Denk has been a champion of Charles Ives throughout his distinguished career. He collaborates with one of our favorite young violinists to offer a special program of his complete violin sonatas filled with the folk song references and spiky tonality so indicative of the iconic American composer.
Ives: Sonata No. 4, Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting
Ives: Sonata No. 3
Ives: Sonata No. 2
Ives: Sonata No. 1
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Violinist Stefan Jackiw is recognized as one of his generation’s most significant artists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of "uncommon musical substance" that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others.
Last season Stefan Jackiw performed Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall with Mikhail Pletnev, before embarking on a multi-city tour with the Russian National Orchestra. He also appeared in recital with acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk performing Ives Violin Sonatas. In Europe, Stefan returned to Amsterdam's Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and made his debut with Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. And in Asia, he appeared for the first time with the Tokyo Symphony at Suntory Hall under the direction of Krzysztof Urbanski, and returned to the Seoul Philharmonic under Mario Venzago. He also toured Korea, playing chamber music with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica.
This season, Stefan will appear on tour throughout North America, including performances with the Vancouver Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony. He will also perform with Juraj Valcuha both with the Philharmonia Orchestra and RAI Turin Orchestra. Tours in Europe, will also take Stefan back to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic with Ludovic Morlot, and to the Helsinki Philharmonic and Bern Symphony with Mario Venzago, and to the Munich Symphony. Further afield, he will appear on tour with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Shanghai and Mumbai. This season he also records Ives violin Sonata with Jeremy Denk for Nonesuch Records, ahead of their North American tour in the 2017-18 season. Previous recordings include the complete Brahms Sonatas for Sony, hailed by Fanfare as “now the recording of the Brahms sonatas to have”.
In recent seasons, Stefan toured Australia playing Mendelssohn with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and gave the world premiere of American composer David Fulmer’s Violin Concerto No 2 “Jubilant Arcs”, written for him and commissioned by the Heidelberg Festival with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie under Matthias Pintscher. Other recent highlights include performances with the St. Louis Symphony under Nicholas McGegan, and with the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and performances with the Indianapolis Symphony under Krzysztof Urbanski, and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Juraj Valcuha.
Jackiw is also an active recitalist and chamber musician. He has performed in numerous important festivals and concert series, including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and Caramoor International Music Festival, the Celebrity Series of Boston, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Louvre Recital Series in Paris. As a chamber musician, Jackiw has collaborated with such artists as Jeremy Denk, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gil Shaham. At the opening night of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York, Jackiw was the only young artist invited to perform, playing alongside such artists as Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Evgeny Kissin, and James Levine.
Born in 1985 to physicist parents of Korean and German descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory, and is the recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. He lives in New York City.
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 MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year award, Denk was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. Denk returns frequently to Carnegie Hall and has appeared at the BBC Proms with Michael Tilson Thomas. In the US, he has recently performed with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as on tour with Academy St. Martin in the Fields.
In 16-17, Denk embarks on a recital tour of the UK, including a return to Wigmore Hall, and he will make his debut at the Philharmonie in Cologne. He appears on tour in recital throughout the US, including Chicago Symphony Hall and at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival in a special program that includes a journey through seven centuries of Western music. He also tours with The St. Paul Orchestra to New York, and returns to the National Symphony and St. Louis Symphony. He will release a solo recording, The Classical Style, of music by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, and joins his long-time musical partners, Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis in a recording of Brahms' Trio in B-major. Future projects include a US tour of the Ives Violin Sonatas with Stefan Jackiw, and a new Piano Concerto commissioned by The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Following the release of his disc of the Goldberg Variations, which reached number one on Billboard’s Classical Chart, Denk performed the piece throughout Europe, including at Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Denk’s 2015-16 engagements included a fourteen-city recital tour of the US, including Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, San Francisco and culminated in his return to Carnegie Hall; while in the UK, he appeared in solo recital and on tour with the Britten Sinfonia. He also returned to the San Diego and Detroit Symphonies with Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, and continued as Artistic Partner of The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with multiple performances throughout the season. In the summer, he returned to the Tanglewood and Aspen Festivals.
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 later presented by Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Festival. 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.