Pianist Jeremy Denk is one of “today’s classical superstars” (The Guardian). The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra “sweep[s] the audience out of its seats” (The Royal Gazette). Pianist Joyce Yang plays with “poetic and sensitive pianism” (The Washington Post), while Christine Goerke “displays a big, blazing soprano” of “gale-force power” (The Wall Street Journal).
Next spring, the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis will present each of these internationally renowned artists — along with world music supergroup the Doos Trio — as part of its 2024 Great Artists Series.
“Each year, the Great Artists Series hosts intimate recitals featuring the brightest stars of the contemporary concert stage,” said Patrick Burke, associate professor and chair of music. “We are proud to welcome these amazing artists to St. Louis.”
The 2024 season, the series’ seventh, will open Feb. 4 with Denk performing the complete Partitas of Johann Sebastian Bach. On Feb. 19, The Doos Trio — which features Sandeep Das, Kayhan Kalhor and Wu Man, all Grammy nominees and members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble — will highlight the musical traditions of Iran, China and India.
On March 3, Tafelmusik will present “Passions Revealed,” a program led by acclaimed Baroque violinist Aisslinn Nosky, concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston. On March 24, Yang will perform works by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. The series will conclude April 28 with Goerke, accompanied by pianist Craig Terry, in a wide-ranging “Celebration of the American Diva.”
Though the 2024 season will feature five events, rather than the four events of previous seasons, subscriptions remain $120 (a 40% savings on single ticket prices) and include premier reserved seating, post-concert receptions with the artists (when available) and all ticketing fees. Subscription sales begin May 19.
Single tickets are $40, or $37 for seniors and Washington University faculty and staff, and $15 for students and children. Single tickets go on sale Sept. 5.
All performances take place in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall of the 560 Music Center, located at 560 Trinity Ave., at the intersection with Delmar Boulevard. Tickets are available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, 314-935-6543, or at edison.wustl.edu.
One of the nation’s foremost contemporary pianists, Denk is a bestselling author, winner of both the MacArthur “genius award” fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize, and a musician “you want to hear no matter what he performs” (The New York Times).
Denk’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Charts. His recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, was selected by BBC Radio 3 as the best available version recorded on modern piano and — paired with György Ligeti’s “Études” — named one of the year’s best discs by The New Yorker, National Public Radio and The Washington Post.
Denk’s album of Mozart piano concertos, released in 2021, was deemed “urgent and essential” by BBC Radio 3. The Guardian hailed his memoir “Every Good Boy Does Fine” (2022) as “an elegant, frank and well-structured memoir that entirely resists cliche. A rare feat … it makes the reader care about Denk beyond his talent for playing the piano.”
Read a full biography here.
Highlighting the ancient traditions of Iran, China and India, the Doos Trio is a 21st-century ensemble featuring three master musicians who happen to be old friends.
Sandeep Das is one of today’s leading tabla virtuosos. Since making his concert debut at the age of 17, with legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar, the Guggenheim fellow has collaborated with many of the world’s premier musicians and ensembles, from Paquito D’Rivera and Bobby McFerrin to the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and Chicago Symphony.
Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh, the Persian bowed string instrument. His performances of traditional music and original compositions — including commissions for the Kronos Quartet, Mohammad Reza Shajarian and the Silk Road Ensemble — have helped to popularize Persian music around the globe.
Wu Man is widely recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuosa and a leading ambassador of Chinese music. As a soloist, educator and composer, Wu has helped to establish her lute-like instrument — the history of which dates back more than 2,000 years in China — in a new role for both traditional and contemporary music.
Read their full biographies here.
Since its founding in Toronto in 1979, Tafelmusik has won international acclaim as one of the world’s finest Baroque orchestras and choirs, bringing fresh perspective to historically informed performance.
Grounded in scholarship and playing on period instruments, Tafelmusik (literally “table-music,” or “music for feasting”) is Canada’s most toured orchestra, having performed in more than 350 cities in 32 countries. The group’s extensive discography includes more than 85 recordings for Sony Classical, BMG, CBC Records and their own on Tafelmusik Media. Their numerous honors include nine Juno Awards as well as the Canadian Music Council’s Grand prix du disque, the German Phonographic Academy’s Echo Klassik Award for best orchestra and the Healey Willan Prize in choral music.
Read the full biography here.
Captivating audiences with virtuosity, lyricism and interpretive sensitivity, Yang first came to international attention in 2005, when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In the years since, she has blossomed into an “astonishing artist” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), showcasing her colorful musical personality in solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians.
Yang’s numerous honors include the 2010 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Grammy nomination for her recording, with violinist Augustin Hadelich, of Franck, Kurtág, Previn and Schumann. Other recordings include Michael Torke’s “Piano Concerto,” created expressly for Yang, as well as “Wild Dreams,” which interweaves works by Rachmaninoff, as arranged by Earl Wild, with pieces by Schumann, Bartók and Hindemith. In 2020, Yang released her 10th album, performing Jonathan Leshnoff’s “Piano Concerto,” a piece that was written for her, with the Kansas City Symphony.
Read the full biography here.
A “beacon of brilliance” (New York Magazine) and “true heir to the daunting dramatic soprano repertory” (The New York Times), Goerke has appeared in many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, with career-making roles as Brünnhilde with the Canadian Opera Company, Dyer’s Wife with New York’s Metropolitan Opera and Elektra with London’s Royal Opera.
Goerke also has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms, among many others. Her recording of Vaughan Williams’ “A Sea Symphony,” with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, won Grammy awards for best classical recording and best choral performance. Other releases include a Grammy-nominated rendition, with Robert Shaw, of Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater.”
Other honors include the 2015 Musical American Vocalist of the Year Award and the 2017 Opera News Award. Goerke currently serves as associate artistic director of the Detroit Opera.
Read the full biography here.