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Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (New York Times), clarinetist Anthony McGill enjoys a dynamic international solo and chamber music career and is principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—the first African-American principal player in the organization's history. In 2020, he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize, one of classical music’s most significant awards given in recognition of soloists who represent the highest level of musical excellence. He appears regularly as a soloist with top orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Kansas City Symphony. He was honored to perform at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece by John Williams and performing alongside Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and Gabriela Montero. As a chamber musician, he is a favorite collaborator of the Brentano, Daedalus, Guarneri, JACK, Miró, Pacifica, Shanghai, Takács, and Tokyo Quartets, as well as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Gloria Chien, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang, and is an alum of CMS's Bowers Program. In demand as a teacher, he serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, and Bard College Conservatory of Music. He is the Artistic Director for the Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School. In May 2020, McGill launched #TakeTwoKnees, a viral musical protest video campaign against the death of George Floyd and historic racial injustice.
Alisa Weilerstein is one of the foremost cellists of our time. Since making her professional and Carnegie Hall debuts in her early teens, she has been in high demand as a solo recitalist, cham-ber musician, and concerto soloist with leading orchestras worldwide. She was recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship in 2011. An authority on Bach’s music for unaccompanied cello, she re-leased a best-selling recording of his solo suites on the Pentatone label in 2020, streamed them in her innovative #36DaysOfBach project, and deconstructed his beloved G-major prelude in a Vox video. Her discography also includes chart-topping albums and a winner of BBC Music’s “Recording of the Year” award. As Artistic Partner of the Trondheim Soloists, she regularly tours and records with the Norwegian orchestra. She is an ardent advocate of contemporary music, and has premiered and championed important new works by composers including Pascal Dusa-pin, Osvaldo Golijov, and Matthias Pintscher. Other career milestones include a performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at nine years old, Weilerstein is a staunch advocate for the T1D community. She lives with her husband, Ven-ezuelan conductor Rafael Payare, and their young child.
“One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (New York Times), Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan is celebrated for his poetic sensibility, musical intelligence, and consummate artistry. He inaugurated his tenure as Music Director of California’s La Jolla Music Society Summerfest in 2019. He is the recipient of both a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center’s 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, served as the inaugural artist-in-association of the New York Philharmonic, and is an alum of CMS’s Bowers Program. His recent concerto collaborations include those with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, and the Cincinnati Symphony. Last season he played Mendelssohn, Gershwin, and Schubert for his solo recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. He reunited with his frequent recital partner, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, for tours on both sides of the Atlantic, including performances of Beethoven’s complete cello sonatas in San Francisco and other US cities. His latest album is Beethoven’s complete piano concertos, recorded with Alan Gilbert and London’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Other recent releases include a live recording of Messiaen’s 90-minute masterpiece Des canyons aux étoiles (From the Canyons to the Stars) at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Schubert’s late piano sonatas on the Avie label, winning praise from such publications as Gramophone and BBC Music.
SOMETHING TO KNOW:
“Each movement’s title is meant to serve as a prompt for listeners, who are called upon to imagine their own ‘story’ inspired by the musical content of the movement and the title,” writes Hallman.
SOMETHING TO LISTEN FOR:
“Simple lyricism, dissonant disorder, a rhythmic propulsion based on unison or near-unison figuration, and a heartbreaking/heartbroken pastiche are examples of a few of the shades utilized to create [a] collage.”
Recorded live in Alice Tully Hall on January 24, 2017.
Video produced by Ibis Productions.