Pianist Jeremy Denk Performs Beethoven with the Academy Festival Orchestra Tonight

Pianist Jeremy Denk Performs Beethoven with the Academy Festival Orchestra Tonight

Gifted pianist Jeremy Denk - the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur "Genius" Grant and this year's Avery Fisher Prize - will perform Beethoven's elegant and soulful First Piano Concerto with the Music Academy of the West's Academy Festival Orchestra under the baton of guest conductor Edward Gardner at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara tonight, July 12. Also featuring Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra and Suite No. 2 of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, the concert will begin at 8 pm. Tickets start at $15.

One of the nation's most thought-provoking, multi-faceted, and compelling artists, Mr. Denk was named Musical America's 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year. He has appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London, and regularly gives recitals throughout the United States. To coincide with the release of his second Nonesuch Records album, Bach: Goldberg Variations, Mr. Denk opened the 2013-14 season with performances of the "Goldbergs" in Boston, Chicago, and Washington. The album reached No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Chart and was featured in "Best of 2013" lists by The New Yorker and The New York Times. He recently served as music director of the 2014 Ojai Music Festival, which saw the premiere of the comic opera The Classical Style featuring Mr. Denk's own libretto. Mr. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which has appeared in The New Yorker, the New Republic, and other publications. He is at work on a memoir for Random House. Recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing, his blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives.

Recognized as one of the most talented conductors of his generation, Mr. Gardner began his tenure as music director of English National Opera in May 2007 with a critically acclaimed new production of Death in Venice. His many honors include the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Best Conductor and the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. He has also conducted acclaimed productions at the Met, La Scala, the Paris Opera, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In October 2015, Mr. Gardner will take up his new appointment as chief conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, having been named the orchestra's principal guest conductor last August. Mr. Gardner has served as principal guest conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since 2011. He also enjoys a flourishing relationship with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Proms, and regularly performs with the London Philharmonic, among others. An exclusive recording artist for Chandos, Mr. Gardner recently released critically acclaimed discs of Lutoslawski, Britten, and Berio vocal and orchestral works.

The Granada is located at 1216 State Street in Santa Barbara. The Music Academy's 2014 Orchestra Series is generously supported by Robert W. Weinman.

The Music Academy's 67th season also will include a new production of Georges Bizet's popular opera Carmen as well as the Academy debut of New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert. Mr. Gilbert's 2014 residency under a new multiyear partnership with the Philharmonic will include conducting members of the Academy Festival Orchestra at the Lobero Theatre on July 26. Additional season highlights will include performances by cellist Joshua Roman and pianists Jeremy Denk and Stephen Hough, as well as conducting turns by Thomas Adès, James Gaffigan, and Joshua Weilerstein. Featuring the Academy's exceptionally talented Fellows, together with illustrious guest performers and faculty, the events will be presented in venues throughout Santa Barbara.

For tickets and information, call 805.969.8787 or visit musicacademy.org.

Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West is among the nation's preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. The Academy provides these promising musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and frequent performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and Fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. Based in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West presents more than 200 public events annually, including performances by faculty, visiting artists, and Fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and fully staged opera. The Music Academy began broadcasting live, high-definition simulcasts by the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera at Hahn Hall in October 2008. For more information, visit www.musicacademy.org.

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