Performance Friday, January 21, 2011 | 8 PM

Jonathan Biss

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
At 30 years old, Biss has already developed a distinct musical personality to match his outstanding virtuosity. Wherever he plays, he wins over critics—the Chicago Sun-Times called him a “poetic pianist of the first order”—and moves audiences. Catch him as he makes his Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage debut with monumental Beethoven and Schumann, and a work by a Pulitzer Prize winner written specifically for him.


  • Jonathan Biss, Piano


  • JANÁCEK Sonata 1.X.1905, From the Street
  • BERNARD RANDS Three Pieces for Piano (NY Premiere)
  • BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 23 in F Minor "Appassionata"
  • SCHUMANN Fantasy in C Major, Op. 17

  • Encore:
  • MOZART Andante Cantabile from Sonata in C Major, K.330


  • Jonathan Biss

    American pianist Jonathan Biss, widely regarded for his artistry and deeply felt interpretations, has won international recognition for his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances on four continents and for his award-winning recordings. Noted also for his prodigious technique, intriguing programs, and musical intelligence, he performs a diverse repertoire that ranges from Mozart and Beethoven, through the Romantics, to Janáček and Schoenberg, as well as works by contemporary composers, including commissions from Leon Kirchner, Lewis Spratlan, and Bernard Rands.

    Mr. Biss made his New York Philharmonic debut in 2001, and has since appeared with the foremost orchestras of North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He is a frequent performer at leading international music festivals and gives recitals in major music capitals both at home and abroad. This season, his recital appearances take him to 10 countries across Europe and in the US, with highlights that include his debut at the Edinburgh Festival and his much-anticipated Carnegie Hall debut in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage.

    Mr. Biss's orchestral debuts include the Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and Montreal Symphony orchestras. He returns for performances with a dozen other major North American and European orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic; the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco symphony orchestras; and the National Arts Centre and Budapest Festival orchestras. During his second US tour with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Mr. Biss leads the ensemble in two Mozart piano concertos.

    An enthusiastic chamber musician and a frequent participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, Mr. Biss collaborates with many of today's finest players, including performances with Midori, Antoine Lederlin, and Nobuko Imai. Later this season, he also performs the complete cycle of Beethoven's 10 sonatas for violin and piano with Miriam Fried in Seoul, Korea.

    Mr. Biss's newest recording is an album of Schubert sonatas and two short Kurtág pieces from Játékok. It follows four acclaimed recordings for EMI Classics, including an all-Schumann recital album, which won a Diapason d'or de l'année; and a recital album of Beethoven piano sonatas, which received an Edison Award. With the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Biss recorded Mozart piano concertos No. 21 and No. 22 in a live performance at Queens College in New York. His first release for EMI Classics was a 2004 recording of works by Beethoven and Schumann.

    At age 20, Mr. Biss made his New York recital debut at the 92nd Street Y's Tisch Center for the Arts in 2000 and his New York Philharmonic debut under Kurt Masur that same season. Among the many conductors with whom he has worked are Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Pinchas Zukerman.

    Mr. Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother Raya Garbousova, one of the first well-known female cellists (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto); and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violinist-violist Paul Biss. He studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Leon Fleisher.
    More Info


Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata” (I. Allegro assai)
Jonathan Biss, Piano
EMI Records
Schumann Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17 (II. Mässig. Durchaus energisch - Etwas langsamer)
Jonathan Biss, Piano
EMI Records

This performance is part of Eighty Eight Keys, and Keyboard Virtuosos II.