Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Contact: Nancy Bertossa
(415) 677-0328 or

San Francisco Performances Presents
Jonathan Biss, Piano

Saturday, December 11, 2021 | 7:30pm | $85/$70/$50
Herbst Theatre

SCHUBERT: Sonata in C Minor, D. 958
JANÁČEK: Selections from On an Overgrown Path
KURTÁG: Selections from Játékok
SCHUMANN: Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—November 9, 2021—San Francisco Performances (SFP) presents pianist Jonathan Biss on Saturday, December 11, 2021, 7:30pm at Herbst Theatre. San Francisco Performances presents Jonathan Biss for the twelfth time. He first appeared in March 2007. He also performed as part of our Front Row Online Concert series in Spring 2021.

“Jonathan Biss doesn't do things halfway. As a pianist, teacher, and writer, he tends toward an obsessive, full-immersion approach to any project that commands his attention” (SF Classical Voice).

“As a long-time SF Performances favorite, Jonathan Biss combines lush playing with a compelling knack for creating programs that engage and transcend, exploring music, history and thought. From his amazing 2012–13 four-part Schumann: Under the Influence series, which was initiated by SFP and traveled to the great halls of North American and Europe, including Carnegie Hall and Wigmore Hall, to his December program of personal favorites from the great piano repertoire, Biss is a consummate performer, interpreter and programmatic thinker.” —Melanie Smith, SFP President

Jonathan Biss is a world-renowned pianist who channels his deep musical curiosity into performances and projects in the concert hall and beyond. In addition to performing with today’s leading orchestras, he continues to expand his reputation as a one of the great Beethoven interpreters of our time. He is Co-Artistic Director alongside Mitsuko Uchida at the Marlboro Music Festival, where he has spent 14 summers. He has written extensively about the music he plays and has authored four audio- and e-books, including UNQUIET: My Life with Beethoven (2020), the first Audible Original by a classical musician.

Biss’s projects, including his decade-long Beethoven immersion, represent his complete approach to music-making and connecting his audience to his own passion for the music. Previous projects have included an exploration of composers’ “Late Style” in various concert programs at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Centre, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and San Francisco Performances. He also published the Kindle Single Coda on the topic. His previous Kindle Single, Beethoven’s Shadow, was the first by a classical musician. Schumann: Under the Influence was a 30-concert exploration of the composer’s role in musical history, for which Biss also recorded Schumann and Dvořák piano quintets with the Elias String Quartet and wrote A Pianist Under the Influence.

Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother Raya Garbousova, one of the first well-known female cellists (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto), and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. Growing up surrounded by music, Biss began his piano studies at age six, and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. He studied with Evelyne Brancart at Indiana University and with Leon Fleisher at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has since appeared with major orchestras around the world, including in the U.S. with the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; and the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras. He has also been recognized with numerous honors, including Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award.

While Biss’s life in music provides him with tremendous satisfaction, he admits that playing music remains ever a struggle. He regards it as a pleasure and privilege to live this struggle, and to share its results with other people.

The evening’s program will be as follows:
SCHUBERT: Sonata in C Minor, D. 958
JANÁČEK: Selections from On an Overgrown Path
KURTÁG: Selections from Játékok
SCHUMANN: Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6

Watch Jonathan Biss play Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 (No. 2 Aufschwung) YouTube Video:

Tickets are $85/$70/$50 and can be purchased at or by calling 415.392.2545. Tickets can also be purchased at the door as available including 50% off student rush tickets and 20% off senior rush tickets.

Please note our current health and safety protocols: Per San Francisco city guidelines, SF Performances requires all patrons ages 12 years and older, to show proof of full vaccination with a photo ID to attend performances. Masks will still be required at concerts until further notice. Full details of our safety protocols and practices are available here. Also note that social distanced seating is no longer required at SFP events.

About San Francisco Performances

San Francisco Performances has been a leader in the Bay Area cultural scene since our founding in 1979. With a strong curatorial vision and adventurous programming, we are the city’s premier presenter of intimate concerts and solo performances.

We have introduced hundreds of established and emerging classical music, jazz and dance artists to audiences, including Yo-Yo Ma, the Juilliard String Quartet, Philip Glass, Wendy Whelan, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. We also champion a new generation, committed to building a contemporary and equitable repertoire. Performers like violinist Jennifer Koh, tenor Lawrence Brownlee and pianist/composer Vijay Iyer are moving their art into the present and future, making it accessible to younger audiences while converting many traditionalists to new possibilities. They represent the path forward.

Quality, intimacy and connection are the hallmarks of San Francisco Performances. We nurture unique relationships with today’s best artists to create an accessible, warm, and engaging arts experience.

Through successful partnerships with artists, Bay Area schools and community organizations, SFP has also established one of the most recognized and respected performing arts education programs in the country. Anchored by the artist residency program that brings artists into classrooms and community workshops, the arts education projects help expose new audiences, young and old, to the great performers of our time. San Francisco Performances’ outreach promotes active engagement with the performing arts, deepening the experience while opening events to diverse audiences.

Calendar Editors, Please Note:

(Please include our name as the presenter—many thanks!)

Jonathan Biss, piano
WHEN: Saturday, December 11, 2021, 7:30pm
WHERE: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister), San Francisco
CONCERT TICKETS: $80/$70/$50
CONTACT: (415) 392.2545;

For high-resolution images, contact Nancy Bertossa at or go to

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