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Jonathan Bass

Chair, Piano Department | Chamber Music Faculty

Jonathan Bass, piano—appears frequently throughout the U.S. as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Boston Esplanade Pops at Symphony Hall and the North Carolina Symphony at the Appalachian Summer Music Festival. Bass gave his New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall as first-prize winner of the 1993 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition. Recitals in other  major cities include Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Miami, San Jose, Tulsa and Washington, D.C. He has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” the McGraw-Hill Artists Showcase on WQXR in New York and WGBH in Boston. Internationally, he has performed in Canada, Israel, Japan, Poland and Russia. Of his first piano CD, Gramophone Magazine wrote: “Superbly played Bach and Chopin with haunting music by Pinkham.” Of his second CD, Larry Bell’s Reminiscences and Reflections, Music Web wrote, “Jonathan Bass plays superbly throughout and proves an eminent and convincing advocate of Bell’s consistently fine and attractive music.” 

In 2012, he gave recitals in Corpus Christi, TX and in San Jose and Pomona CA.  Locally he performed the Ravel Concerto for the Left Hand with the Cambridge Symphony at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University and gave recitals at the James Library in Norwell and on the Andrew Wolf Memorial Concert Series in Newton. With the Walden Chamber Players he performed in San Antonio, Glens Falls and Beacon, New York, Washington, D.C. and Nantucket, MA. He also performed at the Chichibu International Music Festival in Japan.

Collaborative highlights include guest appearances with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood and at Jordan Hall in Boston and recitals with violinist Joseph Silverstein in Salt Lake City and at Jordan Hall in Boston. He has  appeared at the Kapalua Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii and at the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Festival. As the pianist for the Walden Chamber Players, founded in 1997, he has performed on chamber music series including the Calgary Pro Musica Society in Alberta, Friends of Chamber Music in Troy, the Utica Chamber Music Society in New York, the Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, and the Sedona Chamber Music Festival in Arizona. Other Walden highlights include an all-Penderecki program at the Miller Theatre in New York City, a concert at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City; performances at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA; a residency at the University of Idaho; and a residency at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.  Walden Chamber Players also has ongoing residences at the Concord Academy and the Worcester Academy in Massachusetts. In 2007, the group released a CD of the chamber music of Augusta Read Thomas and recordings are underway for a CD of the chamber music of the Austrian composer, Gerhard Schedl. Bass also performs frequently with many members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, including his wife, violinist Tatiana Dimitriades, and principal cellist, Jules Eskin. Other artists with whom he has collaborated include violinists Sarah Chang, Andres Cardenes, Curtis Macomber, Yuri Mazurkevich, Peter Zazofsky and cellist Leslie Parnas. Bass has also performed as orchestral keyboardist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in works by Bartók, Debussy, Henze, Messiaen, Respighi and Stravinsky at Tanglewood, at Symphony Hall, at Carnegie Hall and on two European tours under conductors Roberto Abbado, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Bernard Haitink and Seiji Ozawa.

Among the awards he has received are First Prize in the 1989 American Pianists Association Beethoven Fellowship Competition, First Prize in the 1984 American National Chopin Competition, First Prize in the 1983 National Arts Club Competition, Second Prize in the 1993 Washington International Competition, Second Prize in the 1983 Young Keyboard Artists Competition and the Bronze Medal and Mozart Prize at the 1987 Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition. At the age of 16, Bass was awarded the Charles Hayden Memorial Scholarship for Piano Achievement at the Juilliard School, where he studied for nine years in the Pre-College program with Richard Fabre. He later received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Juilliard as a student of Adele Marcus and Sascha Gorodnitzki. He also studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and at Oberlin College. He has a Doctor of Music degree from the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with and was teaching assistant to Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio.

Bass is the chair of the Piano Department at The Boston Conservatory, where he has been on the faculty since 1993. From 2006–2008, he was the chair of the Piano Department at the Boston University School of Music and director of the piano program at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Previously, he was an assistant professor at San Jose State University in California. He is also serves on the faculty at the New England Conservatory Division of Preparatory and Continuing Education and at the Walnut Hill School.  

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