“One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (New York Times), Inon Barnatan is celebrated for his poetic sensibility, musical intelligence, and consummate artistry. He inaugurates his tenure as Music Director of California’s La Jolla Music Society Summerfest in July 2019. The coming season brings the release of a two-volume set of Beethoven’s complete piano concertos, which he recorded for Pentatone with Alan Gilbert and London’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Barnatan’s upcoming concerto collaborations include Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 with Nicholas McGegan and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s G-major Concerto with the Chicago Symphony, Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto with Gilbert and the Royal Stockholm Symphony, Clara Schumann’s Concerto with the New Jersey Symphony, and a recreation of Beethoven’s legendary 1808 concert, which featured the world premieres of his Fourth Piano Concerto, Choral Fantasy, and Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, with Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony. Barnatan also plays Mendelssohn, Gershwin, and Thomas Adès for his solo recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, returns to Alice Tully Hall with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and reunites with his frequent recital partner, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, for tours on both sides of the Atlantic. The first takes them to London’s Wigmore Hall and other venues in England, the Netherlands and Italy for Brahms and Shostakovich, while the second sees them celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with performances of his complete cello sonatas in San Francisco and other U.S. cities.
"a complete artist: a wonderful pianist, a probing intellect, passionately committed, and a capable contemporary-music pianist as well.”
Alan Gilbert, Music Director, New York Philharmonic
Barnatan’s 2018-19 orchestral highlights included Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto with Gilbert and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, a complete Beethoven concerto cycle with New Jersey’s Princeton Symphony, Rachmaninov with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Israel Philharmonic, Copland with the Oregon Symphony, and Mozart with the Houston Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra at Lincoln Center. Solo recitals took him to Boston’s Celebrity Series, Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, and London’s Southbank Centre, where he made his International Piano Series debut with a program of Ravel and Mussorgsky. In addition to performances with the Dover Quartet and St. Lawrence Quartet at Carnegie Hall, his chamber highlights included national tours with the Calidore Quartet and with Alisa Weilerstein, violinist Sergey Khachatryan, and percussionist Colin Currie. This summer, in his first season as Artistic Director of the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Barnatan explores the theme of transformation through programs which explore evolution in music, and collaborates with Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, visionary director and visual artist Doug Fitch, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and other artistic luminaries in a series devoted to cross-disciplinary exploration.
A regular performer with many of the world’s foremost orchestras and conductors, Barnatan served from 2014-17 as the inaugural Artist-in-Association of the New York Philharmonic. In summer 2017, he made his BBC Proms debut with the BBC Symphony at London’s Royal Albert Hall and gave the Aspen world premiere of a new piano concerto by Alan Fletcher, which he went on to reprise with the Atlanta Symphony and in a season-opening concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Recent orchestral debuts include the Chicago, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Nashville, San Diego, and Seattle Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the London, Helsinki, Hong Kong, and Royal Stockholm Philharmonics. Other recent highlights include a complete Beethoven concerto cycle in Marseilles; performances of Copland’s Piano Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas in San Francisco and at Carnegie Hall; and a U.S. tour with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, playing and conducting Mozart and Shostakovich from the keyboard and premiering a newly commissioned concerto by Alasdair Nicolson. With the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä, Barnatan played Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto on New Year’s Eve, followed by a Midwest tour that culminated in Chicago, and a return to the BBC Proms in summer 2018.
Barnatan is the recipient of both a prestigious 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center’s 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, which recognizes “young artists of exceptional accomplishment.” A sought-after chamber musician, he was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program from 2006 to 2009, and continues to make regular CMS appearances in New York and on tour. His passion for contemporary music sees him commission and perform many works by living composers, including premieres of pieces by Thomas Adès, Sebastian Currier, Avner Dorman, Alan Fletcher, Joseph Hallman, Alasdair Nicolson, Andrew Norman, Matthias Pintscher, and others. He has given multiple solo recitals at internationally acclaimed venues including New York’s 92nd Street Y, the Celebrity Series of Boston, Chicago’s Harris Theater, the Vancouver Recital Society, and London’s Southbank Centre and Wigmore Hall. Last season, he gave collaborative recitals at Carnegie Hall and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center with soprano Renée Fleming, and in both 2016 and 2018 he collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Group at New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
Barnatan’s most recent album release is a live recording of Messiaen’s 90-minute masterpiece Des canyons aux étoiles (“From the Canyons to the Stars”), in which he played the exceptionally challenging solo piano part at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. In 2015 he released Rachmaninov & Chopin: Cello Sonatas on Decca Classics with Alisa Weilerstein, earning rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. His most recent solo recording, of Schubert’s late piano sonatas, was released by Avie in September 2013, winning praise from such publications as Gramophone and BBC Music, while his account of the great A-major Sonata (D. 959) was chosen by BBC Radio 3 as one of the all-time best recordings of the piece. His 2012 album, Darknesse Visible, debuted in the Top 25 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart and received universal critical acclaim, being named BBC Music’s “Instrumentalist CD of the Month” and winning a coveted place on the New York Times’ “Best of 2012” list. He made his solo recording debut with a Schubert album, released by Bridge Records in 2006, that prompted Gramophone to hail him as “a born Schubertian” and London’s Evening Standard to call him “a true poet of the keyboard: refined, searching, unfailingly communicative.”
Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Inon Barnatan started playing the piano at the age of three, when his parents discovered his perfect pitch, and made his orchestral debut at eleven. His musical education connects him to some of the 20th century’s most illustrious pianists and teachers: he studied first with Professor Victor Derevianko, a student of the Russian master Heinrich Neuhaus, before moving to London in 1997 to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Christopher Elton and Maria Curcio, a student of the legendary Artur Schnabel. Leon Fleisher has also been an influential teacher and mentor. Barnatan currently resides in New York City. For more information, visit www.inonbarnatan.com.
Press Release: Inon Barnatan Releases Beethoven Concerto Cycle, Performs with Chicago and Cincinnati Symphonies and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Tours Europe and the U.S. with Alisa Weilerstein in 2019-20
Pianist Inon Barnatan – honored as one of WQXR’s “19 for 19” influential musicians to watch this year and a longtime critical favorite in the works of Beethoven – pays homage to the revolutionary Classical master this season in honor of the 250th anniversary of his birth. With frequent collaborator Alan Gilbert conducting London’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, he releases a complete cycle of Beethoven concertos on the Pentatone label in two volumes, one in the fall and one in the spring. He joins Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony for a recreation of Beethoven’s legendary 1808 concert, performing both the Choral Fantasy and Fourth Piano Concerto, which he also plays this season with the Stuttgart Philharmonic and Tokyo Symphony. With his recital partner, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and violinist Guy Braunstein he plays Beethoven’s triple concerto twice, first with the Dresden Philharmonic and then with the Barcelona Symphony. Also with Weilerstein, he tours a program of Beethoven’s complete cello sonatas to San Francisco and other cities around the U.S., besides touring a program of Brahms and Shostakovich to London’s Wigmore Hall and venues in the Netherlands and Italy. Other high-profile orchestral performances for Barnatan this season include Mozart’s Concerto No. 23 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s G-major Concerto with the Chicago Symphony, Brahms’s First Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra, and Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto with Alan Gilbert leading the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. Rounding out the season, the pianist returns to Alice Tully Hall with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; plays Shostakovich with the Dover Quartet in Indianapolis; and plays solo recitals in Tokyo’s Toppan Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and Oregon’s Portland Piano International, besides making his Baltimore recital debut in the Shriver Concert Hall Series and his solo recital debut in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
Read the full press release here.
Hollywood Bowl with the LA Phil
This fall, Inon Barnatan joins the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the iconic Hollywood Bowl.
On September 5, Inon and the orchestra perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, led by Nicholas McGegan.
The Mozart Under the Stars program also hears the Overture to the Magic Flute, along with Symphony No. 40.
La Jolla Music Society SummerFest Embarks on First Season Under Music Director Inon Barnatan, Highlighted by the Groundbreaking “Synergy Initiative” (Aug 2-23)
This summer, the LaJolla Music Society SummerFest marks its first season under Music Director Inon Barnatan, who has been a favorite performer in the festival since his first appearance there in 2012 and takes the helm as only the fourth Music Director in the event’s history. In his inaugural season, Barnatan pushes the boundaries of the acclaimed chamber music festival as it moves into the new Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, a/k/a The Conrad, comprising TheBaker-Baum Concert Hall, the flexible alternative performance space The JAI, and spaces for film screenings, exhibitions, public gathering, and more (Aug 2-23). Highlighting this year’s SummerFest is the “Synergy Initiative,” a new concept co-produced by Barnatan and Conrad board member Clara Wu Tsai illustrating the connections between musical genres, art, and dance and including the world premiere of a newly choreographed piece by the Mark Morris Dance Group, which makes its festival debut. The series will also see Barnatan collaborate with such luminaries as Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cécile Mclorin Salvant and visionary director and visual artist Doug Fitch. Complementing those mainstage Synergy Series concerts, a pair of programs in The JAI titled Music from Music, curated by this year’s Composer-in-Residence, David Lang, completes the Synergy Intiative lineup.
Long known as a thoughtful and compelling curator, Barnatan’s theme for his inaugural SummerFest is Transformation: how composers build on the past, how art forms interact with and change one another and how the perception of music is changed by different physical spaces. The Synergy Initiative he developed with Clara Wu Tsai explores that theme by juxtaposing different art forms, with an eye toward creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts. As Barnatan puts it, the series “aims to bring together artists from different fields for meaningful collaborations, exploring the space in which music and other art forms interact.”
Synergy Series I: Intersection explores the symbiotic relationship between classical music and jazz. Barnatan is joined by two jazz greats for the performance: Cécile McLorin Salvant, three-time Grammy Award-winner and “the finest jazz singer to emerge in the last decade” (New York Times); and her frequent collaborator Aaron Diehl, who studied classical piano and, alongside his jazz work, has increasingly been involved in classical collaborations, including participating in the 2014 New York premiere of Philip Glass’s complete Etudes at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and performing Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F at the New York Philharmonic opening gala in 2016.
Synergy Series II: Music at an Exhibition is anchored by Barnatan’s live performance of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, galvanized by a whimsical brigade of puppets, detailed models and live video in this world premiereproduction by designer and director Doug Fitch. The performance is complemented by ongoing events occurring throughout The Conrad complex, including “Chasing Inspiration” in The JAI, with visionary artist Zack Smitheypainting live on an expansive canvas in response to performances of increasing intensity by cellist Carter Brey, violinist Liza Ferschtman, the Callisto Quartet, Trio Clara, and others; “Musical Tales on Film” in the Atkinson Room, a collection of short films featuring violinist Augustin Hadelich’s animated short Fantasia dei Gatti, Doug Fitch’s The Blind Date, and Tristan Cook’s Short Film for the End of Time; and “The Synergy Art Walk” on the Belanich Terrace, which includes canvases from Caio Fonseca, engrossing video pieces by Tristan Cook, and other curious musical objects.
Synergy Series III: In Step marks the SummerFest debut of the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG), with the world premiere of a new work choreographed by Mark Morris to the music of George Frideric Handel. Four more dance pieces on the program from the MMDG canon are choreographed to music by Henry Cowell, Purcell, Dvořák, and Beethoven. This program is performed in the intimate setting of The Baker-Baum Concert Hall alongside some of the best musicians in the world, including Augustin Hadelich, vocalist John Holiday, and cellist Clive Greensmith.
In the same exploratory spirit as the mainstage Synergy Series performances, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang curates two concerts in The JAI called Music from Music, with new and recent works from some of today’s most innovative compositional voices. In keeping with the theme of transformation, each work has been selected for the way it honors and takes inspiration from the music of the past while also transmuting it into something new. The first performance showcases works by Caroline Shaw, Chris Cerrone, Gabriella Smith, and Lang himself, and the second, a week later, features music of Ted Hearne, Nina Young, Timo Andres, and Julia Wolfe.
A long list of other concerts and events round out the SummerFest season, including the world premiere of a new work for violin and piano by composer and pianist Conrad Tao, and the West Coast premiere of violist Brett Dean’s Seven Signals. For the very first time, SummerFest’s gala celebration, with Sergio Mendes headlining, will take place at The Conrad. After Sergio’s sizzling performance, an after party will take place in the Wu Tsai QRT.yrd. The stellar roster of outstanding chamber musicians assembled for the summer also includes soprano Susanna Phillips, baritone Tyler Duncan, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, the Brentano String Quartet, clarinetist Anthony McGill, clarinetist and conductor Osmo Vänskä, composer and pianist Timo Andres, pianist Jonathan Biss, and a host of other world-class artists. A season brochure with complete artists and listings for the La Jolla Music Society SummerFest can be found here.
BRAHMS: Cello Sonata in D major, Op. 78 (transcribed from the Violin Sonata)
SHOSTAKOVICH: Cello Sonata, Op. 40
BRAHMS: Songs (arr. Weilerstein/Barnatan)
SHOSTAKOVICH: Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147 (arr. cello & piano by D. Shafran)