Classical, Main Stage, Pianist, Piano

Pianist Inon Barnatan Makes His Much Anticipated Return to Celebrity Series

Photo: Marco Borggreve

New York Times praises pianist Inon Barnatan as “one of the most admired pianists of his generation,” while BBC Music is enthralled over this “superior playing, in which penetrating musicianship, compelling interpretive insight and elegant pianism achieve near-perfect equilibrium.” The recipient of both a prestigious 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center’s 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, which recognizes “young artists of exceptional accomplishment,” Barnatan was recently named the new Music Director of the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, beginning in 2019.

In his fifth Celebrity Series performance, on November 18 at NEC’s Jordan Hall, Barnatan brings a fascinating program inspired by the Baroque suite, which he calls “one of the earliest forms of instrumental music.”

Embarking on a musical journey to “explore how deeply connected music can be over a span of more than 300 years, and how each of these composers were able to simultaneously be inspired by the past and break free from it,” Barnatan will explore works ranging from Bach to Brahms as he mixes together time periods spanning centuries.

The first half of his program, which he calls a “Variation on a Suite,” assembles different movements of various works to piece together movements in the form of a Baroque suite. Bach is followed by Handel; Rameau and Couperin coexist with Ravel and Adès; Ligeti and Barber share the same space on stage.

“Each of the movements is by a different composer, each following the other without break,” he says.

The program then shifts to Brahms’s set of variations exploring a theme from a Handel keyboard suite in the second half.

“As a performer and listener I’ve always been fascinated by the conversations that music has across different eras,” he says. “I’m excited to be back to Boston this solo journey. I hope you enjoy this time-traveling adventure!”

Expect to be dazzled by Barnatan’s thought-provoking and inventive take!


Bach Toccata in E minor, BWV914
Handel Allemande from Suite in E Major, HWV430
Rameau Courante from Suite in A minor
Couperin L’Atalante
Ravel ‘Rigaudon’ from Le tombeau de Couperin
Adès Blanca Variations
Ligeti Musica Ricercata Nos. 10 and 11
Barber Fugue from Sonata in E-flat minor
Brahms Variations & Fugue on a Theme by Handel

Buy tickets for the performance.

Watch acclaimed pianist Inon Barnatan play Mendelssohn’s Rondo capriccioso in the historic Steinway & Sons Factory.

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