Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists – an artist The New York Times hails as someone ‘you want to hear no matter what he performs’. Winner of a 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year award, he has recently appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London.
Last season, he launched a four-season tenure as an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and performed Bach concertos with Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and on tour throughout the US. He also appeared with the New York Philharmonic and LA Philharmonic, conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen, and made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as at the BBC Proms, both in recital and with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas. Following the release of his disc of the Golberg Variations–which reached number one on Billboard’s Classical Chart–he performed the piece throughout Europe, including his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and at London’s LSO St. Luke’s.
Denk’s 2015-16 engagements include a fourteen-city recital tour of the US – including performances in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, San Francisco, and Miami – and culminating in his return to Carnegie Hall. He will return to the Chicago Symphony performing Bartok’s Second Piano Concerto, and to the San Diego, Detroit, and Baltimore Symphonies in performances of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto. He makes his debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony, and in the UK, appears on tour in recital, including a return to the Wigmore Hall, and on tour with the Britten Sinfonia in Cambridge, Norwich, Southampton and London. In a specially curated program of the Ives Violin Sonatas, he also performs in North America with Stefan Jackiw and vocal ensemble New York Polyphony.
In 2014 Denk served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he wrote the libretto for a comic opera. The opera was presented by Carnegie Hall last season. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” The pianist’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir for future publication by Random House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK. Recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing, his blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives.
In 2012, Denk made his Nonesuch debut with a pairing of masterpieces old and new: Beethoven’s final Piano Sonata, Op. 111, and Ligeti’s Études. The album was named one of the best of 2012 by the New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post, and Denk’s account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Denk has a long-standing attachment to the music of American visionary Charles Ives, and his recording of Ives’s two piano sonatas featured in many “best of the year” lists. In March 2012, the pianist was invited by Michael Tilson Thomas to appear as soloist in the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks festival, and he recorded Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto with the orchestra. Having cultivated relationships with many living composers, he currently has several commissioning projects in progress.
Denk has toured frequently with violinist Joshua Bell, and their recently released Sony Classical album, French Impressions, won the 2012 Echo Klassik award. He also collaborates regularly with cellist Steven Isserlis, and has appeared at numerous festivals, including the Italian and American Spoleto Festivals, and the Verbier, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen Music, and Mostly Mozart Festivals.
Jeremy Denk graduated from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He lives in New York City, and his web site and blog are at jeremydenk.net.
Jeremy Denk last performed for La Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2012.