One of today’s most exciting and compelling artists, Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan has recently been appointed New York Philharmonic’s first Artist in Association. He will perform multiple times with the orchestra over several seasons, beginning with his subscription debut playing Ravel’s Concerto in G with Alan Gilbert in 2014/15.
In the coming season Mr Barnatan will return to the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, The Orchestre National de France and Louisville, New Jersey, Ulster, Vancouver and Quebec Symphony Orchestras, and perform with the Atlanta, Eugene, Milwaukee and National arts center Orchestras. He will also make his solo recital debuts at the Celebrity Series of Boston and at the Harris Theater in Chicago, as well as prestigious European festivals such as the Chopin festival in Warsaw and the Jacboins festival in Toulouse, amongst others.
Mr. Barnatan has performed with many of the most esteemed ensembles in the USA, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Dallas, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and he has worked with eminent conductors including Roberto Abbado, Lawrence Foster, James Gaffigan, Jahja Ling, Nicholas McGegan, Matthias Pintscher, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Bramwell Tovey, Juraj Valchua, Edo De Waart, Pinchas Zukerman, and Jaap van Zweden, among others. He has toured twice 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 at Lincoln Center, and at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center and Boston’s Jordan Hall, among many other important venues. He moved to the United States in 2006, and In 2009 he 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.
His most recent album, celebrating Schubert’s late works, was released by Avie in September 2013 and gained rave reviews from such publications as Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, who wrote “This is superior playing, in which penetrating musicianship, compelling interpretive insight and elegant pianism achieve near perfect equilibrium.” His second solo album, Darknesse Visible, was released in 2012 and named BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumentalist CD of the Month and chosen as one of the top classical recordings of the year by The New York Times. 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.”
In addition to his American appearances, Mr. Barnatan has appeared as a soloist with the Aachen Symphony, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, 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. He is a frequent performer at Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw, and has appeared in some of Europe’s most illustrious venues, such as The Paris Louvre, Berlin’s Philharmonie, London’s South Bank, and Framkfurt’s Alte Oper.
During the past season Mr. Barnatan performed works from his album Darknesse Visible in recital at the 92nd Street Y in New York as well as at the Ravinia Festival, the Kennedy Center and around the United States, as well as London’s Wigmore Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Additional highlights included a 16-city United States 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 at the Hollywood Bowl conducted by Bramwell Tovey, the National Arts Centre Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He joined cellist Alisa Weilerstein for duo-recitals internationally, including at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minnesota, The Royal Conservatory in Toronto and Wigmore Hall, and 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.
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 to 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, 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 at the Library of Congress.
His rigorous festival schedule has included a broad range of concerts at the Spoleto Festival USA, the Aspen and La Jolla Music Festivals, the Santa Fe and Seattle Chamber Music Festivals and abroad at the Verbier, Delft, Bergen, Mumbai and Heidelberg festivals. He has played with some of the most notable instrumentalists worldwide. In 2008 he received the Andrew Wolf Memorial Award in Rockport, awarded every two years to an exceptional pianist for his/her contribution to chamber music.
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, James MacMillan, Kaija Saariaho and others. In 13/14 and 14/15 he will premiere new pieces written for him by Matthias Pintscher and Sebastian Currier, and commissioned jointly by Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebow and the Aspen Music Festival.
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 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. In 2006 Mr. Barnatan moved to New York City, where he currently resides in a converted warehouse in Harlem.