Keyboard power houses Garrick Ohlsson, “captivating” (BBC Music), and Kirill Gerstein, “expressive brilliance” (The Guardian), join forces for a two-piano recital of revelatory depth. Including a transcription of Mozart and a stunning homage to Bach, the program also features Rachmaninoff’s and Ravel’s rich color, rhythmic drive, and melodic splendor.

“By almost any measure, Ohlsson is one of the great American pianists.”—The Washington Post

“Kirill Gerstein now belongs to the class of the most renowned classical pianists.”—Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)

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    Garrick Ohlsson

    Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. In 2018/19 season he launched an ambitious project spread over two seasons exploring the complete solo piano works of Brahms in four different programs. The cycle will be heard in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Los Angeles, London and a number of cities across North America, culminating in Tanglewood, summer 2020. In concerto repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Brahms and Barber, he will return to the Nashville, Oregon, Dallas, Detroit and Colorado Symphonies, concluding the 2019/20 season in Bellingham Festival of Music with all Beethoven concerti programmed over the course of three performances. Internationally he can be heard with orchestras in Seoul, Helsinki, Zagreb, Tallinn, Manchester and London.

    A frequent guest with the orchestras in Australia, Mr. Ohlsson has recently visited Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart as well as the New Zealand Symphony in Wellington and Auckland. In February 2020 he will embark on a seven city recital tour across Australia.  An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, Tokyo and Takacs string quartets, including most recently Boston Chamber Players on tour in Europe. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio. Passionate about singing and singers, Mr. Ohlsson has appeared in recital with such legendary artists as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podleś.

    Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Hyperion and Virgin Classics labels. His ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven Sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, including a GRAMMY® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3, with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, was released in 2011. In the fall of 2008 the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the Complete Works of Chopin followed in 2010 by all the Brahms piano variations, “Goyescas” by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Most recently on that label are Scriabin's Complete Poèmes, Smetana Czech Dances, and ètudes by Debussy, Bartok and Prokofiev. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records are the Complete Scriabin Sonatas, “Close Connections,” a recital of 20th-Century pieces, and two CDs of works by Liszt. In recognition of the Chopin bicentenary in 2010, Mr. Ohlsson was featured in a documentary "The Art of Chopin" co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations. Most recently, both Brahms concerti and Tchaikovsky's second piano concerto were released on live performance recordings with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies on their own recording labels, and Mr. Ohlsson was featured on Dvorak's piano concerto in the Czech Philharmonic's recordings of the composer's complete symphonies & concertos, released July of 2014 on the Decca label.

    A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal (and remains the single American to have done so), that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. Since then he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where he retains immense personal popularity. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI. He is the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, and in August 2018 the Polish Deputy Culture Minister awarded him with the Gloria Artis Gold Medal for cultural merit. He is a Steinway Artist and makes his home in San Francisco.

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    Kirill Gerstein

    Pianist Kirill Gerstein’s curiosity and versatility has led to a powerful engagement with a wide range of repertoire and styles. From Bach to Adès, his playing is distinguished by its clarity of expression, discerning intelligence and virtuosity. Mr. Gerstein’s energetic and imaginative musical personality has rapidly taken him to the top of his profession.

    Born in the former Soviet Union, Mr. Gerstein is an American citizen based in Berlin. His career is similarly international, with solo and concerto engagements taking him across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. An important focus of last season was the world première of Thomas Adès’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and composed especially for Mr. Gerstein, the concerto is the outcome of a long and productive relationship with both orchestra and composer. Following the world première in Boston and subsequent New York and European premières (Carnegie Hall with Boston and Leipzig Gewandhaus), this season, Mr. Gerstein and Mr. Adès present the new piece in London with the London Philharmonic Orchestra; Munich with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra; Amsterdam with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Helsinki with the Helsinki Philharmonic; and Los Angeles with the LA Philharmonic. Mr. Gerstein also performs the concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra with Alan Gilbert on the podium.

    Mr. Gerstein’s 2019-20 season also includes returns to the Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and San Diego symphonies, as well as the launch of a two-year cycle of the complete Rachmaninoff works for piano and orchestra with the Minnesota Orchestra. To mark Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, Mr. Gerstein opens the Chicago Symphony’s piano series which surveys the complete piano sonatas, and performs all five Piano Concertos with the Grand Rapids and San Antonio symphonies. His recital program juxtaposes works by Adès, Bartók, and Kurtág with Haydn, Schubert, Brahms, and Liszt, and will be performed at the Berliner Philharmonie, London’s Wigmore Hall, and New York’s Zankel Hall. He also collaborates with the Hagen Quartet in Paris and Hungary.

    Kirill Gerstein’s recent North American engagements includes performances with the New York Philharmonic, and the Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, National, Detroit, Toronto and Cincinnati symphonies, as well as recital appearances in New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Seattle, Miami, and at Princeton and Duke Universities. In Europe, Mr. Gerstein has played with such prominent European orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Munich, London and Oslo Philharmonics and the Finnish Radio Orchestra. He has performed recitals in Vienna, Paris, Prague, Hamburg, London’s Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, and at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He has also appeared at the Salzburg Festival as well as at Verbier, the Lucerne and Edinburgh Festivals, the Proms in London and the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival.

    Mr. Gerstein’s recordings for myrios classics include a live recording of Busoni’s Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony conducted by Sakari Oramo and The Gershwin Moment, featuring live recordings of the composer’s Piano Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Robertson, selections from Earl Wild’s Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin, and collaborations with vibraphonist Gary Burton and vocalist Storm Large. Also on myrios are Liszt’s Transcendental Études, chosen by The New Yorker as one of 2016’s most notable recordings; Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in the composer’s own final version from 1879; Imaginary Pictures, which pairs Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with Schumann’s Carnaval; and a solo album of works by Schumann, Liszt and Oliver Knussen. Mr. Gerstein also recorded Scriabin’s Piano Concerto Op. 20 and Prometheus: The Poem of Fire with the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko, released on two recordings from LAWO Classics. Mr. Gerstein’s next recording has him performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concertos with Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic on “The Tchaikovsky Project” boxed set for Decca.

    As a child, Mr. Gerstein studied both classical and jazz piano. He moved to the U.S. where, at age 14, he was the youngest student to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Shifting his focus to the classical repertoire, he studied with Solomon Mikowsky in New York, Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. Gerstein has received a series of prestigious accolades, including First Prize at the 10th Arthur Rubinstein Competition in 2001 and a Gilmore Young Artist Award in 2002. In 2010 he was awarded both an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Gilmore Artist Award, which provided the funds for him to commission new works from Timo Andres, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen, and Brad Mehldau.

    Keenly aware of the importance of working with young musicians, Mr. Gerstein taught at the Stuttgart Hochschule Musik from 2007-2017 and, beginning in the fall of 2018, began teaching at the Kronberg Academy’s newly announced Sir András Schiff Performance Program for Young Artists.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)/ Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924)

Duettino Concertante based on the Finale of Mozart's Piano Concerto in F major, K. 459

Sergey Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924)

Fantasia contrappuntistica

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

La Valse

Program Subject to Change Without Notice