enigmatic opening to the first movement of the Franck [Sonata] with gentle
.  The dialogue in the charming final
movement traversed varying degrees of jovial familiarity and passionate
exuberance with gripping intensity.”

After a European tour with
Bell, Denk returns home to New York to celebrate the bicentennial of Felix
Mendelssohn with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where he is a
frequent guest artist.  The May 17
program at the newly-renovated Alice Tully Hall, entitled “Mendelssohn at 200”
involves Denk throughout, opening with the composer’s Concert Piece No. 2 for clarinet, basset horn, and piano, continuing with
several “Songs without Words” for solo piano, and closing with the Piano Trio
No. 2.  The program is to be
repeated on May 19.

Only ten days before the
first Mendelssohn concert, Denk gives a solo recital at uptown Manhattan’s
Symphony Space – a complete performance of J. S. Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations,
which he’ll repeat in less urban surroundings in lovely Ojai, California in

Jeremy Denk:
Winter/Spring 2009 engagements:


FL: New World Symphony

Piano Sonata No. 2, “Concord, Mass., 1840-60 


York, NY: 92nd Street Y

“Family Music Concert” with Steven Isserlis and friends


Raton, FL: Russian National Orchestra / Mikhail Pletnev

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”)

12, 14, 15

MI: Detroit Symphony Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15

Denk and Joshua Bell on tour in Europe:

23 – Vienna, Austria

24 – Trent, Italy

26 – London, England

27 – Eindhoven, Netherlands

2 – Geneva, Switzerland

29, 30

ON: Toronto Symphony Orchestra / Peter Oundjian

Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 105 

May 7

York, NY: Symphony Space

“Goldberg” Variations, BWV 988

17, 19

York, NY: Alice Tully Hall

at 200” with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center


June 13

CA: Ojai Music Festival

“Goldberg” Variations, BWV 988

#          #          #

– February 18, 2009

Return to Press Room