Jeremy Denk (piano) , USA
In 1998 Jeremy Denk won both the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Over the past decade the pianist's career has flourished. The New York Times described his playing as «bracing, effortlessly virtuosic and utterly joyous», and he has garnered comparable critical acclaim for his engagements with leading orchestras and presenters nationwide. He has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and many others.
The versatile American pianist's repertoire ranges from the standard works of the 18th and 19th centuries to twentieth-century masters such as Ives, Ligeti, Lutoslawski and Messiaen, and further to new works by leading composers of today. Mr. Denk has participated in many world premieres, including Leon Kirchner's Duo No. 2 (with violinist Ida Levin) at the Marlboro Music School and Festival in the summer of 2002; Ned Rorem's The Unquestioned Answer in the summer of 2003; Jake Heggie's Cut Time in 2001 with the Eos Orchestra; Alternating Current, a work written for him by Kevin Puts, on a Kennedy Center recital program; Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Sonata (with the composer on fiddle) at the Library of Congress; and also Edgar Meyer's Sonata for Violin and Piano with Joshua Bell.
Mr. Denk made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in April 1997 as the winner of the Juilliard Piano Debut Award. Writing of the performance, The New York Times described him as «a pianist with a searching mind». Recent solo appearances include all-Beethoven and all-Bach recitals in Philadelphia, two programs at the Mostly Mozart Festival at New York's Lincoln Center, as well as recitals in Boston and Washington DC.
An avid chamber musician, Jeremy Denk has collaborated with the Borromeo, Brentano, Mirò, St. Lawrence, Shanghai and Vermeer string quartets. Mr. Denk first performed with violinist Joshua Bell at the 2004 Spoleto Festival. Since then, they have toured throughout the United States in and Europe with almost eighty performances to date. The Philadelphia reviewer noted their «equal partnership, with no upstaging». He has appeared with the Detroit Chamber Music Society, at the Seattle and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festivals and the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and Charleston. The pianist spent several summers at Marlboro in Vermont and has been part of «Musicians from Marlboro» national tours. He also attended the Ravinia Festival's prestigious Steans Institute.
Jeremy Denk has an extensive discography which includes the Tobias Picker Second Piano Concerto with the Moscow Philarmonic; works of Schubert, Bartok, and Strauss with violinist Soovin Kim; the Kirchner Duo with violinist Ida Levin (commemorating Marlboro's 50th anniversary); and many others. He looks forward to the release of his first solo disc featuring Bach Partitas. Additionally, Joshua Bell and he will record the Corigliano Violin Sonata in June 2007.
Jeremy Denk keeps a weblog, Think Denk. It is a mixture of musical and extramusical observations, often pertaining to nothing in particular. Alex Ross, the music critic of the New Yorker, wrote of it: «Besides being a brilliant musician, Denk is simply one of the most interesting writers I know».
Mr. Denk is a member of the faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. He received a double degree in Chemistry and Piano Performance from the Oberlin College and Conservatory, often infuriating his teacher Joseph Schwartz. He earned a master's degree in music from Indiana University as a pupil of György Sebök, and a doctorate in piano performance from the Juilliard School, where he worked with Herbert Stessin. He makes his home in New York City.