Twenty-five-year-old American pianist Jonathan Biss has already proved himself an accomplished and exceptional musician with a flourishing international reputation through his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances in North America and Europe. Noted for his prodigious technique, intriguing programs, artistic maturity and versatility, Mr. Biss performs a diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven, through the Romantics to Janecek and Schoenberg as well as works by contemporary composers, including several commissions.
Since he made his New York Philharmonic debut six years ago, Jonathan Biss has appeared with the foremost orchestras of the United States and Europe. He is a frequent performer at leading international music festivals and gives recitals in major music capitals both here and abroad.
This summer Mr. Biss returns to the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival with the New York Philharmonic, Caramoor in his first concert with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and makes his debut at the Saratoga Music Festival performing with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He gives chamber music performances at Summerfest La Jolla and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and recitals at Ravinia, La Roque d'Antheron International Piano Festival, and at the Salzburg Festspiele in his festival debut.
Among the U.S. highlights of Mr. Biss's 2006-07 season are tours with both the Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by Andrew Davis and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, which includes a concert at Carnegie Hall. He will also perform with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, and debut with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In Europe his orchestral performances this season include debuts with the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in Salzburg, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, and the WDR Orchestra in Cologne. During the 2006-07 season, Mr. Biss plays almost two dozen recitals in such major American and European cities as Amsterdam, Boston, Istanbul, Kansas City, London, New York, Perugia, and San Francisco, and in January he gives his first performances in Asia: two concerts with the Nagoya Philharmonic conducted by Leon Fleisher and a
recital in Tokyo.
An enthusiastic chamber musician, Mr. Biss has been a member of Chamber Music Society Two at Lincoln Center, a frequent participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, has toured with "Musicians from Marlboro" on several occasions, and frequently collaborates with such chamber ensembles as the Borromeo and Mendelssohn quartets. This season he plays several concerts with violinist Miriam Fried, as well as three, two-piano and piano four-hand concerts with Benjamin Hochman, including a 92nd Street Y performance in New York City.
In April 2006 EMI Classics signed Mr. Biss to a two-year exclusive contract. His first CD under this contract--an all-Schumann recital consisting of the Fantasie in C, Op. 17, Arabeske in C, Op. 18 and Kreisleriana, Op. 16-is scheduled for release in the U.S. in January 2007.
Mr. Biss's first commercial recording of works by Beethoven and Schumann was released in 2004 on EMI's Debut series. The San Francisco Chronicle called this a "brilliant debut release"; the Los Angeles Times called Mr. Biss "a serious, accomplished artist who puts the composer before the player"; and the Cleveland Plain Dealer remarked that this "recording is a clear signal that a master is emerging."
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, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Pinchas Zukerman.
Jonathan 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), as well as his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. Growing up surrounded by music, Mr. Biss began his piano studies at age six and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. Mr. Biss studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia
with Leon Fleisher.
Mr. Biss, named the winner of the Leonard Bernstein Award at the 2005 Schleswig-Holstein Festival, has won numerous other awards, including the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, Wolf Trap's Shouse Debut Artist Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He was an artist-in-residence on NPR's "Performance Today" and is the first American chosen to participate in the BBC's New Generation Artist program.
EMI Classics releases an all-Schumann recital by Jonathan Biss, the young American who in a few short years has become one of the most sought after pianists of his generation. The first release in a new, exclusive contract signed earlier this year contains three early works, Kreisleriana, Op. 16, the Fantasie, Op. 17 and the Arabeske, Op. 18.
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