Monday 9 October 2017

From Mozart to Nina Simone: Jeremy Denk starts his Milton Court residency

Jeremy Denk (Photo Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)
Jeremy Denk (Photo Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)
American pianist Jeremy Denk begins his residency at Milton Court on 12 October, only the second ever Milton Court Artist in Residence following violinist Richard Tognetti last year. Denk's season at the Barbican will be showcasing the pianists versatility, and in his first two concerts he moves from Mozart's late sonatas to a day celebrating variation form.

On Thursday 12 October 2017, Jeremy Denk will be playing the last five of Mozart's eighteen piano sonatas, as well as the Rondo in A minor, K. 511, works which demonstrate the fullest expression of the composer’s creativity, while remaining economical, polished and elegant.

Then on Sunday 15 October comes Infinite Variety, a three-part day of music celebrating the infinite variety of the variation form. The day is structured in three parts:
  • Variations on Death (for piano solo,11am) looks at premonitions of the grave, farewells, and intimations of mortality, with works by Bach, Liszt, Schumann, and Denk’s own variations on death music from video games. 
  • Variations on Virtuosity (3pm), Denk and instrumentalist friends explore displays of virtuosic exuberance: salon variations by Viennese classical composers alongside some of the more eccentric 19th-century manifestations of the form (Bizet’s Variations Chromatiques and the Variations on Yankee Doodle by Vieuxtemps), and finally the musical Everest of Schumann’s Symphonic Variations.  
  • Variations on Heartbreak . . . and Hope (7pm), looks at the way the variation has been used to express themes of heartbreak and regret, including an eclectic range of variation-based works by Monteverdi, Brahms, Verdi (filtered through Nina Simone) and John Adams (a European premiere), culminating in Beethoven’s final piano sonata

Further information from the Barbican website.

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