Visiting Artist: Gilles Vonsattel, piano

Vonsattel-72.jpg
Facility: 
Chapin Hall
Time: 
03/10/2013 - 3:00pm

Winner of a 2008 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is an artist of uncommon breadth. With repertoire that ranges from Bach’s Art of the Fugue to Xenakis, as well as equal comfort as a soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Vonsattel displays a musical curiosity and sense of adventure that has gained him many admirers. He began touring after capturing the top prize at the prestigious 2002 Naumburg International Piano Competition. He made his Alice Tully Hall debut that same year and has since performed with the Warsaw Philharmonic; at Zürich’s Tonhalle, Warsaw’s Chopin Festival, and Tokyo’s Opera City Hall; and in the U.S. with the Utah, Santa Fe, Nashville, and Grand Rapids symphonies, and the Boston Pops Orchestra.  In July 2010 he made his Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood debuts in the Brahms First Piano Concerto under Herbert Blomstedt, and in 2011 he made his San Francisco Symphony debut.  He returns to the San Francisco Symphony in 2012 under conductor Michael Francis.  A former member of the Chamber Music Society Two, Mr. Vonsattel has been an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2011.

Mr. Vonsattel has performed on the renowned stages of Boston’s Symphony Hall, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Aspen Music Festival’s Benedict Music Tent, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, and Geneva’s Victoria Hall. Recent recitals include performances at the Library of Congress, the Gilmore, La Roque d’Anthéron, Musée d’Orsay, Davos Festival, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Warsaw’s National Philharmonic Hall, La Jolla Music Society, the Munich Gasteig and Atlanta’s Spivey Hall. Deeply committed to the chamber music repertoire, he has performed with the Seattle and Philadelphia chamber music societies, and has collaborated with artists such as Kim Kashkashian, Ida Kavafian, Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Jerome Lowenthal, David Shifrin, Heinz Holliger, Jörg Widmann, Gary Hoffman, Carter Brey, and Yo-Yo Ma.  He has performed with the Borromeo, St. Petersburg, Pacifica, Ying, Orion, and Ebène Quartets and has given the world premieres of works by Ned Rorem (Alice Tully Hall) and Nico Muhly (National Gallery of Art).

Mr. Vonsattel is regularly invited to prestigious festivals, including Rockport, Angelfire, Bard, Ottawa, Bridgehampton, Seattle, Caramoor, West Cork, and Archipel.  The top prize winner at the 2006 Geneva International Music Competition, Vonsattel was a laureate of the 2009 Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary and is also a laureate of the Cleveland and Dublin piano competitions. He has been heard frequently on NPR’s Performance Today, Radio France Musique, CBC, ARD, and the BBC. Vonsattel’s recording of Liszt solo works and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with L’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève was released in 2007 on the Pan Classics label to critical acclaim. His recording of Bartók’s Contrasts on Deutsche Grammophon with members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is available for download on iTunes.  In 2011 his recording on the Honens/Naxos label featuring the music of Ravel, Debussy, Honegger, and Holliger was named one of the year’s best classical albums by Timeout New York.

After studying with pianist David Deveau in Boston, Vonsattel received his B.A. in political science and economics from Columbia University and his M.M. from The Juilliard School, where he worked with Jerome Lowenthal. Beginning in September 2010, he assumed the position of Assistant Professor of Piano at University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

Mr. Vonsattel offers a master class. For more information: http://music.williams.edu/node/1713

Program:

Ludwig van Beethoven         Six Bagatelles, op. 126
Heinz Holliger                      Partita
Maurice Ravel                      Sonatine
Artur Honegger                    Hommage à Ravel
Maurice Ravel                      Gaspard de la Nuit

Photo credit: Jean-Claude Capt

Program notes: Eric Friesen

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