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Jonathan Biss, piano

Overview

Jonathan Biss is a world-renowned pianist who shares his deep musical curiosity with classical music lovers in the concert hall and beyond. Over the course of two decades on the concert stage he has forged relationships with the New York Philharmonic; the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Philharmonia orchestras; the Boston, Chicago, and Swedish Radio symphony orchestras; and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival, and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras, among many others. In addition to performing a full schedule of concerts, he has spent eleven summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and written extensively about his relationships with the composers with whom he shares a stage. A member of the faculty of his alma mater the Curtis Institute of Music since 2010, Biss led the first massive open online course (MOOC) offered by a classical music conservatory, Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, which has reached more than 150,000 people in 185 countries. Part 3 is set to come out in January 2018, and he will continue to add lectures until he covers all of the sonatas.

In addition to his involvement at Marlboro, Biss spends the summer of 2017 continuing his complete Beethoven piano sonata performance cycles at the Aspen and Ravinia festivals, which he also begins at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra this season. Audiences will be able to experience all the piano sonatas in seven concerts over several years. In early 2018 Biss tours with Midori and Antoine Lederlin across Switzerland, Germany, and England, and with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in California.

Last season Biss examined the concept of a composer's "late style" in various concert programs at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Centre, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and San Francisco Performances; gave masterclasses at Carnegie in connection with the idea, and published the Kindle Single Coda on the topic. A previous Biss initiative, Schumann: Under the Influence, was a 30-concert exploration of the composer's role in musical history, for which he also recorded Schumann and Dvorák piano quintets with the Elias String Quartet and wrote an Amazon Kindle Single on Schumann, A Pianist Under the Influence.

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, Biss began his piano studies at age six, and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. He studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute of Music with Leon Fleisher.

Biss has been recognized with numerous honors, including the Leonard Bernstein Award presented at the 2005 Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Wolf Trap's Shouse Debut Artist Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, 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. His recent albums for EMI won Diapason d'Or de l'année and Edison awards. He was an artist-in-residence on American Public Media's Performance Today and was the first American chosen to participate in the BBC's New Generation Artist program.

"A young virtuoso and poetic pianist of the first order."

-Chicago Sun-Times

Leon Fleisher, piano, w/ Jonathan Biss, piano, and Katherine Jacobson, piano

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The Program

Bach: Work TBA
Kirchner: Interludes I & II
Schubert: Fantasy in F Minor, D. 940
Dvořák: Slavonic Dances TBA
Ravel: La Valse

Pre-concert lecture w/ Lesley Valdes at 6:30 pm

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Brentano Quartet w/ Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 7:30 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Dvořák: Two Slavonic Dances [Arr.]
Janáček: On an Overgrown Path [Selection]
Dvořák: Miniatures, Op. 75a
Smetana: Aus der Heimat
Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81

Pre-concert lecture w/ Richard Freedman at 6:30 pm

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Elias Quartet w/ Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Mozart: Quartet in B-flat Major, K. 458, Hunt
Kurtág: Six moments musicaux
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34

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Mark Padmore, tenor and Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Monday, March 13, 2017 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Schubert: Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 959
Schubert: Schwanengesang, D. 957

 

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Departure and Discovery: New Directions at the Apex of Creativity is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

This performance features a free pre-concert lecture starting at 6:45 PM with Christine Anderson.

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Brentano Quartet with Hsin-Yun Huang, viola and Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Monday, March 6, 2017 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Schumann: Gesänge der Frühe, Op. 133
Gesualdo: Selected Madrigals
Brahms: Klavierstücke, Op. 118
Mozart: String Quintet in E-flat Major, K. 614

 

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Departure and Discovery: New Directions at the Apex of Creativity is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

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Brentano Quartet and Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Bach: Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 [Sel.]
Kurtág: Játékok, Volume VII, for Piano [Sel.]
Britten: String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 111

Prior to this concert at 5:30 pm in the Perelman Theater, Gregg Whiteside (morning host on WRTI) will lead a free interdisciplinary panel discussion featuring musicologist Christoph Wolff, music critic Allan Kozinn, writer and thought leader Lewis Lapham, and behavioral scientist Dr. Daniel Gottlieb.  Their discussion will explore the effect that accumulated knowledge and experience has on artistic creation, highlighting the dramatic new directions taken and fresh discoveries made by these great composers while at the height of their creative powers.

pew_logo_color-smallDeparture and Discovery: New Directions at the Apex of Creativity is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Jonathan Biss
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30th Anniversary Gala

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 7:30 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Richard Goode, piano; Jonathan Biss, piano; Sarah Shafer, soprano; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Pamela Frank, violin; Peter Wiley, cello; Brentano Quartet

Haydn: Piano Trio in E-flat Major, Hob. XV:29
Schubert: Fantasy in F Minor, D. 940
Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965
DvoÅ™ák: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81

Jonathan Biss
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Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Beethoven: Sonata in F Minor, Op. 2, No. 1
Schoenberg: Sechs Kleine Klavierstí¼cke, Op. 19
SchumannWaldszenen, Op. 82
Berg: Sonata, Op. 1
Beethoven: Sonata in A Major, Op. 101

 

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Mark Padmore, tenor and Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Schumann: Liederkreis, Op. 24
Schumann: Sechs Gedichte und Requiem, Op. 90
Tippett: Boyhood’s End
Fauré: La Bonne Chanson, Op. 61

This performance features a free pre-concert lecture at 6:45 with Cori Ellison

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Elias Quartet w/ Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: Quartet in F Major, Op. 77, No. 2
Beamish: Reed Stanzas [Philadelphia Premiere]
Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44

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Miriam Fried, violin and Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Janaček: Violin Sonata
Schumann: Violin Sonata in D Minor, Op. 121
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 96

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Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

SchumannFantasiestí¼cke, Op 12
Janáček: On an Overgrown Path [Selections]
Mozart: Minuet in D Major, K. 355
Mozart: Adagio in B Minor, K. 540
Schumann: Davidsbí¼ndlertänze, Op. 6

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Elias Quartet w/ Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Suk: Meditation on the old Czech chorale St. Wenceslas, Op. 35a
Janáček: In the Mist, "Im Nebel
DvoÅ™ák: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81

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Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 -

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Janáček: 1.X.1905, “From the Street”
Rands: Three Pieces [Philadelphia Premiere]
Beethoven: Sonata in F Minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata”
Schumann: Fantasie in C Major, Op. 1

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Jonathan Biss and Richard Goode, pianos

Date: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

DebussyEn blanc et noir [Two Pianos]
Schumann: Six Pieces in Canonic Form, Op. 56 [Two Piano arr. by Debussy]
Beethoven: GroíŸe Fuge, Op. 133, for String Quartet [Arr. for Two Pianos, Op. 134]
StravinskyAgon [Two Pianos]
SchubertFantasia in F Minor, D. 940 [Four Hands]

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Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 - 8:00 PM

Location: Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Mozart: Sonata in C Minor, K. 457
Kurtág: Játékok [Selections]
Schubert: Sonata in C Major, D. 840, “Relique”
Chopin: Barcarolle in F­sharp Major, Op. 60
Chopin: Mazurkas, Op. 59 [Selection]

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Mendelssohn Quartet w/ Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 -

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: Quartet in F Minor, Op. 20, No. 5, Hob. III:35
Bartók: Quartet No. 2, Op. 17
Elgar: Piano Quintet in A Minor, Op. 84

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Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Beethoven: Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13, “Pathétique”
Spratlan: Wonderer [Philadelphia Premiere]
Beethoven: Sonata in E Major, Op. 109
Schoenberg: Sechs kleine Klavierstí¼cke, Op. 19
Schumann: Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17

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Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Friday, January 30, 2004 - 8:00 PM

Location: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Berg: Sonata, Op. 1
Schumann: Davidsbí¼ndlertänze, Op. 6
Kirchner: Interlude I
Kirchner: Interlude II
Beethoven: Sonata in A­flat Major, Op. 11

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Mendelssohn Quartet w/ Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2002 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Beethoven: String Quartet in C­-sharp Minor, Op. 131
Brahms: Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 3

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Jonathan Biss, piano

Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 8:00 PM

Location: Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Beethoven: Sonata in E­flat Major, Op. 7, “Grande Sonate”
Beethoven: Six Bagatelles, Op. 126
Beethoven: Fantasia, Op. 77
Beethoven: Sonata in F Minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata”

The Telegraph

“It is hard to think of another young pianist who exudes such an air of focused seriousness as Jonathan Biss.”

Chicago Sun-Times

“A young virtuoso and poetic pianist of the first order.”

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