Pianist Jonathan Biss Performs Benefit Recital in Support of Artist Relief Tree, May 20

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Program comprises Schumann’s Kreisleriana, selections from
Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path, and Mozart’s Piano Sonata in
F major, K 533/494, and Rondo in A minor, K 511

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (May 11, 2020) — Pianist Jonathan Biss, whose numerous e-performances since the coronavirus outbreak have been seen by hundreds of thousands across the web, gives a video recital in support of online fundraiser Artist Relief Tree (ART) on Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The recital is free to watch, but viewers are encouraged to donate to ART, which was established to support artists affected financially by COVID-19. Mr. Biss performs Schumann’s Kreisleriana, selections from Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path, and two works by Mozart—Piano Sonata in F major, K 533/494, and Rondo in A minor, K 511. Additionally, he interviews Molly Carr and Andrew Janss, Co-Directors of the non-profit organization PROJECT: MUSIC HEALS US, and all four members of the New York-based Aizuri Quartet—offering viewers an on-the-ground perspective of how the musical community is affected by and responding to the coronavirus crisis.
The performance will be streamed on Facebook by ART (facebook.com/artistrelieftree) and Mr. Biss (facebook.com/JonathanBiss) and on YouTube by ART (click here). To stay up to date on streaming details, see artistrelieftree.com.
Jonathan Biss, an ART Ambassador, said:

“The COVID crisis is existential for the many thousands of freelance artists across the country. We cannot have a meaningful artistic life without them; they are essential! I’m so grateful to ART for leaping into action to address this urgent need, and invite everyone to join me in supporting them.”

ART Co-Founder Morgan Brophy said:

“The goal is to provide wide-reaching support for artists of all disciplines via a simple application process, quick and easy access to funds, and full transparency. We cannot hope to replace an artist’s lost income entirely. Our mission is to promote sharing our collective resources to help keep the artistic community alive. Like the tree in our name, we want to bring each root and branch of our community together to support each other.”

Mr. Biss records this recital from his home in Philadelphia, with equipment, engineering, and editing generously provided for free from Drew Schlegel. Mr. Biss’s first recital from home was a March 26 program for the 92nd Street Y, where he had been scheduled to perform. This performance, viewed more than 280,000 times on Facebook, was one of the first widely viewed online classical events of the coronavirus era. Mr. Biss’s #DailyBeethoven videos from late March to late April also garnered a devoted following, and last week he was presented in an all-Beethoven recital for The Gilmore’s Virtually Gilmore web series. His additional charitable activities amidst the coronavirus crisis have included a benefit performance for Music for Food, an initiative he has long supported that presents concerts to help relieve food insecurity in the Greater Boston area.

Jonathan Biss is a world-renowned pianist who channels his deep musical curiosity into performances and projects in the concert hall and beyond. In addition to performing with today’s leading orchestras, he continues to expand his reputation as a teacher, musical thinker, and one of the great Beethoven interpreters of our time. He recently joined Mitsuko Uchida as Co-Artistic Director of the Marlboro Music Festival, where he has spent thirteen summers. He has written extensively about the music he plays, and has authored three e-books.
For more than a decade, he has fully immersed himself in the music of Beethoven, exploring the composer’s works and musical thought through a wide variety of projects. His repertoire this season has been almost exclusively focused on Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, including planned concert cycles at Berkeley’s Hertz Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University (these performance schedules were interrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak). This year, he also concluded his nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of the 32 sonatas, released as a box set on Orchid Classics, and completed his Coursera lecture survey of these works, titled Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. With orchestra, he premiered a new concerto by Brett Dean alongside Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto as part of his Beethoven/5 commissioning series.
Mr. Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother Raya Garbousova, one of the first well-known female cellists (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto), and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. Growing up surrounded by music, Mr. Biss began his piano studies at age six, and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. He studied with Evelyne Brancart at Indiana University and with Leon Fleisher at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has since appeared with major orchestras around the world, including in the U.S. with the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; and the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras. He has also been recognized with numerous honors, including Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award.
For more information, visit jonathanbiss.com.
Artist Relief Tree is a global online fundraiser established to help support artists affected by COVID-19. ART is a grassroots effort made by artists, for artists, and awards funds to artists of any discipline in the form of a $250 solidarity donation. To date, ART has helped over 1,200 artists, and strives to reach its goal of $1 million to provide 3,500 artists financial support during the global health crisis.
More information can be found at artistrelieftree.com.
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Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Streamed video performance

Jonathan Biss, piano
MOZART Sonata in F major, K. 533/494
JANÁČEK On an Overgrown Path (selections)
I. Our Evenings
VI. Words Fail!
VII. Good Night!
MOZART Rondo in A minor, K. 511
SCHUMANN Kreisleriana, Op. 16
Stream to be available via Facebook Live at facebook.com/ArtistReliefTree and facebook.com/JonathanBiss and via ART’s YouTube channel. To stay up to date on streaming details, see artistrelieftree.com.

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