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Inon Barnatan, piano


BarnatanPianist Inon Barnatan is widely recognized for refined, communicative, insightful playing that combines an extraordinary depth of musicianship and an impeccable, virtuosic technique. Hailed by The New Yorker as “a pianist of uncommon sensitivity,” Mr. Barnatan is often praised for his naturally expressive, poetic music making. With his instinctive understanding of the repertoire, he performs a diverse range of works from classical to contemporary, encompassing various styles and genres in thoughtful and imaginative programs. His most recent solo album, Darknesse Visible, was named one of the top classical recordings of 2012 by The New York Times, and his most recent Schubert album, celebrating the composer’s late works, was released by Avie in September 2013.

Mr. Barnatan has performed with many of the country’s most esteemed orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Dallas, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and he has worked with conductors including Roberto Abbado, Lawrence Foster, James Gaffigan, Jahja Ling, Nicholas McGegan, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Bramwell Tovey, Juraj Valchua, Pinchas Zukerman, and Jaap van Zweden, among others. He has toured with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields as a conductor and soloist, and has performed in New York at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y and Lincoln Center; San Francisco’s Herbst Theater; Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center; and Boston’s Jordan Hall, among many other important venues. He moved to the United States in 2006 and in 2009 was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, an honor reflecting the strong impression he has made on the American music scene in such a short period of time.

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Be sure to hear Inon Barnatan’s 2014 Festival performances listed below

Wednesday, August 20, noon
Liang Wang plays Mozart & Poulenc

Sunday, August 24, 6:00PM
Beethoven Trio, Brahms Sextet

Monday, August 25, 6:00PM
Festival Finale


In addition to his American appearances, Mr. Barnatan has appeared as a soloist with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of New Europe, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights for the coming seasons include his debut with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert and appearances with the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Louisville, Atlanta, Oregon, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada. In September Mr. Barnatan gave the world premiere performance of a new work for solo piano by Matthias Pintscher at London’s Wigmore Hall. He will again join Mr. Pintscher in a performance of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto with the Utah Symphony. Mr. Barnatan will give recitals at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Frederic Chopin Society in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Houston Da Camera, and many others. He will also perform with the Jerusalem Quartet in Vancouver and New York and tour Europe and the U.S. with cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

During the 2012-13 season Mr. Barnatan performed works from Darknesse Visible in recital at the 92nd Street Y, as well as the Ravinia Festival, the Kennedy Center, in California, Texas, and Oregon, at Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw. Additional highlights included a 16-city U.S. tour with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducting and playing Bach’s D Minor Concerto and performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Bramwell Tovey, the National Arts Centre Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He joined cellist Alisa Weilerstein for duo-recitals internationally, including Orchestra Hall in Chicago, the Schubert Club in Saint Paul, and the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, among others. He traveled to South Africa for a solo tour that included three orchestral performances and six recitals. Mr. Barnatan also stepped in last-minute for the Cincinnati and Atlanta symphonies, garnering widespread acclaim for both performances.

Mr. Barnatan’s second solo recording, Darknesse Visible, was released on Avie Records in 2012. Drawing inspiration from literature and exploring the interconnection of darkness and light, Mr. Barnatan performs a wide-ranging program of works by Thomas Adès, Ravel, Debussy, and Britten/Stevenson. Darknesse Visible was named BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumentalist CD of the Month, and, in his review of the CD, Anthony Tommasini from The New York Times wrote, “The thoughtful programming is typical for this insightful musician. But Mr. Barnatan’s extraordinary playing is what makes this release so rewarding.”

Also a sought-after chamber musician, Mr. Barnatan was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program from 2006-2009 and is still a regular performer on CMS programs at home in New York and on tour. In 2009 he curated a festival of Schubert’s late solo piano pieces, songs, and chamber music works for the Society, the first musician other than the Society’s artistic directors to be invited to program concerts. “The Schubert Project” program has also been performed at the Concertgebouw, the Festival de México, and the Library of Congress.

Other chamber music performances include the complete Beethoven piano and violin sonatas at the Concertgebouw, the Bergen International Festival in Norway, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, the Delft and Verbier festivals, and the Lyon Musicades. His rigorous U.S. festival schedule has included a broad range of concerts at the Spoleto Festival USA, the Aspen and La Jolla Music Festivals, and the Santa Fe and Seattle Chamber Music Festivals. He has collaborated with musicians such as Liza Ferschtman, Miriam Fried, Martin Fröst, Gary Hoffman, Janine Jansen, the Jerusalem String Quartet, Ralph Kirshbaum, Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, and Alisa Weilerstein. In 2008 he received the Andre Wolf Memorial Award in Rockport, awarded every two years to an exceptional chamber music pianist.

Passionate about contemporary music, Mr. Barnatan regularly commissions and performs music by living composers, including works by Thomas Adès, George Benjamin, George Crumb, Avner Dorman, Kaija Saariaho, and Judith Weir, among others. Last season he participated in Carnegie Hall’s “Making Music: James MacMillan” series, performing the composer’s Piano Sonata and chamber piece Raising Sparks.

Mr. Barnatan’s debut solo recording of Schubert piano works was released on Bridge Records in 2006. London’s Evening Standard wrote: “The young, Israeli-born pianist Inon Barnatan is a true poet of the keyboard: refined, searching, unfailingly communicative…This is musicianship of the highest caliber.” Gramophone recommended the recording in its November 2006 award issue, calling Mr. Barnatan “a born Schubertian” and praising the CD’s “sensitivity, poise and focus.” His second CD of works for piano and violin by Beethoven and Schubert with violinist Liza Ferschtman was described by All Music Guide as “a magical listening experience.”

Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Inon Barnatan started playing the piano at the age of three after his parents discovered he had perfect pitch, and he made his orchestral debut at 11. His studies connect him to some of the 20th century’s most illustrious pianists and teachers: he studied with Professor Victor Derevianko, who himself studied with the Russian master Heinrich Neuhaus, and in 1997 he moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Maria Curcio – who was a student of the legendary Artur Schnabel – and with Christopher Elton. Leon Fleisher has also been an influential teacher and mentor, and in 2004 he invited Mr. Barnatan to study and perform Schubert sonatas as part of a Carnegie Hall workshop, an experience that has had a lasting resonance for Mr. Barnatan. In 2006 Mr. Barnatan moved to New York City, where he currently resides in a converted warehouse in Harlem.

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