I for one am particularly honored and excited to have Jeremy Denk in the house on Monday, May 21. This is a rare opportunity to hear two pillars of the classical canon — one of the late classical period, one of the 20th century, both utterly contemporary — played by a concert artist of the highest order. Beethoven’s Op. 111 and Ligeti’s Etudes are both epic in their totality and demonstrate a similarly rhapsodic, jazz-like sensibility, particularly in their rhythmic language.
Through his interpretation of a hero of mine, Charles Ives, I have come to know Mr. Denk’s playing as sensitive, spontaneous and always thoughtful. I have recently come into contact with Mr. Denk’s writing, through which he proves himself not only a master of his pianistic craft but a great musical thinker and deft writer. Check out his piece on recording Charles Ives’ “Concord” Sonata in the New Yorker a few months back, where his lucid writing style and intimate understanding of the composer are on display as he gives a window into the recording process. – David Handler, co-founder