Jeremy Denk, Piano
Friday, January 25, 2019 | 8:00 pm
Duke Performances’ 2018/19 Classical Series subscriptions — including the Chamber Arts Series, Piano Recital Series, and Vocal Ensemble Series — are now on sale, including renewals and new subscriptions. Renewals and new subscriptions can be purchased online, via phone at 919-684-4444, and in person at the Duke University Box Office, Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM.
In the two decades since he claimed Juilliard’s venerable Piano Recital Debut Award, Durham native Jeremy Denk has become one of his generation’s most in-demand instrumentalists and, at The New Yorker, one of its most astute critics. He has performed with the world’s greatest orchestras, served as the music director of the Ojai Music Festival, and developed ingenious concert programs. Such efforts have earned Denk both the Avery Fisher Prize and a MacArthur fellowship, dual testaments to his eminence as a musician and thinker. Denk is “a model of how performers can both inform and entertain an audience” (The New York Times).
In Durham, Denk explores the music of Beethoven and his acolytes. He begins with Beethoven’s variations on the patriotic Rule, Britannia before jumping two centuries to John Adams’ Pocket Variations, a tribute to Nonesuch Records impresario Bob Hurwitz. Saint-Saëns’ sweeping and gorgeous Variations on a Theme of Beethoven follows in an arrangement for two hands. Denk concludes with three more odes to Beethoven: Mendelssohn’s Variations Sérieuses; Liszt’s arrangement of the master’s solemn song cycle, An die ferne Geliebte; and Schumann’s Fantasie in C, which quotes An die ferne Geliebte.
Beethoven: Five Variations on “Rule, Britannia” in D Major
John Adams: Pocket Variations
Saint-Saëns: Variations chromatiques
Mendelssohn: Variations sérieuses
Beethoven: An die ferne Geliebte (transc. Liszt)
Schumann: Fantasie in C Major, op. 17
“Fresh and insightful.”