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Great Performers in Recital at TanglewoodJoshua Bell and Jeremy Denk

Great Performers in Recital at Tanglewood
Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk

Tanglewood

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Hosted by Nicole Cabell

The outstanding violinist Joshua Bell and acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk, longtime collaborators, bring their insightful artistry to bear on two pieces central to the violin-and-piano repertoire: Beethoven’s Spring and Kreutzer sonatas.
Rooted in the Classical world of Mozart, the Spring Sonata of 1801 is one of the most beloved violin sonatas of all time. The optimism and lyricism of its melodies likely suggested the sonata’s nickname, which was not Beethoven’s own. The Kreutzer Sonata, composed three years later, is a contrastingly dramatic and intense work that stands with such larger works as the Eroica and Fifth symphonies as defining Beethoven’s “heroic” voice.

Featured Performers

Nicole Cabell, host
Nicole Cabell, host View biography in full page >

Nicole Cabell, the 2005 Winner of the BBC Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff and Decca recording artist, is one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos of today.  Her solo debut album, “Soprano” was named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone and has received an incredible amount of critical acclaim and several prestigious awards, including the 2007 Georg Solti Orphée d’Or from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique.

Nicole Cabell opens the new season with her first stage performances of Bess in Porgy and Bess with the English National Opera.  She will also make her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Mimi in La Bohème before returning to the Minnesota Opera for Violetta in La Traviata and to the Cincinnati Opera for Juliette in Roméo et Juliette.  In concert, Ms. Cabell will perform a set of songs on texts by Langston Hughes at the Metropolitan Museum, will sing the Mozart Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony and David Robertson before joining Master Voices and Ted Sperling at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.  Future engagements include returns to Atlanta, Japan, Montreal and Detroit.

Ms. Cabell’s last season included performances of the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Flavia in Eliogabalo with the Dutch National Opera, the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Theatre, and Micaela in Carmen with the Atlanta Opera. Ms. Cabell was also heard in recital at the Frankfurt Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Harris Theater for Music in Dance in Chicago, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, and in Louisville, Kentucky.  In concert, Nicole Cabell performed with the Lake Forest Symphony (Sisters in Song, a joint program with Alyson Cambridge, which was just commercially released by Cedille Records), the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, and in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Cabell’s 2016-2017 season featured her debut as Bess in Porgy in Bess with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, as well as performances of Mimi in La Bohème with the Minnesota Opera and the Cincinnati Opera and of the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with Angers Nantes Opera in France. In concert, she sang Shéhérazade with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Nashville Symphony and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Oregon Bach Festival.

The 2015-2016 season included Ms. Cabell’s debut at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in the title role of Handel’s Alcina and returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Violetta in La Traviata, to the Atlanta Opera as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, to the Michigan Opera Theatre as Mimi in La Bohème and to the Cincinnati Opera in a new role: Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. On the concert stage, Ms. Cabell performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a solo recital in Baltimore.

Nicole Cabell’s 2014-2015 season included semi-staged concerts of Don Giovanni with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, her Opéra National de Paris debut (and role debut) as Mimi in La Bohème and Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore with the Minnesota Opera as well as a return to Washington Concert Opera as Giulietta in I Capuleti ed i Montecchi.  In concert, she was heard with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5, with the Orchestre National de Lille in Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, with the San Diego Symphony in Strauss’ Four Last Songs, with the London Symphony Orchestra in Debussy’s La Damoiselle Elue, in a Puccini-Strauss gala concert in Hong-Kong, as Bess in an abridged version of Porgy and Bess at Ravinia with Bobby McFerrin, at the Oregon Bach Festival in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, at Bard’s Music Festival in Villa-Lobos’ Forest of the Amazon and at SUNY Potsdam in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem

In the previous season Nicole Cabell made some exciting role debuts: first as Violetta in La Traviata with Michigan Opera Theatre (seen again later in the season at the San Francisco Opera), then as Medora in Il Corsaro with Washington Concert Opera.  She reprised the role of her triumphant San Francisco Opera debut: Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.  In concert, Ms. Cabell made her Paris debut in Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, appeared several times in Spain, first with the Orquesta de Galicia in a Barber/Mahler program, then on tour with the RPO and Charles Dutoit in Poulenc’s Gloria.  In London, she was heard with the RPO in the same Poulenc piece as well as with the BBC Orchestra, first in Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with Keith Lockhart and later in Elgar’s The Apostles with Sir Andrew Davis.  Further concert appearances included duke Ellington’s Sacred Music at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony and Charles Dutoit at Tanglewood, and finally in a Barber/Brahms program in Nashville with GianCarlo Guerrero.  Nicole Cabell also appeared in recital in Chicago. 

Awards include first place in both the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition and the Women's Board of Chicago Vocal Competition.  Nicole Cabell was a semi-finalist in the 2005 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and earned first place in the American Opera Society competition in Chicago.  She is the 2002 winner of the Union League's Rose M. Grundman Scholarship, and the 2002 Farwell Award with the Woman's Board of Chicago.  Nicole Cabell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music.  

Nicole Cabell, host Joshua Bell, violin
Joshua Bell, violin View biography in full page >

With a career spanning over thirty years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, conductor and director, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. Since 2011, Bell has served as Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, succeeding Sir Neville Marriner, who formed the orchestra in 1958. Bell’s interests range from the repertoire’s hallmarksto commissioned works, including Nicholas Maw’s Violin Concerto, for which Bell received a Grammy® award. He has also premiered works of John Corigliano, Edgar Meyer, Jay Greenberg, and Behzad Ranjbaran.

Committed to expanding class
ical music’s social and cultural impact, Bell has collaborated with peers including Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, Anoushka Shankar, Frankie Moreno, Josh Groban, and Sting. In Spring 2019, Bell joins his longtime friends, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk, for a ten-city American trio tour.

Bell maintains an avid interest in film music, commemorating the 20th anniversary of The Red Violin (1998) in 2018-19. The film’s Academy-Award winning soundtrack features Bell as soloist; in 2018, Bell brings the film with live orchestra to various summer festivals and the New York Philharmonic. In addition to six Live From Lincoln Center specials, Bell is also featured on a PBS Great Performances episode, “Joshua Bell: West Side Story in Central Park.”

Through
music and technology, Bell further seeks to expand the boundaries of his instrument. He has partnered with Embertone on the Joshua Bell Virtual Violin, a sampler created for producers, engineers, and composers. Bell also collaborated with Sony on the Joshua Bell VR experience.
An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded over40 albums garnering Grammy®, Mercury®, Gramophone and ECHO Klassik awards. Sony Classical’s June 2018 release, with Bell and the Academy, features Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and G minor Violin Concerto.

In 2007, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post story, on Bell performing incognito in a Washington, D.C. metro station, sparked conversation regarding artistic reception and context. It inspired Kathy Stinson’s 2013 children’s book, The Man With The Violinand a newly-commissioned animated filmBell debuted the 2017 Man With The Violin festival at the Kennedy Center, and, in March 2019, presents a Man With The Violin festival and family concert with the Seattle Symphony.

Bell advocates for music as an essential educational tool. He maintains active
involvement with Education Through Music and Turnaround Arts, which provide instruments and arts education to children who may not otherwise experience classical music firsthand.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Bell began the violin
at agefour, and at age twelve, began studies with Josef Gingold. At age 14, Bell debuted with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and debuted at Carnegie Hall at age 17 with the St. Louis Symphony. Bell received the 2007 Avery Fisher Prize and has recently been named Musical America’s 2010“Instrumentalist of the Year” and an “Indiana Living Legend.He received the 2003 Indiana Governor's Arts Awardand a 1991 Distinguished Alumni Service Award fromhis alma mater,the Jacobs School of Music.
Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin, with a François Tourte 18th-Century bow.
Joshua Bell, violin
Jeremy Denk, piano
Jeremy Denk, piano View biography in full page >

Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists. Winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and the Avery Fisher Prize, Denk was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Denk returns frequently to Carnegie Hall and in recent seasons has appeared with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as on tour with Academy St. Martin in the Fields, and at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.

In 18-19, Denk embarks on a three-week recital tour of the US, including appearances in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, and culminating in his return to Carnegie Hall. His orchestral highlights include play-directing Mozart with the Toronto Symphony, and on tour throughout the US with Academy St Martin in the Fields. He also returns to the Atlanta and Colorado Symphonies, and continues his work as Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, opening the season directing Beethoven 5 from the keyboard.

In the same season, Denk re-unites with his long time collaborators, Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis, on an eleven-city tour of the US, including appearances in New York, Boston, Washington, and San Francisco. He also performs and curates a series of Mozart Violin Sonatas (‘Denk & Friends’) at Carnegie Hall. Further collaborations include performing Winterreise with Matthias Goerne, and the Ives violin sonatas at Tanglewood with Stefan Jackiw. Abroad, he returns to the Barbican in London to reunite with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, makes his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony, and returns to the Helsinki Philharmonic. He also appears in recital in Europe, including his return to the Wigmore Hall as part of a three-year residency. His recording c.1200-c.2000 will be released by Nonesuch Records with music ranging from Guillaume de Machaut, Gilles Binchois and Carlo Gesualdo, to Stockhausen, Ligeti and Glass.

In 17-18, Denk reunited with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony to perform Bartok 2, following a performance of the same concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms. He also returned to Carnegie Hall, both to perform Beethoven 5 with Orchestra St. Luke’s, and alongside Joshua Bell. With his return in subscription to the Seattle Symphony, Denk toured with the orchestra performing Beethoven 5, and was featured as Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with multiple performances throughout the season, including the premiere of a new piano concerto written for him by Hannah Lash. He also appeared in recital throughout the US, with his performances in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Princeton. His collaborations in 17-18 included a US tour of the complete Ives Violin Sonatas with Stefan Jackiw in a special project in which Denk presented the sonatas with a vocal ensemble performing hymns embedded in the compositions. A recording of the Sonatas with Jackiw is forthcoming from Nonesuch Records. Abroad, Denk was presented by the Barbican in multiple performances as artist-in-residence at Milton Hall. He also returned to play-direct the Britten Sinfonia in London, and on tour in the UK. In Asia, Denk made his debut in recital in Hong Kong, Seoul, and Singapore.

In 2014, Denk served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he wrote the libretto for a comic opera. The opera was later presented by Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, and the Aspen Festival. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” The pianist’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a book for future publication by Random House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK. Recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing, his blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives.

In 2012, Denk made his Nonesuch debut with a pairing of masterpieces old and new: Beethoven’s final Piano Sonata, Op. 111, and Ligeti’s Études. The album was named one of the best of 2012 by the New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post, and Denk’s account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Denk has a long-standing attachment to the music of American visionary Charles Ives, and his recording of Ives’s two piano sonatas featured in many “best of the year” lists.

Jeremy Denk graduated from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He lives in New York City, and his web site and blog are at jeremydenk.net.

Jeremy Denk, piano
Program Notes Audio
BEETHOVEN - Violin Sonata No. 5 in F, Op. 24, Spring
BEETHOVEN - Violin Sonata No. 9 in A, Op. 47, Kreutzer
Full Program Notes - Full Program Notes