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Jeremy Denk

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As well-known for chamber music as for his appearances as a soloist and recitalist, pianist Jeremy Denk is a longtime collaborator of violinist Joshua Bell. He has also performed alongside such acclaimed ensembles as the Shanghai Quartet and Jupiter String Quartet, as well as some of the world's premiere orchestras. His recordings span the works of contemporaries like John Corigliano (Corigliano: The Red Violin Concerto; Violin Sonata, 2007, with Bell) and Bach (Goldberg Variations, 2013). Emphasizing his range, Denk released the solo album c.1300-c.2000 in 2019. Born in Durham, North Carolina in 1970, Denk studied music at Oberlin Conservatory. He received post-graduate degrees at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with György Sebök, and at Juilliard, where his teachers included Herbert Stessin. In 1997, Denk gave his major debut at Alice Tully Hall in New York City and recorded a collection of new works for the Indiana University label that included David Dzubay's Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano. Denk went on to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1998. He quickly drew notice and began premiering important new works, like Jake Heggie's Cut in Time, in 2001 with the Eos Orchestra, and Leon Kirchner's Duo No. 2, in 2002 with Ida Levin. Denk's first recording as a soloist was the acclaimed 2003 Chandos release of Tobias Picker's Piano Concerto No. 2 (Keys to the City), with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Thomas Sanderling. That year, he also premiered Ned Rorem's The Unquestioned Answer. Denk first appeared with Joshua Bell at the 2004 Spoleto Festival. The two went on to collaborate on dozens of performances across the globe, and received critical acclaim for their 2007 recording of the Corigliano violin sonata for Sony. That year, Denk also contributed to the Albany Records release Leon Kirchner: Works for Solo Piano. He performed alongside violinist Soovin Kim and the Jupiter String Quartet on a 2008 album of Chausson and Fauré works on Azica Records, and 2010 saw the release of Jeremy Denk Plays Ives. The pianist recorded Bach Partitas 3, 4, 6 for Azica the following year. He teamed up with Bell in early 2012 for French Impressions, a Sony Classical release that included compositions by Saint-Saëns, Franck, and Ravel. Signing with Nonesuch, Denk issued the solo album Plays Ligeti and Beethoven in May of 2012. He returned a year later with his version of the Goldberg Variations for Nonesuch. Denk's highest-charting solo album to date, it reached number four on the Billboard Classical Albums chart. Back on Sony, an album with Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, For the Love of Brahms, followed in 2016. The ambitious double-length solo set c.1300-c.2000 arrived on Nonesuch in early 2019. It included selections ranging from Guillaume de Machaut (born 1300) to Philip Glass. He followed that with 2020's I Still Play. Focusing on contemporary composers, it featured performances by Denk, Timo Andres, Brad Mehldau, and Randy Newman.
© Marcy Donelson & Robert Cummings /TiVo
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