Pianist Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. His performances of a broad range of repertoire-from Beethoven and Schubert to Ligeti and the music of today-reflect a degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has made him a favorite among audiences and critics, who note his "keen musical mind and deep musical soul" (NPR's All Things Considered).
In the 2016-17 season, Mr. Wosner launches a new solo recital series, Schubert: The Great Sonatas, which continues his critically acclaimed engagement with the composer's music. Described as a "Schubertian of unfaltering authority and character" by Gramophone, Mr. Wosner performs Schubert's last six piano sonatas over two concert programs, comparing the pieces to "six thick novels, rich with insight about the human condition." He performs the series this season in Israel, with performances in the U.S. and Japan scheduled for the 2017-18 season.
Beyond Schubert, Mr. Wosner has also been praised for inventive pairings of classical and modern masters. His latest recording, featuring concertos and solo works by Haydn and Ligeti with the Danish National Symphony conducted by Nicholas Collon, was released in June on the Onyx label to wide acclaim and was named "Concerto Choice" (September 2016) by BBC Music Magazine. His earlier Onyx releases have also explored links between stylistically contrasting composers, including an album of solo works by Brahms and Schoenberg and an album of works by Schubert and Missy Mazzoli.
Such juxtaposition is also a central feature in Mr. Wosner's joint program with the Aurora Orchestra and Nicholas Collon in London, in which he performs concertos by Ligeti and Mozart and solo works by Chopin, Glass, Hindemith, and Nancarrow. Other concerto appearances in the 2016-17 season include Mr. Wosner's return to the Berkeley, Columbus, Fresno, Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Jerusalem symphonies, as well as a performance of the Berg Chamber Concerto in Germany with violinist Veronika Eberle and the Kammerakademie Potsdam.
The music of Beethoven is also a major focus for Mr. Wosner this year in recital, chamber, and concerto performances. In addition to performing the composer's last three piano concertos with various orchestras in the U.S., he continues two Beethoven collaborations: Bridge to Beethoven-a recital series with violinist Jennifer Koh-and the complete works for cello and piano with Ralph Kirshbaum. Among the Bridge to Beethoven performances this season is a program in Philadelphia featuring the local premiere of Vijay Iyer's Bridgetower Fantasy. In New York, Mr. Wosner and Ms. Koh also perform a recital of works by Beethoven, Debussy, Fauré, and contemporary composers György Kurtág and Kaija Saariaho.
In addition to his Onyx releases, Mr. Wosner's discography includes a duo recording with Ms. Koh, titled Signs, Games + Messages, on the Cedille label. Weaving traditional Central European folk music with 20th-century modernism, the recording features works by Bartók, Janácek, and Kurtág, including the latter's duet piece for which the album was named.
Mr. Wosner is a recipient of Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award-a prize he used to commission Michael Hersch's concerto Along the Ravines, which he performed with the Seattle Symphony and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie in its world and European premieres. He was in residence with the BBC as a New Generation Artist, during which he appeared frequently with the BBC orchestras, including conducting Mozart concertos from the keyboard with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He returned to the BBC Scottish Symphony in both subscription concerts and Proms performances with Donald Runnicles and appeared with the BBC Philharmonic in a live broadcast from Manchester's Bridgewater Hall.
Widely sought after by colleagues for his versatility and spirit of partnership, Mr. Wosner has collaborated as a chamber musician with numerous artists, including Martin Fröst, Lynn Harrell, Dietrich Henschel, Cho-Liang Lin, Christian Tetzlaff, and Pinchas Zukerman. He has also collaborated with leading chamber ensembles, including the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet in The Schubert Effect recital series.
Born in Israel, Mr. Wosner enjoyed a broad musical education from a very early age, studying piano with Emanuel Krasovsky as well as composition, theory, and improvisation with André Hajdu. He later studied at The Juilliard School with Emanuel Ax. Mr. Wosner is on the faculty at the Longy School of Music in Boston.