Thursday, November 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Jonathan Biss with the Curtis Orchestra

Some musicians express their deepest thoughts through playing. Others have a gift for beautifully articulating in words what they do and why they do it. Both qualities happen to reside in pianist Jonathan Biss, who performs Beethoven Sunday with the orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he once studied and now teaches.

Jonathan Biss with the Curtis Orchestra

Some musicians express their deepest thoughts through playing. Others have a gift for beautifully articulating in words what they do and why they do it. Both qualities happen to reside in pianist Jonathan Biss, who performs Beethoven Sunday with the orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he once studied and now teaches.

We interviewed Biss this summer at his studio in New York in preparation for a multi-faceted project we're preparing on Curtis. Tentatively called "The Curtis Factor," the project involves a series of articles, plus an online video documentary and other elements. It's planned for launch in late fall, and here is an excerpt from our talk with Biss.

For more, see the pianist's website, which has some lovely clips from recordings, as well as his thoughts on various works and composers.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

Reach Peter at pdobrin@phillynews.com.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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