“One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (The New York Times), Inon Barnatan is celebrated for his poetic sensibility, musical intelligence, and consummate artistry. He inaugurated his tenure as Music Director of California’s La Jolla Music Society Summerfest in July 2019. The coming season brings the release of a two-volume set of Beethoven’s complete piano concertos, which he recorded for Pentatone with Alan Gilbert and London’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
Barnatan’s upcoming concerto collaborations include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s G-major Concerto with the Chicago Symphony, Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto with Gilbert and the Royal Stockholm Symphony, Clara Schumann’s Concerto with the New Jersey Symphony, and a recreation of Beethoven’s legendary 1808 concert with Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony. Barnatan also plays Mendelssohn, Gershwin, and Thomas Adès for his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, returns to Alice Tully Hall with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and reunites with his frequent recital partner, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, for tours on both sides of the Atlantic. The first takes them to London’s Wigmore Hall and other venues in England, the Netherlands, and Italy for Brahms and Shostakovich, while the second sees them celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with performances of his complete cello sonatas in San Francisco and other U.S. cities.
In the 2018/19 season, Inon performed worldwide with orchestras including NDR Elbphilharmonie, Houston Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, and Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as making his International Piano Series debut at London’s Southbank Centre and touring nationwide alongside Alisa Weilerstein and Sergey Khachatryan. This summer, in his first season as Artistic Director of La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Barnatan explored the theme of transformation and evolution in music through collaborations with Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, visionary director and visual artist Doug Fitch, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and other artistic luminaries in a series devoted to cross-disciplinary exploration.
A regular performer with many of the world’s foremost orchestras and conductors, Barnatan served from 2014 to 2017 as the inaugural Artist-in-Association of the New York Philharmonic. In summer 2017, he made his BBC Proms debut with the BBC Symphony at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Recent orchestral debuts include the Chicago, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Nashville, San Diego, and Seattle Symphony orchestras, as well as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the London, Helsinki, Hong Kong, and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras.
Barnatan’s passion for contemporary music sees him commission and perform many works by living composers, including premieres of pieces by Thomas Adès, Sebastian Currier, Avner Dorman, Alan Fletcher, Joseph Hallman, Alasdair Nicolson, Andrew Norman, and Matthias Pintscher. His most recent album release is a live recording of Messiaen’s 90-minute masterpiece Des canyons aux étoiles, in which he played the exceptionally challenging solo piano part at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Barnatan started playing the piano at the age of three and made his orchestral debut at 11, before moving to London in 1997 to study at the Royal Academy of Music. He is a recipient of both the Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, and currently resides in New York.