Celebrated for the unique approach, probing intellect, and consummate artistry he brings to a broad range of repertoire, Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan currently serves as the first Artist-in-Association of the New York Philharmonic. This unprecedented three-season appointment sees him appear as soloist in subscription concerts, take part in regular chamber performances, and act as ambassador for the orchestra.
"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
In 2015-16, Barnatan embarks on his second season with the Philharmonic, playing Mozart with Jaap van Zweden, Beethoven under Music Director Alan Gilbert, and Saint-Saëns on New Year’s Eve. Other upcoming highlights include his Disney Hall debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, and a U.S. tour with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, featuring dates at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2009, Barnatan has performed extensively with many of the world’s foremost orchestras, including those of Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco; the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; and the Jerusalem and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras. He has worked with such distinguished conductors as Roberto Abbado, James Gaffigan, Matthias Pintscher, David Robertson, Edo De Waart, and Pinchas Zukerman. Passionate about contemporary music, last season the pianist premiered new pieces composed for him by Pintscher and Sebastian Currier. “A born Schubertian” (Gramophone), Barnatan’s critically acclaimed discography includes Avie and Bridge recordings of the Austrian composer’s solo piano works, as well as Darknesse Visible, which scored a coveted place on the New York Times’ “Best of 2012” list. His Chopin and Rachmaninoff duo sonatas album, recorded with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, will be released by Decca Classics next season.
On August 13, Inon presents a solo recital that marks his festival debut at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart, highlighting repertoire inspired by the kind of dance suite popular in the Baroque with movements including a chaconne, allemande, courante, fuga, and others. What distinguishes the concert-length suite Barnatan assembled is that each movement is by a different composer, and the composers themselves span periods from the Baroque to the 21st century. Also featured on the program is the New York premiere of Variations For Blanca by Thomas Adès, who himself has a penchant for musical dialogue with past eras: his deconstruction of a Dowland song serves as the title track on Barnatan’s album Darknesse Visible, which earned the pianist a coveted spot on the “Best of 2012” list in the New York Times. The concert can be streamed live here on lincolncenter.org beginning at 10pm ET.
Five days after his Mostly Mozart debut, Barnatan performs an almost entirely different solo recital at the Aspen Music Festival. This summer’s program includes Ravel’s notoriously difficult Gaspard de la nuit, also recorded on Darknesse Visible, as well as the U.S. premiere of Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Sebastian Currier’s Glow. Currier’s piece was another Barnatan commission, and the pianist gave the world premiere in London’s Wigmore Hall a year ago.
Later in the month, Inon returns to the Mostly Mozart Festival to join Garrick Ohlsson August 24-27 for Mozart’s Sonata in D for Two Pianos, K. 448 in David Geffen Hall, part of a program that also includes performances by the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and Mark Morris Dance Group.
Live Recording of Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles… Now Available
Last summer, Inon joined an all-star orchestra of 44 musicians at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in an account of Olivier Messiaen’s monumental and otherworldly twelve-movement, 90-minute orchestral masterpiece, Des canyons aux étoiles… (From the Canyons to the Stars…), conducted by festival Artist-in-Residence Alan Gilbert. Marking a major milestone in the festival’s history, the performance – featuring the largest ensemble ever gathered there for a single work – was recorded live and is now available from Entertainment One Music. In a work requiring staggering virtuosity from all players, Inon plays the notoriously challenging piano part, including the fourth and ninth movements (Le cossyphe d’Heuglin “The white-browed robin-chat” and Le moqueur polyglotte “The mockingbird”), both of which are scored for solo piano.
Commissioned by art patron Alice Tully for the U.S. bicentennial and premiered at Lincoln Center in 1974, Canyons celebrates the awe-inspiring beauty of the great canyons of southwest Utah, which include Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. Encompassing a characteristically Messiaenic mix of birdsong, modernist experimentalism, and religious mysticism, the work expresses the composer’s faith in the power of nature to communicate the very essence of God.
Inon’s frequent collaborations with Alan Gilbert — who launches his eighth and final season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic next month — include his three-year residency as the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural Artist-in-Association. Inon and Alan look forward to reuniting in the coming season to continue recording Beethoven’s Five Piano Concertos with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester.
Listen to Des canyons aux étoiles… here on iTunes, here on Amazon, and here on Spotify.
Delft and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festivals
Inon Barnatan makes his return to the Delft Chamber Music Festival in the Netherlands for a series of four concerts with fellow musicians in residence. His visit starts off with Rachmaninov’s Second Suite for two Pianos alongside Boris Giltburg on on July 28, followed by performances featuring a range of chamber repertoire on July 30 and July 31. Find full program information and tickets here.
Shortly thereafter, Inon appears at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival for a solo recital on August 4 — including works by Bach, Ligeti, and Brahms — and subsequent chamber performances with festival musicians. Concerts on August 7 and 8 include works by Moszkowski and Schubert, with a finale on August 9 featuring Beethoven’s Piano Trio No. 3. Full repertoire and tickets can be found on Inon’s schedule.
A visit to the Seattle Chamber Music Society
Inon Barnatan continues his summer season with three concerts over the course of five days under the auspices of the the Seattle Chamber Music Society. On Monday, July 1, he is joined by violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti and cellist Efe Baltacıgil for Beethoven’s Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in D Major, No. 1, “Ghost”, followed by a Wednesday, July 13 performance of Mozart’s Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in G Major, K. 496 with Baltacıgil and violinist Jun Iwasaki. Inon closes his visit to Seattle with performances as part of two concerts on Friday, July 15. He first presents a complete performance of Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel and then plays Schubert's Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in B-flat Major with violinist James Ehnes and cellist Clive Greensmith.
Find tickets and more information here.
Beethoven with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse
Inon Barnatan visits the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse on Saturday, June 25 for a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 on under the direction Thomas Søndergård. The evening’s program also includes Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, “Little Russian”. Find tickets and more information here.