With a thought-provoking repertoire and an enthusiastic interest in all things music, pianist Jeremy Denk brings his gifts for enlivening the musical experience for diverse audiences to Lawrence University’s Artist Series.
Denk performs Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Tickets, at $25/$30 for adults, $20/$25 for seniors and $18/$20 for students are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.
Through performances with many of the country’s leading orchestras, among them the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, Denk has built a reputation as one of America’s most compelling artists. The New York Times praised Denk as someone “you want to hear no matter what he performs.”
He has toured extensively with violinist Joshua Bell and collaborates regularly with cellist Steven Isserlis. His 2012 album with Bell, “French Impressions,” won the 2012 Echo Klassik Award.
“Jeremy Denk is one of the most fascinating young pianists out there,” said Catherine Kautsky, professor of music and chair of the keyboard department at Lawrence. “He not only plays a massive range of repertoire with total command— going from Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ to Ligeti’s immensely difficult and recent ‘Etudes’— but he also speaks and writes about music with a rare eloquence.”
Named a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s coveted $625,000 “Genius” Fellowship in 2013, he was honored the following year with Musical America’s 2014 “Instrumentalist of the Year” award. That same year, he was named winner of the Avery Fisher Prize, which is awarded by New York City’s Lincoln Center and recognizes solo instrumentalists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and excellence in music. It includes a $75,000 monetary prize.
Beyond his captivating performances, Denk contributes eloquent insights about music on his blog, “Think Denk,” which recently was selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress’ web archives. An article he wrote for The New Yorker in 2013 entitled “Every Good Boy Does Fine” forms the basis for a memoir about his experiences as a music student.
In an interview he conducted with the UK’s Daily Mail, Denk said he likes to “tear the music apart and see how it works.”
“My way of communicating is to hopefully help people see the elements that I see, and [explore] why this music is so strange and beautiful.”
Currently living in New York City, Denk holds degrees from Oberlin College, Indiana University and the Julliard School.
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.