American Pianist Jonathan Biss Ushers in
New 2017/18 Season on October 8
The Wallis presents a wide assortment of programming encompassing
Chamber Music, Solo Recital, Opera, Jazz, American Songbook and Broadway
World-renowned pianist, writer and lecturer Jonathan Biss is known for tackling demanding repertoire such as Beethoven’s fiery “Tempest” and Schumann’s unparalleled Fantasie in C Major, arguably the composer’s greatest work for solo piano. On Sunday, October 8, Biss will make his debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) in Beverly Hills performing both of these significant works, as well as Mozart’s Sonata in A minor and Leon Kirchner’s Interlude II, which was written specifically for Biss by the composer. Mr. Biss is a Steinway Artist, and this concert is made possible by generous support from Susan and Peter Strauss.
This marks the first of fifteen Music @The Wallis concerts to be performed this season. Biss will be followed by the return of Harlem Quartet on October 15 and Kyle Riabko on November 10 and 11. Music @ the Wallis will continue later this season with pianist Jeremy Denk; the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet with pianist Stephen Hough; the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with violinist Daniel Hope; the adventurous LA-based ensemble wild Up; Grammy Award-winner Arturo Sandoval’s curated jazz weekend; Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing in Concert, a co-production with LA Opera Off Grand; violinist Sarah Chang with pianist Julio Elizalde; Ory Shihor, who will perform Schubert’s last three piano sonatas; Broadway’s Seth Rudetsky, who will perform with special guests in February and March; the return of Tony, Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz; and Nathan and Julie Gunn celebrating the American Songbook and Leonard Bernstein at 100.
“We are thrilled to launch an extraordinary season of Music @ The Wallis with acclaimed pianist Jonathan Biss, who will most certainly take full advantage of the intimacy and exceptional acoustics of our Bram Goldsmith Theater,” said Paul Crewes, The Wallis’ Artistic Director. “This season features a full range of diverse musical programming, from our own L.A.-based organizations to international artists, offering everything from classical, contemporary, Broadway, jazz, and more.”
This season, Music @ The Wallis will enhance the audience experience once again with Preludes @ The Wallis, a free pre-concert conversation with artists and special guests one hour prior to each performance. Classical KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen will discuss each program on the Bram Goldsmith Theater stage allowing attendees a deeper dive into the evening’s music while offering a complimentary glass of wine courtesy of The Henry Wine Group.
Single tickets for Jonathan Biss are now available for $45 – $95. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org/Biss, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.
The Wallis also offers three different options to subscribe to the 2017/18 season: the Premium Subscription Series; the Design-Your-Own option; and the new 3-show Flex Pass for $99, created for busy young professionals—39 and younger—giving the most flexibility to join The Wallis family of subscribers. Learn more at TheWallis.org/Subscribe.
About Jonathan Biss:
Jonathan Biss is a world-renowned pianist who shares his deep musical curiosity with classical music lovers in the concert hall and beyond. In addition to performing a full schedule of concerts, he has spent eleven summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and written extensively about his relationships with the composers with whom he shares a stage. A member of the faculty of his alma mater the Curtis Institute of Music since 2010, Biss led the first massive open online course (MOOC) offered by a classical music conservatory, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, which has reached more than 150,000 people in 185 countries. Part 3 is set to come out in January 2018, and he will continue to add lectures until he covers all the sonatas.
This season Biss continues his latest Beethoven project, Beethoven/5, for which the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is co-commissioning five composers to write new piano concertos, each inspired by one of Beethoven’s. The five-year plan began with Biss premiering Timo Andres’s “The Blind Banister,” a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music, which was followed by Sally Beamish’s “City Stanzas” last season. This fall with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra he premieres Salvatore Sciarrino’s “Il Sogno di Stradella,” paired with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, and goes on to play it with the Cleveland Orchestra later in the year. The first two commissions continue to have a life, with “The Blind Banister” at the Jacksonville and New World symphonies and Beamish’s “City Stanzas” at the BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, and Swedish Chamber Orchestra, highlighting Biss’s commitment to building the repertoire. In the final two years of the project he will premiere concertos by Caroline Shaw and Brett Dean.
In addition to his involvement at Marlboro, Biss spent the summer of 2017 continuing his complete Beethoven piano sonata performance cycles at the Aspen and Ravinia festivals, which he also begins at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra this season. Audiences will be able to experience all the piano sonatas in seven concerts over several years. In early 2018 Biss tours with Midori and Antoine Lederlin across Switzerland, Germany, and England, and with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in California.
Biss has embarked on a nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas, and in early 2018 he releases the seventh volume, including the sonatas Op. 2, No. 2; Op. 49, No. 2; Op. 31, No.2 (“Tempest”); and Op. 109. Upon the release of the fourth volume, BBC Music Magazine said, “Jonathan Biss will surely take his place among the greats if he continues on this exalted plane.” His bestselling eBook, Beethoven’s Shadow, describing the process of recording the sonatas and published by RosettaBooks in 2011, was the first Kindle Single written by a classical musician. The recording cycle will be complete in 2020, at the same time as the final Coursera lectures on the sonatas.
Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother Raya Garbousova, one of the first well-known female cellists (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto), and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. Growing up surrounded by music, Biss began his piano studies at age six, and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. He studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute of Music with Leon Fleisher.
For more information, please visit www.jonathanbiss.com.
About the Program:
MOZART Sonata in A minor, K. 310
LEON KIRCHNER Interlude II (2003), written for Jonathan Biss
BEETHOVEN Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2 “Tempest”
SCHUMANN Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17
About Music @ The Wallis – Fall 2017:
In addition to Jonathan Biss, two other musical programs will be featured in the main Bram Goldsmith Theater this fall:
Harlem Quartet: Game-Changers
October 15, 2017 | Bram Goldsmith Theater
Harlem Quartet—comprised of violinists Ilmar Gavilan and Melissa White, violist Jaime Amador and cellist Felix Umansky—returns to the Bram Goldsmith Theater after an extraordinary debut in 2016. The Quartet’s 2017 program explores game-changing works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries—including a work by Ilmar Gavilan’s father, Guido Gavilan. Single ticket prices range from $25 – $75.
Kyle Riabko: Richard Rodgers Reimagined
November 10 – 11, 2017 | Bram Goldsmith Theater
After bringing his groundbreaking arrangements of the Burt Bacharach catalogue to The Wallis last season, Kyle Riabko now turns his attention to the songs Richard Rodgers wrote with lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. Backed by his band, Riabko will bring his unique pop/rock sensibility to such classics as “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “My Favorite Things,” “Where or When,” “Some Enchanted Evening” and “My Funny Valentine,” among others. Single ticket prices range from $25 – $75.
For the complete listing of all Music @ The Wallis programs visit www.TheWallis.org/Music.
About The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented more than 150 dance, theater, opera, classical music and family programs to an ever-expanding audience. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Paul Crewes and Managing Director Rachel Fine, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe.
The mission of The Wallis is to create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events and educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community. Nominated for 28 Ovation Awards, four L.A. Drama Critic’s Circle Awards and the recipient of six architectural awards, The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike.
For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org.
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Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Bram Goldsmith Theater
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 7:30pm
Single tickets: $45 – $95 (prices subject to change)
Online – TheWallis.org
By Phone – 310.746.4000
Box Office – Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Service
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210