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Jonathan Bass


Pianist Jonathan Bass appears frequently throughout the United States as soloist and chamber musician. He has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Boston Esplanade Pops at Symphony Hall on four occasions, and the North Carolina Symphony at the Appalachian Summer Music Festival. Mr. Bass gave his New York debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall as the first-prize winner of the 1993 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition. Recitals in other major cities include Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Miami, San Jose, Tulsa and Washington, D.C. He has been featured on National Public Radio's "Performance Today", the McGraw-Hill Artists Showcase on WQXR in New York, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series on WFMT in Chicago, and on WGBH in Boston. Internationally, he has performed in China, Israel, Japan, Poland, Spain, and Russia. Of his first piano CD, Gramophone Magazine wrote: "Superbly played Bach and Chopin with haunting music by Pinkham." Of his second CD, Larry Bell's "Reminiscences and Reflections", Music Web wrote, "Jonathan Bass plays superbly throughout and proves an eminent and convincing advocate of Bell's consistently fine and attractive music.”

Jonathan Bass’s 2016-2017 concerto engagements include the Strauss Burleske with the Danville (Illinois) Symphony, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Midcoast Orchestra (Maine), and the Beethoven Choral Fantasy with the New Philharmonia Orchestra in Newton (Massachusetts). Other recent concerts include solo recitals on the Boston Conservatory’s Piano Masters Series and at Oberlin College. Recent chamber music appearances include the Boston Symphony Chamber Players at Jordan Hall, with the Walden Chamber Players at the Nantucket Historical Association and the Kalliroscope Gallery, at the Duxbury Music Festival, with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, with the Boston Duo in Newton, Westwood, and New Marlborough, and in a Faculty Recital with violinist Markus Placci at the Boston Conservatory. Concerto performances since 2012 include Beethoven Concerto No. 5 with the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra under conductor Jin Kim, and the Strauss Burleske and Liszt Totentanz with the Boston Civic Orchestra under conductors Taichi Fukumura and Max Hobart at Jordan Hall, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Midcoast Orchestra in Maine under conductor Rohan Smith, and with the Boston Conservatory Orchestra under conductor Bruce Hangen at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Melrose Symphony under conductor Yoichi Ugadawa, Bartok Piano Concerto No. 3 with the New Philharmonia Orchestra under conductor Ronald Knudsen, and Ravel Concerto for Left Hand with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra under conductor Cynthia Woods at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University. Solo recitals in recent seasons include the Steinway Society series at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose, California, California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California, Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Andrew Wolf Concert Series in Newton, and the James Library Concert Series in Norwell, Massachusetts.

Collaborative highlights have included multiple guest appearances with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood and at Jordan Hall in Boston, and recitals with violinist Joseph Silverstein in Salt Lake City and at Jordan Hall in Boston. He has appeared at the Chichibu International Music Festival in Japan, the Maui Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, and, in Massachusetts, the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Festival, and the Duxbury Music Festival. As the pianist and a founding member of the Walden Chamber Players, founded in 1997, he has performed on a variety of chamber music series, such as the Calgary Pro Musica Society in Alberta, Canada, Dumbarton Concerts in Washington, D.C., Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music in Syracuse, New York, Friends of Chamber Music in Troy, New York, Utica Chamber Music Society in Utica, New York, deBlasiis Chamber Music series in Glens Falls, New York, Howland Chamber Music Circle in Beacon, NY, Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, Gettysburg Concert Association in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Sedona Chamber Music Festival in Arizona. Other Walden highlights include an all-Penderecki program at the Miller Theatre in New York City; a concert at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City; a series of performances at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; a residency at the University of Idaho; and multi-year visiting chamber ensemble residencies at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and at both Concord Academy and Worcester Academy in Massachusetts. In 2015 the Walden Chamber Players completed the second year of its ACK residency in the Nantucket public schools. The Walden Chamber Players has made three recordings, most recently “The Evolution of the American Sound”, featuring music by Aaron Copland and Ned Rorem, among others, which was released in in 2015. Walden's other CDs are the chamber music of Gerhard Schedl entitled “A Voice Gone Silent Too Soon” (2013), which Gramophone magazine praised for its “superb performances” and the chamber music of Augusta Read Thomas entitled “SunThreads” (2007).

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"He has technique to burn but prefers to drive the music with colour and a striking ability to connect inner harmonic details withoutseeming academic. Elegant, commanding playing.."
—Gramophone Magazine

"His performance was one of remarkable range and imagination, not to mention thoughtfulness and soul."
–San Jose Mercury News

"Not in the past many months had I heard another such a spectacular display of piano virtuosity as in Sunday’s Boston Civic Symphony concert under Max Hobart at Jordan Hall, where Jonathan Bass fearlessly and brilliantly tackled two really tough pieces with all the energy needed, and with all the sensitivity and warm expression as well."
– Mark DeVoto, www.classical-scene.com (November, 2014)

... the whole cycle is a very attractive and nicely contrasted set of miniatures, all superbly crafted and cast in a colourful, accessible idiom. ... Jonathan Bass plays superbly throughout and proves an eminent and convincing advocate of Bellʼs consistently fine and attractive music.
– Hubert Culot, musicweb-international (Larry Bell: Reminiscences and Reflections CD)

"Bass's performance [of the Scriabin] stresses the vision and contemplation it shares with the other music on the programme. The spectacular HDCD recording…provides unforced, viscerally beautiful piano sound."
Gramophone Magazine (review of Americus Records CD)

"A technical presence to be reckoned with...soaring with a feeling of lyrical discovery."
New York Concert Review

"As soon as the pianist touched the keyboard, one was instantly made aware of freshness, vigor, and exuberance."
The Miami Herald

"The New York pianist revealed his master in performances that were justly proportioned and imbued with intense feeling"
The Indianapolis Star





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