Great Artists Series presents Eric Owens and Jeremy Denk Dec. 8

Acclaimed baritone and renowned pianist join forces for Schubert’s 'Die Winterreise'

Owens (Photo: Dario Acosta)

Editor’s note: Due to illness, Eric Owens is unable to sing but will be replaced on the concert by internationally renowned baritone Randall Scarlata, whose 2018 recording of “Winterreise” was nominated for a Best Classical Vocal Grammy Award.

Eric Owens is a “towering bass-baritone” (The New York Times) who “shakes you when he sings” (Chicago Sun Times). Jeremy Denk is an “inquisitive pianist” whose playing is “refreshing and insightful” (The New York Times).

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, Owens and Denk will join forces for a recital of Franz Schubert’s beloved “Die Winterreise” as part of Washington University in St. Louis’ Great Artists Series.


An emotional tour-de-force, “Die Winterreise” explores themes of love and mortality, darkness and light, heartbreak and redemption. Based on poems by Wilhelm Müller, the 24-song cycle was written during the final years of Schubert’s life and published just weeks after his death, in November 1828. It charts an allegorical “winter journey” across a snow-covered landscape, as the unnamed protagonist mourns his lost love and ponders a bleak future while dreaming of warmth and remembering happier times.

Sponsored by the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, the Great Artists Series presents intimate recitals with some of the brightest stars in contemporary classical music. The 2019-20 series will continue with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Jan. 17), the Jupiter String Quartet (Feb. 21) and cellist Alisa Weilerstein with pianist Inon Barnatan (March 29).

All performances take place in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall of the 560 Music Center, located at 560 Trinity Ave. in University City. Subscriptions are $120 and include premier reserved seating, post-concert receptions with the artists (when available), and all ticketing fees.

Individual tickets are $40, or $32 for seniors and Washington University faculty and staff, and $15 for students and children. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Edison Theatre Box Office at 314-935-6543 or

In addition to the recital, Owens will host a free public masterclass from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9.

Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

About Eric Owens

Equally at home in orchestral, recital and operatic repertoire, Owens is a champion of new music and an esteemed interpreter of classic works. His powerful poise, expansive voice and instinctive acting faculties have graced stages around the world.

A native of Philadelphia, Owens has appeared with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Washington National Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Paris Opera (Bastille), the Dutch National Opera, the English National Opera and London’s Royal Opera (Covent Garden), among many others. A former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, he originated the role of Aristotle Onassis in the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s “Jackie O.”

Other premieres include Elliot Goldenthal’s “Grendel” and John Adams’ “Doctor Atomic,” which also received the 2012 Grammy for Best Opera Recording. Owens made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut under the baton of David Robertson in Adams’ “El Niño.”

Earlier this fall, Owens opened the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019-20 season starring as Porgy in James Robinson’s production of George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”

About Jeremy Denk

One of America’s foremost pianists, Denk is a winner of both the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize. In recent seasons he has appeared with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra; on tour with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, led by Joshua Bell; and at London’s Royal Albert Hall, as part of the BBC Proms.

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