PIANIST JONATHAN BISS EXPLORES LATE WORKS BY A RANGE OF COMPOSERS IN CARNEGIE HALL CONCERTS WITH BRENTANO QUARTET ON FEBRUARY 15 & 23, AND WITH TENOR MARK PADMORE ON MARCH 10; Jonathan Biss Leads Two Public Master Classes with Young Pianists in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing on February 19 & 20

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Jonathan Biss Leads Two Public Master Classes with Young Pianists in
Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing on February 19 & 20


In the midst of his multi-year exploration of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, Jonathan Biss returns to Carnegie Hall this spring for five concerts and masterclasses that examine and juxtapose the late works of composers that span the Renaissance to the Romantic eras. This “late style,” in which composers ponder death and demand introspection, is reflected in the first program with the acclaimed Brentano String Quartet on Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. The program includes works by Bach, Kurtág, Britten, and also Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, which Mr. Biss is set to record as part of his nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of all the Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Mr. Biss and the Brentano String Quartet appear together for a second performance on Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall continuing their exploration of the “late style” with works by Schumann, Gesualdo, Brahms, and Mozart.

For his third and final Carnegie Hall performance of the season, Mr. Biss collaborates with celebrated tenor Mark Padmore on an all-Schubert program on March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. The selection of works is taken from the compositions written in the last weeks of Schubert’s life as he resisted darkness and wrote some of his most inspired and transcendent music including his Sonata in A Major, D. 959 and the songs of Schwanengesang.

“These composers went in diverse directions at the ends of their lives. But whether they knew it was the end—or whether they hoped for 30 more years—in their maturity, they no longer needed to prove anything to anyone,” Mr. Biss said.

These concerts bookend a duo of public master classes led by Mr. Biss in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing on Sunday, February 19 at 4:00 p.m. and Monday, February 20 at 4:00 p.m.  Six young pianists join Mr. Biss at Carnegie Hall to delve into the late solo works of Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert, presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in collaboration with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. In addition to master classes, Mr. Biss has embarked on several educational initiatives in recent years including an open online course in cooperation with The Curtis Institute titled Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, which has drawn over 150,000 online students to date.

About the Artists
Pianist Jonathan Biss shares his talent, passion, and intellectual curiosity with classical music lovers in the concert hall and beyond. For over two decades on the concert stage, he has forged relationships with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and many others.

This season, Mr. Biss continues his latest Beethoven project, Beethoven/5, for which the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has co-commissioned five composers to write new piano concertos, each inspired by one of Beethoven’s. The five-year plan began last season, when Mr. Biss premiered Timo Andres’s The Blind Banister, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music; he will play the concerto with the New York Philharmonic in the spring of 2017.

In the 2016–2017 season, Mr. Biss will examine, both in performance and academically, the concept of a composer’s “late style,” and has put together programs of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Britten, Elgar, Gesualdo, Kurtág, Mozart, Schubert, and Schumann’s later works—both for solo piano and in collaboration with the Brentano Quartet and Mark Padmore, programs he will play at Carnegie Hall, London’s Barbican Centre, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and in performances in San Francisco and at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. In addition to his master classes at Carnegie Hall in connection with the idea of late style, he will publish a Kindle Single on the topic in January.

Mr. Biss has a notable recording career with recent albums for EMI winning Diapason d’Or de l’année and Edison awards. In 2017, he will release the sixth volume of his nine-year, nine-disc-recording cycle of Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas.

Mr. Biss studied at Indiana University and at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he joined the piano faculty in 2010. He led the first massive open online course (MOOC) ever offered by a classical music conservatory, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, reaching more than 150,000 people in 185 countries. His bestselling eBook, Beethoven’s Shadow, published by Rosetta Books in 2011, was the first Kindle Single written by a classical musician.

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim.  “Passionate, uninhibited and spellbinding,” raves The Independent (London); the New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.”

Since 2014, the Brentano Quartet has served as Artists in Residence at Yale University. The Quartet also currently serves as the collaborative ensemble for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.  Formerly, they were Artists in Residence at Princeton University for many years.

The Quartet has performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington; the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; the Konzerthaus in Vienna; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; and the Sydney Opera House.  The Quartet had its first European tour in 1997, and was honored in the U.K. with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut.

The Brentano Quartet is known for especially imaginative projects combining old and new music.  Among the Quartet’s latest collaborations with contemporary composers is a new work by Steven Mackey, “One Red Rose,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Other recent commissions include a piano quintet by Vijay Iyer, a work by Eric Moe (with Christine Brandes, soprano), and a new viola quintet by Felipe Lara (performed with violist Hsin-Yun Huang).  In 2012, the Quartet provided the central music (Beethoven Opus 131) for the critically-acclaimed independent film A Late Quartet.

The quartet has worked closely with other important composers of our time, among them Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Chou Wen-chung, Bruce Adolphe, and György Kurtág.  The Quartet has also been privileged to collaborate with such artists as soprano Jessye Norman, pianist Richard Goode, and pianist Mitsuko Uchida.

The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” the intended recipient of his famous love confession.

Mark Padmore was born in London and grew up in Canterbury. After beginning his musical studies on the clarinet, he was awarded a choral scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge, and graduated with an honors degree in music. He has established an international career, most notably through his appearances in Bach Passions—especially his acclaimed performances as the Evangelist in both the St. Matthew and St. John Passionswith the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, staged by Peter Sellars.

In the opera house, Mr. Padmore has worked with directors Peter Brook, Katie Mitchell, Mark Morris, and Deborah Warner. Recent work includes the leading roles in Harrison Birtwistle’s The Corridor and The Cure at the Aldeburgh Festival and Linbury Studio Theatre, Covent Garden; Handel’s Jephtha for the Welsh and English national operas; Captain Vere in Britten’s Billy Budd;and the Evangelist in a staging of the St. Matthew Passion for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

In concert, Mr. Padmore has performed with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Mr. Padmore has given recitals worldwide, performing the three Schubert song cycles in London, Liverpool, Paris, Tokyo, Vienna, and New York City, as well as at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg. His recital partners have included Jonathan Biss, Imogen Cooper, Julius Drake, Till Fellner, Simon Lepper, Roger Vignoles, and Andrew West. Composers who have written for Mr. Padmore include Sally Beamish, Harrison Birtwistle, Jonathan Dove, Thomas Larcher, Nico Muhly, Alec Roth, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Huw Watkins, Ryan Wigglesworth, and Hans Zender.

Mr. Padmore’s extensive discography includes Beethoven’s Missa solemnis and Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Bernard Haitink and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on BR-Klassik; and lieder by Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart with Kristian Bezuidenhout for Harmonia Mundi. Other Harmonia Mundi recordings include As Steals the Morn, a collection of Handel arias with The English Concert (BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award); and Schubert cycles with Paul Lewis (Winterreise, Gramophone Vocal Award).

Mr. Padmore was voted 2016 Vocalist of the Year by Musical America and was awarded an honorary doctorate by University of Kent in 2014. He is artistic director of the St. Endellion Summer Music Festival in Cornwall.

About Workshops and Master Classes
Through workshops and masterclasses presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, artists on the rise are given valuable access to world-class performers and composers who have established themselves on Carnegie Hall’s stages. Participants are selected after responding to an open call for auditions. These up-and coming musicians (ages 18–35) receive coaching and mentoring that assists them in reaching their artistic and professional goals. In addition to the Jonathan Biss master classes this season, Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars lead a workshop from February 3–8 as part of Carnegie Hall’s La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic festival. Previous master classes and workshops this season have included The Song Continues, an annual celebration of art song founded by mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, from January 16–21, 2017; and a series of master classes that focused on on opera arias led by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, from October 29–31, 2016. The workshops and master classes are tuition-free for participants. Additional information and online applications are available at carnegiehall.org/workshops.

Program Information
Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30 PM
Zankel Hall

·· Mark Steinberg, Violin
·· Serena Canin, Violin
·· Misha Amory, Viola
·· Nina Lee, Cello

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Selections from The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080
·· Contrapunctus I
·· Contrapunctus VII
·· Contrapunctus IV
·· Contrapunctus XI
GYÖRGY KURTÁG Selections from Játékok, Book VII
·· “Un brin de bruyère à Witold (in memorium Witold Lutoslawski)”
·· “… and once again: Shadow-play”
·· “Hommage à Farkas Ferenc 90”
·· “Fugitive thoughts about the Alberti bass”
·· “All’ongherese—Hommage à Gösta Neuwirth”
·· “Geburtstagsgruss für Nuria [… etwas verspätet…]”
BENJAMIN BRITTEN String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the AE Charitable Foundation.

Tickets: $55, $65

Sunday, February 19 at 4:00 PM
Monday, February 20 at 4:00 PM
Resnick Education Wing
Vivian Cheng, Piano
Yilin Liu, Piano
Scott Maclsaac, Piano
Soohong Park, Piano
Audrey Vardanega, Piano
Ning Zhou, Piano


Workshops for pianists are made possible, in part, by The Gary C. and Ethel B. Thom Fund for Piano Performance and Education.

Workshops and master classes are made possible, in part, by Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

The Jonathan Biss workshop is presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s Departure and Discovery Project, exploring the late style of major composers.

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s Departure and Discovery Project has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Tickets: $15

Thursday, February 23 at 7:30 PM
Zankel Hall

·· Mark Steinberg, Violin
·· Serena Canin, Violin
·· Misha Amory, Viola
·· Nina Lee, Cello
·· Hsin-Yun Huang, Viola

ROBERT SCHUMANN Fünf Gesänge der Frühe, Op. 133
CARLO GESUALDO Selections from Madrigals, Book VI (arr. Bruce Adolphe)
·· “Deh, come invan sospiro”
·· “Beltà poi che t’assenti”
·· “Resta di darmi noia”
·· “Già piansi nel dolore”
·· “Moro, lasso, al mio duolo”
JOHANNES BRAHMS Klavierstücke, Op. 118
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART String Quintet in E-flat Major, K. 614

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for young artists established by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the AE Charitable Foundation.

Tickets: $55, $65

Friday, March 10, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Zankel Hall

Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 959
“Im Freien,” D. 880
“Die Sterne,” D. 939
“Des Fischers Liebesglück,” D. 933
“Der Winterabend,” D. 938
“Herbst,” D. 945
Selections from Schwanengesang, D. 957
·· Kriegers Ahnung
·· Aufenthalt
·· In der Ferne
·· Die Stadt
·· Am Meer
·· Der Doppelgänger
·· Die Taubenpost

This concert is made possible, in part, by the A. L. and Jennie L. Luria Foundation.

Tickets: $51, $61

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information
Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or online by visiting carnegiehall.org.

Tickets for Master Classes held in Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing can be purchased exclusively by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org. Tickets are not available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office.

For more information on discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.

Image at top of release by Benjamin Ealovega

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