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241th Season

Jonathan Biss


Biss is fast establishing himself as an artist at the very highest level and in the USA, is also engaged by the Boston Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Chicago Symphony Los Angeles Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, National Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras. In Europe, his most recent debut was with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Elder and he is also invited by such orchestras as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Swedish Radio SO, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Berlin Staatskapelle, Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin.

Jonathan Biss’s most recent recording, Kurtag and Schubert sonatas was recorded live at the Wigmore Hall and was released earlier this autumn on Wigmore Hall Live; the Guardian wrote, " Such is the strength and conviction of his playing that the music unfolds with a natural-sounding inevitability … There is nothing showy about his piano-playing; everything feels completely natural, innately musical, tightly controlled and deeply felt” BBC Music Magazine, September 2009.

Biss's four recordings for EMI Classics have also earned him plaudits in the North American and European press. His recording of Schumann’s Fantasie, Arabesque and Kreisleriana was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’Annйe, in the ‘Jeune Talent’ category in November 2007 and his second recording of Beethoven sonatas, released in autumn 2007, received the Edison Award for Best Solo Recital Recording in June 2008.

His recording of Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos 21 & 22 with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with Biss both playing and directing the orchestra, also received widespread critical acclaim. The BBC Music Magazine awarded the disc 5 stars and wrote “These are altogether exceptionally fine accounts, with well-judged tempos … allied with playing that is unfailingly but subtly expressive. No matter how many versions of these great works you already have, you should definitely consider making room in your collection for this one.”

Jonathan Biss is a committed recitalist and chamber musician. He represents the third generation in a family of musicians; his grandmother Raya Garbousova (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto), and together with his mother Miriam Fried, he has appeared in many of the principal chamber music societies in the USA. He is a frequent visitor, too, to the recital halls and festivals in Europe. He has appeared in recital at the Salzburg and the Lucerne Festivals, and will return to the Master Piano Series at the Concertgebouw in 2010. He returns regularly to play in London’s Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam, in the new Mariinsky Concert Hall in St Petersburg and in Salzburg, both in the ‘Kammermusik in Mozarteum’ series and in the Mozartwoche festival with the Kremerata Baltica. In the 2009-10 season, he will also give a series of recitals with the Elias Quartet in Birmingham Town Hall, Antwerp and Copenhagen.

Jonathan Biss has been recognised with numerous awards, including the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, and the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust. He was the first American chosen to participate in the BBC’s New Generation Artist programme, and in 2005 he received the Leonard Bernstein Award presented to him at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany.

Mariinsky Theatre:
1 Theatre Square
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky-2 (New Theatre):
34 Dekabristov Street
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky Concert Hall:
20 Pisareva street
St. Petersburg

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