INON BARNATAN – Opens At Davies Symphony Hall

A shot from cannons evening of Tchaikovsky with Conductor James Gaffigan and Pianist Inon Barnatan

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of Romanticism’s quintessential voices. James Gaffigan leads the San Francisco Symphony and dynamic young virtuoso Inon Barnatan in a program that includes the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and excerpts from Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. The program culminates in the cannon fire of the 1812 Overture.

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INON BARNATAN and PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY

James Gaffigan’s international career was launched when he was named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition in Frankfurt, Germany.  Since then he has worked with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra in Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra, Rotterdam and Royal Liverpool Philharmonics, Cologne’s Gürzenrich Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Bournemouth Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Leipzig Radio Orchestra and the Frankfurt Museum Orchestra among others.

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JAMES GAFFIGAN

James Gaffigan makes his debuts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic during the 2008/09 season. 

Increasingly active as an opera conductor, he made his professional opera debut at the Zurich Opera in June 2005 conducting La Boheme and returned for seven revival performances of the same production in May 2006. Future engagements include conducting productions at the Houston Grand Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as at the Aspen Music Festival and Glyndebourne.

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INON BARNATAN, photos by Marco Borggreve.

The flourishing career of pianist Inon Barnatan takes him to some of the most important music centers and festivals worldwide. Just 30 years old, Barnatan is rapidly gaining international recognition for his poetic and passionate music making, communicative performances and engaging programming.  In April 2009 he was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, one of the most prestigious prizes in classical music.

In addition to his return engagement with the San Francisco Symphony (Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1), his Summer 2009 concert highlights include performances at the music festivals in Aspen, Vail, Santa Fe, Bridgehampton, and Blossom (Rhapsody in Blue with the Cleveland Orchestra). Also in 2009-2010, Barnatan performs concertos by Rachmaninoff and Beethoven (Nos. 2, 3 and 5) in a variety of venues, and Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata at the 92nd Street Y in New York. A tour with frequent chamber music partner Alisa Weilerstein includes a concert at the Kennedy Center. His season finale, in May 2010, is a solo recital at London’s Wigmore Hall.

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Barnatan has developed and curated a project of Schubert’s late solo piano and chamber music works, which will be presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall in the fall of 2009. The Schubert Project has been performed to great acclaim at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Festival de México and at the Library of Congress. Among his collaborating performers are Jonathan Biss, Kirill Gerstein, Shai Wosner, Liza Ferschtman, Alisa Weilerstein, and the Jupiter, Belcea, and Borromeo String Quartets.

Other recent recital highlights have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre Auditorium in Paris, the “Rising Stars” series at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and the Gilmore Festival in Michigan. In the summer of 2008 Barnatan made his debut at the Lanaudière Festival and at the Aspen Music Festival where he played a recital of Liszt and Messiaen. As concerto soloist, Barnatan made his American concerto debut in 2007 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Porto Symphony, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of New Europe, Haifa Symphony, Israel Chamber and Jerusalem Chamber Orchestras, with such conductors as Lawrence Foster, Philippe Entremont, Nir Kabaretti, James Gaffigan and Kynan Johns.

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Barnatan’s debut CD of Schubert piano works was released on Bridge Records to great critical acclaim. His second CD of works for piano and violin by Beethoven and Schubert with violinst Liza Ferschtman has also won many accolades, and was described by All Music Guide as “a magical listening experience”. Barnatan has appeared on many radio and television stations throughout the USA, Europe, Asia and Israel. Passionate about contemporary music, Barnatan regularly commissions and performs music by living composers. He has played works by Kaija Saariaho, George Crumb, Judith Weir, Avner Dorman, Thomas Adès, George Benjamin and others.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Inon Barnatan started playing the piano at age four. He made his orchestral debut at eleven, and studied with Professor Victor Derevianko. In 1997 he moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Maria Curcio (a student of the legendary Arthur Schnabel) and Christopher Elton, and has coached extensively with Leon Fleisher. In 2006 Mr. Barnatan moved to New York City, where he resides today.

Send your fan mail to: contact@inonbarnatan.com

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Click on the titles to add these CDs featuring Inon Barnatan to your Classical library:

SCHUBERT – This is Barnatan’s debut CD, a part of his CRF Award. It includes Schubert’s Impromptus, D. 935 and Sonata in B-flat, D. 960.

Schubert, Beethoven: Works for piano and violin – Featuring violinist Liza Ferschtman and pianist Inon Barnatan. Works include Beethoven’s Sonata for piano and violin in G major, Op. 96; Schubert’s Fantasia for piano and violin in C major and Sei mir gegrüsst, D 741/Op. 20 no 1.

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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