Two acclaimed soloists who have also been critically well-received as writers will share the stage for the next Kilbourn Concert Series performance.
Cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk will appear in the Eastman School of Music’s Kilbourn Hall at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7. The program features only the second U.S. performance of Thomas Adès’s “Lieux Retrouves,” which Isserlis premiered with the composer in March to a standing ovation in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. The duo will also present works by Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Liszt, Kurtág, and Ravel.
Their Kilbourn Concert recital is part of the Festival Week of concerts and other events celebrating the opening of the Eastman East Wing, which houses new teaching, performance, and rehearsal spaces for the School, and “The New Eastman Evolution.”
Acclaimed worldwide for his technique, enthusiasm, and passion, Isserlis enjoys a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. He has played with many of the leading orchestras in North America and Europe and with leading conductors Colin Davis, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and John Eliot Gardiner, and collaborated with artists such as violinists Joshua Bell and pianist Stephen Hough.
Isserlis has written two books for children on the lives of famous composers, which have been translated into many languages. Since the publication of his second book in 2006, Isserlis has presented a series of concerts for children at the 92nd St. Y in New York City with artists including Denk and Bell. As an educator, Isserlis gives frequent master classes around the world.
Isserlis performs major cello repertory from Bach to contemporary times. He has played with period instrument ensembles and is a keen exponent of contemporary music, working with many composers on new commissions.
Described by the New York Times as “a pianist with a searching mind” when he won the 1997 Juilliard Piano Debut Award, Denk has established himself as one of the compelling artists of his generation. He has earned critical acclaim for his effortless virtuosity and versatility in performances with major orchestras in North America and Europe.
Denk’s repertoire ranges from the standard works of the 18th and 19th centuries to works by 20th-century masters such as Ives and Ligeti and further to new works by leading current composers. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Borromeo, Shanghai, Vermeer and other string quartets, appeared at the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and Charleston, and has been part of the “Musicians from Marlboro” national tours.
Denk maintains a widely-read blog titled “Think Denk,” which chronicles his touring, practicing, and other experiences and also delves into fairly detailed musical analyses and essays. New Yorker music critic Alex Ross has written of Denk and his blog, “Besides being a brilliant musician, Denk is simply one of the most interesting writers I know.”
While in Rochester, both Isserlis and Denk will hold master classes with Eastman School students.
Tickets to the Kilbourn Concert Series are $10 to $20 (discount with University of Rochester ID), and are available at the RPO Box Office, 585-454-2100, or online at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php .
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Tuesday, December 7
Kilbourn Concert Series: Steven Isserlis, cello, and Jeremy Denk, piano. Music of Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Liszt, Kurtág, Ravel, and Adès.
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Tickets: Tickets $10 to $20 (discounts with UR ID), available at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave.; by phone: 585-454-2100; by fax: 585-454-7885; online: www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php