December 2017: Inon Barnatan Tours with Minnesota Orchestra and Plays Recitals at Wigmore Hall & 92nd Street Y This Winter/Spring

Exemplifying his status as “one of the most admired pianists of his generation” (New York Times), Inon Barnatan has over the past few months made debuts at the BBC Proms and with the London Philharmonic, premiered a new concerto at the Aspen Music Festival and at the Hollywood Bowl, and performed recitals with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and superstar soprano Renée Fleming at Carnegie Hall. This winter, the pianist rings in the New Year with two performances of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto in Minneapolis with the Minnesota Orchestra led by Osmo Vänskä; a Midwest tour with the orchestra follows at the end of January, culminating at Chicago‘s Symphony Center. Barnatan also plays a lunchtime recital of Bach, Franck and Barber at London’s Wigmore Hall in January, to be broadcast live on BBC 3, and a recital later in the spring at New York’s 92nd Street Y. Other winter/spring engagements include a recital in the Aspen Winter Music Recital Series and a benefit concert for the Aspen Music Festival and School; three Schubert concerts in La Jolla, California that feature the pianist as both curator and performer; a complete cycle of Beethoven Concertos with Ohio’s Columbus Symphony; three concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; a debut with the Helsinki Philharmonic; and a return to the Atlanta Symphony.

 

When Barnatan played Rachmaninoff’s First Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra in the spring of 2016, Minnesota’s Pioneer Press declared the concert “best of season,” and found that while the pianist was more than a match for the “flamboyance and spectacle” of the piece, “he never pushed the schmaltz meter into the red, as he found welcome gentleness in the slow movement — engaging in heartfelt dialogues with the winds — and bubbling delicately on the flowing finale.” For his return engagement this season he plays another staple of the Russian repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, in two New Year’s performances led by Osmo Vänskä, before joining the orchestra for a tour in Indiana and Illinois that culminates at Chicago’s Symphony Center.

 

London’s storied Wigmore Hall has long been a regular stop for Barnatan, both as a solo performer and in chamber collaborations. Earlier this fall he played the venue with his frequent recital partner, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and later in the spring will return for another solo program. His January concert, to be broadcast on BBC 3, opens with Bach’s Toccata in E minor and includes César Franck’s Prélude, choral et fugue and Samuel Barber’s Piano Sonata – the critically acclaimed showpiece premiered by Vladimir Horowitz in 1950. In the spring, Barnatan will perform yet another notoriously challenging Barber work, his sole Piano Concerto, with the Cincinnati Symphony conducted by James Gaffigan.

Lauded for his “fascinating and rewarding” (New York Times) recital in the Kaufmann Concert Hall at New York’s 92nd Street Y in the spring of 2016, in particular for a performance of Ligeti’s Musica ricercata that was declared “superb throughout,” Barnatan returns to the venue this coming spring. Widely recognized as a unique and insightful recital programmer, he performs three works on the program all titled Moments Musicaux by Schubert, Rachmaninoff and contemporary Israeli composer Avner Dorman. As Barnatan says of the program:

 

“The idea is something that has been brewing in my mind for a while, because even though the Schubert and Rachmaninoff have the same title, in some ways these works are diametrically opposed. These works by Schubert show him at his most ‘Schubertian’ – pure,  intimate and confidential. Rachmaninoff’s set is the opposite – lush, complex and grand.  But that always fascinated me; the only other set of six musical moments before Rachmaninoff was Schubert. The fact that he took this title was not indicative to me of taking the spirit of the actual music, but rather taking the idea of deeply personal musical statements.  In some ways both composers show their most authentic ‘selves’ in these works. Avner Dorman’s two wonderful pieces, one intimate and the other virtuosic, echo these two composers and are in some ways connecting tissue between the two halves.”

A few days earlier the pianist plays the same repertoire in the Aspen Winter Music Recital Series, after presenting a benefit concert to support the programs of the Aspen Music Festival and School. It was at the Aspen Music Festival last summer that Barnatan premiered the new concerto by festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher under the baton of Robert Spano, and both pianist and conductor will reprise the piece in April with the Atlanta Symphony.

In the spring Barnatan curates and performs three concerts exploring the late works of Franz Schubert in La Jolla, California. He plays one of Schubert’s late piano sonatas on each program, along with a selection of chamber music for which he will be joined by a roster of stellar musicians including violinist Benjamin Beilman, cellists Carter Brey and Clive Greensmith, pianist Garrick Ohlsson, and the Dover Quartet. Tenor Robin Tritschler rounds out the list of collaborators, joining Barnatan for Schubert’s posthumously published song collection, Schwanengesang. In the midst of that series, Greensmith and Barnatan also perform in New York and Chicago with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in concerts of Fauré and Beethoven, joined by violinist Augustin Hadelich and violist Matthew Lipman.

A consistent critical favorite in the works of Beethoven, Barnatan is in the midst of recording all five of the master’s piano concertos with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Alan Gilbert. He played Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto for his London Philharmonic debut in October, and besides playing the complete cycle of Beethoven concertos over two evenings with the Columbus Symphony and conductor Courtney Lewis this winter, he gives an account of the third concerto for his spring debut with the Helsinki Philharmonic, conducted by Alexander Shelley. In the words of the Washington Post, Barnatan’s “brilliant” Baltimore Symphony debut last season, playing Beethoven under the baton of Vasily Petrenko, “surpassed all expectations,” and the “poignant solos brought tears to the eyes because they were so tenderly wrought.”

 

 

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Inon Barnatan: upcoming engagements

 

Dec 31, Jan 1

Minneapolis, MN

Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra/ Osmo Vänskä

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1

 

Jan 5

New Bedford, MA

Zeiterion Performing Arts Center

New Bedford Symphony Orchestra / Yaniv Dinur

RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3

 

Jan 11

Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim Symfoniorkester / Guy Braunstein

RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3

 

Jan 22

London, UK

Wigmore Hall

J.S. BACH: Toccata in E minor, BWV 914

FRANCK: Prélude, choral et fugue

BARBER: Piano Sonata in E-flat minor, Op. 26

 

Jan 23

Bloomington, IN

Minnesota Orchestra/ Osmo Vänskä

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1

 

Jan 25

Urbana, IL

Krannert Center for Performing Arts

Minnesota Orchestra/ Osmo Vänskä

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1

 

Jan 28

Chicago, IL

Symphony Center

Minnesota Orchestra/ Osmo Vänskä

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1

 

Feb 2 & 3

Eindhoven, Netherlands

South Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/ Hans Graf

BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1

 

Feb 4

Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

DEBUSSY: Suite bergamasque
RAVEL: Gaspard de la nuit
SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata No. 21, D. 960

 

Feb 23 & 24

Columbus, OH

Columbus Symphony / Courtney Lewis

BEETHOVEN: Complete Piano Concertos

 

Feb 27

Aspen, CO

Winter Benefit: supports the Aspen Music Festival and School’s programs

 

Feb 28

Aspen, CO

Winter Music Recital Series

SCHUBERT: Six Moments Musicaux, D.780

DORMAN: 2 Moments Musicaux

RACHMANINOFF: Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 16

 

March 3

New York, NY

92nd Street Y

Kaufmann Concert Hall

SCHUBERT: Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780

AVNER DORMAN: 2 Moments Musicaux

RACHMANINOFF: Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 16

 

March 4

Beacon, NY

Howland Cultural Center

SCHUBERT: Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780

AVNER DORMAN: 2 Moments Musicaux

RACHMANINOFF: Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 16

 

March 9

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra / Alexander Shelley

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3

 

March 24

La Jolla, CA

La Jolla Music Society

Qualcomm Hall

SCHUBERT: Fantasy in F Minor for Piano Four-Hands, D.940

SCHUBERT: Sonata in B-Flat, D.960

SCHUBERT: Piano Trio in B-flat, D.898

Benjamin Beilman, violin; Clive Greensmith, cello; Garrick Ohlsson, piano

 

April 6 & 7

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/ James Gaffigan

BARBER: Piano Concerto

 

April 14

La Jolla, CA

Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall

SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata No. 20 in A, D.959

SCHUBERT: Schwanengesang, D.957

Robin Tritschler, tenor

 

April 22

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Vancouver Recital Society

HANDEL: Chaconne in G Major

  1. S. BACH: Allemande (from Partita No. 4)

RAMEAU: Courante (from Suite in A minor)

COUPERIN: L’Atalante

RAVEL: Rigaudon (from Tombeau de Couperin)

LIGETI: Musica ricercata Nos. 10 & 11

BARBER: Fugue (from Piano Sonata Op. 26)

ADÈS: Variations for Blanca

BRAHMS: Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24

 

April 25

Hanover, NH

Hopkins Center for the Arts

SCHUBERT: Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780

AVNER DORMAN: 2 Moments Musicaux

RACHMANINOFF: Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 16

 

May 6 & 8

New York, NY

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

BEETHOVEN: Trio in C minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 1, No. 3 (1794-95)

FAURÉ: Quartet No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 15 (1876-79)

Augustin Hadelich, violin; Matthew Lipman, viola; Clive Greensmith, cello

 

May 7

Chicago, IL

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

BEETHOVEN: Trio in C minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 1, No. 3 (1794-95)

FAURÉ: Quartet No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 15 (1876-79)

Augustin Hadelich, violin; Matthew Lipman, viola; Clive Greensmith, cello

 

May 19

La Jolla, CA

SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata No. 19 in C minor, D.958

SCHUBERT: Fantasy for Violin and Piano in C, D.934

SCHUBERT: String Quintet in C, D.956

Benjamin Beilman, violin; Carter Brey, cello; Dover Quartet – Joel Link, Bryan Lee, violins; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola; Camden Shaw, cello

 

May 25

London, UK

Wigmore Hall

 

June 7 & 9

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra / Robert Spano

FLETCHER: Piano Concerto

 

 

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© 21C Media Group, December 2017