Shai Wosner, piano
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 Mozart to Schoenberg and Ligeti, as well as music by his contemporaries, communicates his imaginative programming and intellectual curiosity. Mr. Wosner’s virtuosity and perceptiveness have made him a favorite among audiences and critics, who have noted his “ keen musical mind and deep musical soul” (NPR’s All Things Considered) and “remarkable blend of the intellectual, physical and even devilish sides of performance” (Chicago Sun-Times).
Mr. Wosner has been widely praised for his interpretations of Franz Schubert's solo works, both in concert and on recording. His most recent album features Schubert's Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780; Missy Mazzoli's 2007 work for piano and electronics, Isabelle Eberhardt Dreams of Pianos (a meditation on Schubert's A-Major sonata), and Schubert's Sonata in A Major, D. 959, released on the Onyx label. The album also includes the world premiere recording of a piece commissioned by Mr. Wosner from Ms. Mazzoli called A Map of Laughter –a work inspired by the fourth movement of Schubert's Moments Musicaux. His second recital album, featuring a selection of piano works by Schubert that incorporate elements of folk music, and his debut solo recording, which juxtaposed works by Brahms and Schoenberg, were also released by Onyx. Mr. Wosner's first joint recording, with violinist Jennifer Koh, titled Signs, Games + Messages was released in October 2013 on the Cedille Records label. Weaving traditional Central European folk music with 20th century modernism, the recording featured works by Bartók, Janáček and Kurtág, including the latter's duet piece for which the album was named.
Mr. Wosner is widely sought after by colleagues for his versatility and spirit of partnership. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with numerous esteemed artists including Martin Fröst, Lynn Harrell, Dietrich Henschel, Cho-Liang Lin, Christian Tetzlaff and Pinchas Zukerman. He is a former member of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society Two and performs regularly at various chamber music festivals, including Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Piano Aux Jacobins festival in France and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Mr. Wosner made his highly acclaimed subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and was invited to return later that year to perform with the orchestra at the Ravinia Festival, to which he has returned many times since. He has appeared with numerous major orchestras in North America including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. He performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in a concert that was broadcast on American Public Radio. In Europe, he has appeared with the Barcelona Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, LSO St. Luke's, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Orchestre National de Belgique and Staatskapelle Berlin, and at Cardiff's Hoddinott Hall, among others. In 2006, he debuted with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Salzburg, during the 250th anniversary celebrations of Mozart's birth.
He has worked with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Jiří Bělohlávek, James Conlon, Alan Gilbert, Gunther Herbig, James Judd, Zubin Mehta, Peter Oundjian, Donald Runnicles, Leonard Slatkin, Jeffrey Tate and Yan Pascal Tortelier, and has performed at summer festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. For several consecutive summers, Mr. Wosner was involved in the West-Eastern Divan Workshop led by Daniel Barenboim and toured as soloist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Mr. Wosner is a recipient of 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 then performed with the Seattle Symphony and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie-Saarbrücken in its world and European premieres. He was in residence with the BBC as a New Generation Artist, during which he played frequently with the BBC orchestras, including appearances conducting Mozart concertos from the keyboard with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He returned to the BBC Scottish Symphony in both subscription concerts and performances at the Proms with Donald Runnicles, and appeared with the BBC Philharmonic in a live broadcast from Manchester's Bridgewater Hall. His performances in recital, in chamber music, and with orchestra continue to be broadcast on Radio 3.
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 now resides in New York City with his wife and two children.