Pianist Inon Barnatan Plays 92Y Tonight
Pianist Inon Barnatan will perform works inspired by stories and poems that explore the interconnection of darkness and light in a solo recital at the 92nd Streety Y's Kauffman Concert Hall tonight, December 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm. Part of the four-concert series, Masters of the Keyboard, the program includes a selection of musically diverse pieces including Debussy's Suite Bergamasque, Stevenson's Fantasy on Britten's Peter Grimes, Thomas Adès's Darknesse Visible, Ravel's La valse, and Schubert's Sonata in A major, D. 959.
Tickets, priced from $36 - $60, can be purchased online at www.92y.org, by calling (212) 415-5500 or in person at the box office at 1395 Lexington Avenue. $25 tickets are available for patrons ages 35 and under.
"The pieces that comprise this program all have different stories at their core," said Mr. Barnatan. "Some are poems, like Verlaine's Clair de Lune at the heart of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque or the Dowland song explored in Adès's Darknesse Visible. Some are narratives, such as Britten's Peter Grimes which Stevenson reworked into his fantasy, or the Edgar Allen Poe story that inspired Ravel's exuberant and sinister waltz. Finally, we're given a glimpse into Schubert's tortured inner life, his own personal story, in the second movement of this otherwise majestic and lyrical sonata."
Mr. Barnatan, who is often commended for his naturally expressive, poetic music making, recently performed the recital program at the Kennedy Center, following which The Washington Post wrote, "Although there was firecracker technique on display, it was Barnatan's intelligence, musicality and story-telling ability that most impressed." He was also praised for his performance of the program at the Ravinia Festival in August 2012. The Chicago Classical Review declared his Schubert Sonata in A Major, D. 959 a "revelation on a variety of levels…Barnatan was able to toss off this difficult music like child's play. But what made this performance a significant cut above many interpretations of Schubert were the imaginative choices that Barnatan made, all of which were illuminating and each completely at the service of the music rather than the pianist…Barnatan unleashed a dramatic and passionate finale, which sounded so fresh even this familiar music came across as unpredictably adventurous."
Many of the works that will be presented on Mr. Barnatan's 92nd Street Y recital, were recorded for his Darknesse Visible album, released on Avie records in April 2012. The recording was named BBC Music Magazine's Instrumentalist CD of the Month, and in his review of the CD, Anthony Tommasini of 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." To further illuminate and explore the themes of the works on Darknesse Visible, Mr. Barnatan collaborated with filmmaker Tristan Cook and artist Zack Smithey on a series of YouTube video vignettes that expand upon the themes in Darknesse Visible and serve as a visual component to the CD. The videos can be viewed on Mr. Barnatan's YouTube channel.
Mr. Barnatan is widely recognized for refined, communicative, insightful playing that combines an extraordinary depth of musicianship and an impeccable, virtuosic technique. Since moving to the United States from Israel in 2006, Mr. Barnatan has performed with many of the country's most esteemed orchestras and conductors, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. He has performed in New York at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y and at Lincoln Center, and at San Francisco's Herbst Theater, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, and Boston's Jordan Hall, among many other important venues. In 2009, Mr. Barnatan 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.
An avid chamber musician, Mr. Barnatan was a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's CMS Two program from 2006 to 2009, and is still a regular performer on CMS programs at home in New York and on tour. On November 2 and 4, 2012, Mr. Barnatan will join cellist Alisa Weilerstein and violinist Arnaud Sussmann in a program of works by Mozart, Chopin and Smetana, presented by the CMS of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall.
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 eleven. 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. For more information about Mr. Barnatan visit www.inonbarnatan.com or visit his page on Facebook.