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Jonathan Biss to Join Curtis Piano Faculty

In keeping with Curtis tradition, distinguished Curtis alumnus continues active performing career while serving on faculty

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(November 1, 2010) The Curtis Institute of Music announces the appointment of Jonathan Biss to its piano faculty, beginning with the 2011-12 school year. A Curtis alumnus who is highly regarded for his artistry and deeply felt interpretations, Mr. Biss has won international recognition for his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances on four continents and for his award-winning recordings.

"At Curtis, we have enjoyed a long tradition of distinguished and active performers teaching our students," said Curtis President Roberto Díaz. "We are thrilled that Mr. Biss, at the height of his performing career, is so committed to sharing his artistry with our students." Mr. Biss will begin teaching at Curtis in Fall 2011, and along with the rest of the school's distinguished piano faculty, will hear auditions in Spring 2011. Applications for the 2011-12 school year are due December 15 and more information is available at www.curtis.edu/admissions.

"I'm tremendously honored to be joining the faculty at Curtis," said Mr. Biss. "My years there as a student played a huge role in shaping me as a musician and a person, and I have no doubt that in coming back as a teacher, I will learn just as much. And to be joining a faculty which includes so many of my teachers and mentors is humbling indeed."

Mr. Biss graduated from Curtis in 2001, having already launched a successful performing career with a New York recital debut and New York Philharmonic debut. In the intervening years he has repeatedly returned to Curtis for residencies and master classes. "Mr. Biss is a superb artist whose insights have been especially enlightening not only to our piano students, but also to the chamber groups he has coached," noted Curtis Vice President and Dean John Mangan. Mr. Biss will continue to work with student chamber groups in his new position.

Curtis's renowned tradition of piano pedagogy extends back to its founding in 1924. In joining the faculty, Mr. Biss follows in the footsteps of such legends as Josef Hofmann, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, David Saperton, Rudolf Serkin, Vladimir Sokoloff, and Isabelle Vengerova, among others. The current faculty includes Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, Gary Graffman, Seymour Lipkin, Meng-Chieh Liu, Robert McDonald, Eleanor Sokoloff, and Ignat Solzhenitsyn.

Jonathan Biss has appeared as soloist with the foremost orchestras of North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He is a frequent performer at leading international music festivals and gives recitals in major music capitals both at home and abroad. An enthusiastic chamber musician and a frequent participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, Mr. Biss collaborates with many of today's finest players. This season he will appear with Midori, cellist Antoine Lederlin, and violist Nobuko Imai in chamber music performances for Carnegie Hall's Japan Festival and at the Kennedy Center. He also performs the complete cycle of Beethoven's ten sonatas for violin and piano with Miriam Fried in Seoul, Korea.

Mr. Biss's newest recording is an album of Schubert Sonatas in A Major, D. 959 and C Major, D. 840 and two short pieces by Kurtág on the Wigmore Hall Live label. Released in October 2009, it was named by NPR Music as one of the best albums of the year. Among his albums for EMI Classics are a live recording of Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 21 and 22 with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Schumann and Beethoven recital discs, which were recognized with a Diapason d'Or Award and an Edison Award, respectively.

Jonathan Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother, cellist Raya Garbousova (for whom Samuel Barber wrote his Cello Concerto) and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. He studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute of Music with Leon Fleisher.

Among Mr. Biss's numerous awards are the Leonard Bernstein Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He was the first American to participate in the BBC's New Generation Artist program. Mr. Biss blogs about his life as a musician at www.jonathanbiss.com.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading conservatories, Curtis is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 164 students. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. This philosophy has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school's founding in 1924, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.

 

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Jennifer Kallend
Senior Director of Public Relations and Patron Engagement
(215) 717-3190
jennifer.kallend@curtis.edu

 

Elizabeth Racheva
Vice President of External Affairs and Patron Engagement
(215) 717-3187
elizabeth.racheva@curtis.edu

 

Nikki Scandalios
National/International
(704) 340-4094
nikki@scandaliospr.com
 


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