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NICOLAS HODGES was born in London in 1970. One of the most exciting performers of his generation, Hodges has captivated audiences worldwide with his interpretations of classical, romantic, 20th-century, and contemporary repertoire, leading the London Guardian to comment “Hodges’ recitals always boldly go where few other pianists dare ... with an energy that sometimes defies belief.”
Hodges’ concerto engagements have included performances with the Chicago Symphony, the MET Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Philharmonia of London, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the WDR Symphony, the SWR Symphony Freiburg/Baden-Baden, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the London Sinfonietta, the Basel Sinfonietta, and Asko|Schönberg, under conductors such as Barenboim, Brabbins, Graf, Knussen, Levine, Masson, Nott, Robertson, Rophé, Rundel, Saraste, Slatkin, Otaka, Valade, and Zender. He has been featured in many European festivals, such as Witten, Darmstadt, Berlin, Luzern, Paris (Festival d’Automne), Innsbruck (Klangspuren), Brussels (Ars Musica), Zurich (Tage für Neue Musik), and Vienna (Wien Modern); at all the major U.K. festivals, including the BBC Proms; in Scandinavia, Japan (Suntory Hall), and the U.S., including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Orchestra Hall in Chicago.
Recent and upcoming highlights include his recital debut at Carnegie Hall; his critically acclaimed debut with the New York Philharmonic under David Robertson; and subscription debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony. He also recently performed with the St. Louis Symphony, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In addition to tonight’s performance, he premiered In Seven Days at the Royal Festival Hall in London and will also perform it with the Netherlands Radio Symphony under the composer’s direction. He also continues to appear at music festivals throughout the world, including Tanglewood, the Edinburgh Festival, the Dialogues festival in Salzburg, and the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
As well as the standard repertoire, exemplified both in concerto performances and mixed recital programs (such as his program of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata paired with 20th-century works), Hodges’ commitment to contemporary music is second to none. Elliott Carter’s concerto Dialogues was written for Hodges, commissioned by the BBC. After its premiere with the London Sinfonietta under Oliver Knussen, the concerto was recorded for Bridge Records. He subsequently gave the U.S. premiere with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim and returned to give the New York premiere with the MET Chamber Ensemble under James Levine (followed the next season by a repeat with the MET Orchestra and Levine at Carnegie Hall). His many other performances of the work, with numerous orchestras and conductors, have included the French, Japan, Spanish, Portuguese, and Netherlands premieres.
Hodges maintains a close relationship to many of today’s most important composers. Those who have written works for him include Harrison Birtwistle, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Beat Furrer, and he also has close working relationships with Adams, Ferneyhough, Harvey, Kagel, Knussen, Lachenmann, Neuwirth, Nørgård, and the late Karlheinz Stockhausen. A committed teacher, he educates young pianists particularly in the relationship between the performance of standard repertoire and contemporary works; he also works with young composers, attempting to demystify the complexities of writing for the piano.
An energetic recording artist, he has released more than 20 CDs to wide critical acclaim, including Adams on Nonesuch, Carter on Bridge, and Gershwin on Metronome.