Tuesday, February 4, 2020 | 7:30pm
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
THE SHENSON PIANO SERIES
BRAHMS: Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79; Seven Fantasias, Op. 116; Variations on a Theme of Paganini Bk. 2, Op. 35; Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5
BRAHMS: Scherzo in E-flat minor, Op. 4; Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann in F-sharp minor, Op. 9; Piano Sonata No. 1 in C Major, Op. 1; Sixteen Waltzes, Op. 39; Four Pieces, Op. 119
Joan Kahr, Individual Sponsor
About This Performance
Perennially loved by Bay Area audiences, Garrick Ohlsson returns for two recitals to complete his two-year survey of Brahms’ complete solo piano works begun last season.
Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Mr. Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges over the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Mr. Ohlsson has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him. This season that vast repertoire can be sampled in concerti ranging from Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Barber and Busoni in cities including St. Louis, Washington D.C., Cincinnati, San Francisco, Portland, OR, Prague, Stockholm, Wroclaw and Strasbourg. In recital he can be heard in New York’s Tully Hall, Seattle, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico. At the invitation of Music Director Krzysztof Urbanski he will appear twice during the season with the Indianapolis Symphony—first playing two Prokofiev concerti in a weekend in which all five will be programmed, and returning later in the season with Tchaikovsky's beloved Concerto No. 1.
A frequent guest with the orchestras in Australia, Mr. Ohlsson has recently visited Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart as well as the New Zealand Symphony in Wellington and Auckland. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ohlsson has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson, and Tokyo string quartets, and this fall will tour with the Takacs Quartet. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio. Passionate about singing and singers, Mr. Ohlsson has appeared in recital with such legendary artists as Magda Olivero, Jessye Norman, and Ewa Podles.
Mr. Ohlsson can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Hyperion and Virgin Classics labels. His ten-disc set of the complete Beethoven Sonatas, for Bridge Records, has garnered critical acclaim, including a GRAMMY® for Vol. 3. His recording of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3, with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, was released in 2011. In the fall of 2008 the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the Complete Works of Chopin followed in 2010 by all the Brahms piano variations, Goyescas by Enrique Granados, and music of Charles Tomlinson Griffes. Most recently on that label are Scriabin's Complete Poèmes, Smetana Czech Dances, and ètudes by Debussy, Bartok and Prokofiev. The latest CDs in his ongoing association with Bridge Records are the Complete Scriabin Sonatas, Close Connections, a recital of 20th-Century pieces, and two CDs of works by Liszt. In recognition of the Chopin bicentenary in 2010, Mr. Ohlsson was featured in a documentary The Art of Chopin co-produced by Polish, French, British and Chinese television stations. Most recently, both Brahms concerti and Tchaikovsky's second piano concerto were released on live performance recordings with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies on their own recording labels, and Mr. Ohlsson was featured on Dvorak's piano concerto in the Czech Philharmonic's recordings of the composer's complete symphonies and concertos, released July of 2014 on the Decca label.
A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of 8, at the Westchester Conservatory of Music; at 13 he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. His musical development has been influenced in completely different ways by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and the 1968 Montréal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won the Gold Medal (and remains the single American to have done so), that brought him worldwide recognition as one of the finest pianists of his generation. Since then he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where he retains immense personal popularity. Mr. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also the 2014 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music. He makes his home in San Francisco.