Press Release: Jonathan Biss Performs in Concord
Renowned Pianist, Concord Chamber Players in March Concert
The Concord Chamber Music Society will present the final concert of its 2013-14 season on Sunday, March 9th featuring renowned pianist Jonathan Biss performing with Peter Zazofsky and Wendy Putnam, violins, Steven Ansell, viola and Michael Reynolds, cello. The program includes the Piano Sonata in F Major, Op. 10, No. 2 by Ludwig van Beethoven, the String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 44 by Felix Mendelssohn and the Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op.44 by Robert Schumann.
Throughout his career, Jonathan Biss has been noted for his immersive focus on single composers. In 2011, he became the first classical musician commissioned to write a Kindle eBook when he released Beethoven's Shadow, a 19,000 word meditation on the art of performing Beethoven's piano sonatas. In January 2012, the first of his recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas was released on the Onyx label, a series of nine recordings to be released over as many years. To date, two albums have been published. In 2010 as a faculty member at Curtis Institute, he partnered with Coursera, an educational technology company, publishing the online course Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, which has attracted over 32,000 students.
Declaring himself to be "a fanatic for every note [Robert] Schumann wrote," Mr. Biss dedicated his 2012-2013 season to the composer, which became a project entitled "Schumann: Under the Influence," exploring Schumann's influence on the classical repertoire and his artistic legacy. Mr. Biss has performed an international series of concerts featuring works by Schumann's predecessors, particularly Mozart, Beethoven, Henry Purcell, as well as by Leoš Janáček, Alban Berg and contemporary composers Gyӧrgy Kurtág and Timos Andres, all of whom were influenced by Schumann’s music. Attendant to the project, Mr. Biss wrote another Kindle eBook entitled A Pianist Under the Influence, describing his lifelong, intense, multi-layered relationship with Schumann’s work.
Mr. Biss made his recital debut in 1997 at the Wolf Trap Festival and his New York City debut at the 92nd Street YMCA in 2000. A year later he was guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Mazur. An impressive schedule of guest appearances with symphonies in North America and Europe followed, including those in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Cleveland and Philadelphia. In Europe he appeared with the London Symphony and London Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Oslo and Rotterdam Philharmonics and the Swedish Radio Symphony, among others. His chamber collaborations have included concert appearances with Mitsuko Uchida, Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode and Midori. He made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2011.
The CCMS concert, which begins at 3:00 p.m., will take place at the Concord Academy Performing Arts Center, 166 Main Street in Concord Center. Musicologist Steven Ledbetter will give a pre-concert lecture beginning at 2:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online at www.concordchambermusic.org or by calling (978) 371-9667. Tickets for individual concerts are $42 and $33 for adults, depending on proximity to the stage, and $37 and $28 for students and seniors. The facility is handicapped accessible. Parking in Concord Center is available on Main Street, in the lot adjacent to the Concord Free Public Library and in municipal lots behind Middlesex Savings Bank and the Concord Post Office. Concord Academy is a short walk from the Concord stop on the MBTA’s Fitchburg commuter rail line from North Station and Porter Square.