EMI Classics Signs Pianist Jonathan Biss

Classic Arts News   EMI Classics Signs Pianist Jonathan Biss
EMI Classics has signed 25-year-old American pianist Jonathan Biss to a two-year exclusive contract, the company announced.

His first CD under the contract, an all-Schumann recital consisting of the Fantasie in C, Arabeske in C, and Kreisleriana, will be released in the U.S. in January 2007. EMI released Biss's recording debut, which featured Beethoven and Schumann, on its "Debut" Series in April 2004.

Biss is a third generation musician in a family that includes his cellist grandmother Raya Garbousova, for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto, and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist and violinist Paul Biss. Biss began studying piano at age six; he continued at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute with Leon Fleisher.

Biss has performed with most of the major American orchestras, including the Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Saint Louis symphonies, and the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics. Internationally, he has collaborated with the BBC Symphony, the Israel, Munich, and Rotterdam philharmonics, and with the Staatskapelle Berlin. He has worked with conductors including Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Pinchas Zukerman.

This month, Biss makes recital debuts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and in Milan, Brussels and Paris. In August he makes his recital debut at the Salzburg Festival.

Biss is the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Theo Lap, vice president A&R and International Marketing EMI Classics, said, "Jonathan is one of the outstanding musicians of the younger generation. When I listened to him for the first time, I was impressed by the maturity and gravitas of his playing; it was as though I were listening to the interpretation of a grand old statesman of the piano combined with the power and passion of youthful virtuosity."

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