INON BARNATAN Named the New York Philharmonic’s First Artist-in-Association

01.24.14
Inon Barnatan
New York Philharmonic

Pianist Inon Barnatan will make his New York Philharmonic debut as the inaugural Artist-in-Association, a new position that will highlight an emerging artist over the course of several consecutive seasons through concerto and chamber music appearances, building a relationship between the artist, the Philharmonic, and its audiences. In addition to the Philharmonic’s Artist-in-Residence and Composer-in-Residence this new position further expands the Philharmonic’s dedication to building long-term relationships with exceptional artists. 

Alan Gilbert said: “The Artist-in-Association position presents the opportunity to introduce artists who haven’t appeared at the New York Philharmonic often or at all. It has to be someone we believe in, are willing to commit to over a period of time, and who we think will bring a lot to the table musically over the years. I’m honored that Inon Barnatan is going to be part of our family as the Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Association. I’ve wanted to work with him for some time, and he was the perfect person to start this new long-term relationship with: we believe in him that much. He’s a complete artist, wonderful pianist, a probing intellect, and plays an enormous range of music. There will be a lot for us to do together.” Inon Barnatan said: “I am very grateful to the Philharmonic for putting so much trust and enthusiasm into our coming partnership — this is a dream come true. To build such a deep, meaningful, and long-term relationship between the Orchestra, the audience, and me is a golden opportunity. I have such admiration for the musicians of the Orchestra and for Alan Gilbert, an intellectual musician who also brings his whole heart into music.”

Mr. Barnatan will make his first Artist-in-Association appearance as part of the February 7, 2015, Saturday Matinee Concert, during which he will join Philharmonic musicians in Dvorák’s Piano Quintet, Op. 81. Mr. Barnatan has frequently performed chamber music with Philharmonic musicians, including during a Philharmonic Ensembles concert in February 2013 and at music festivals around the country. The following month, Mr. Barnatan will make his Philharmonic debut, March 19–20 and 24, 2015, in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, conducted by Alan Gilbert. They will perform the same program at Long Island University’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on March 21, 2015.

Inon Barnatan said: “I’ve loved this concerto for a long time. One of my first memories of hearing it was in a recording with the New York Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein, so to be able to play it with this Orchestra is fantastic. I think of it as a very New York piece. Ravel wrote it after Gershwin took him to hear jazz in Harlem — where I live in an apartment that used to be a speakeasy for the great jazz musicians — and you can hear the American jazz scene’s influence in this concerto. It also has extraordinary depth, and the second movement has some of the most moving music Ravel ever wrote.”

The program will also feature composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Nyx — the first time that a conductor other than Mr. Salonen will lead one of his works with the Philharmonic; Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales; and R. Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier Suite.

Mr. Barnatan has appeared with many of the world’s top orchestras. Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, he started playing the piano at the age of three after his parents discovered he had perfect pitch, and he made his orchestral debut at eleven. Mr. Barnatan’s solo album Darknesse Visible was named one of the top classical recordings of 2012 by The New York Times, and his most recent recording, an all-Schubert album, was released in September 2013. In 2009 he was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant.