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Jonathan Bass

Piano Faculty | Chamber Music Faculty

Jonathan Bass appears frequently throughout the United States as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall on four occasions, and the North Carolina Symphony at the Appalachian Summer Music Festival. Bass gave his New York debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall as the first-prize winner of the 1993 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition. His recitals in other major cities have included 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, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series on WFMT in Chicago and WGBH in Boston. Internationally, he has performed in China, 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.” 

During the past season, Bass performed Beethoven Concerto No. 5 with the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra under conductor Jin Kim, and the Strauss Burleske and Liszt Totentanz with the Boston Civic Orchestra under conductors Max Hobart and Taichi Fukumura at Jordan Hall. His concerto performances since 2012 included Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Midcoast Orchestra in Maine under conductor Rohan Smith, and with The Boston Conservatory Orchestra underconductor Bruce Hangen at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre; the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Melrose Symphony under conductor Yoichi Ugadawa; Bartok Piano Concerto No. 3 with the New Philharmonia Orchestra under conductor Ronald Knudsen; and Ravel Concerto for Left Hand with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra under conductor Cynthia Woods at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre. Bass’ solo recitals in recent seasons included the Steinway Society series at Le Petit Trianon in San Jose, California; California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California; Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas, The Boston Conservatory’s Piano Masters series in Boston, the Andrew Wolf Concert Series in Newton, Massachusetts; and the James Library Concert Series in Norwell. Massachusetts. In November 2015, he will be performing at Oberlin College.

Collaborative highlights have included 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. Bass has appeared at the Chichibu International Music Festival in Japan, the Maui Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Festival, and the Duxbury Music Festival.  As a founding member of and pianist for the Walden Chamber Players, founded in 1997, he has performed in a variety of chamber music series, such as the Calgary Pro Musica Society in Alberta, Canada; Dumbarton Concerts in Washington, D.C.; Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music in Syracuse, New York; Friends of Chamber Music in Troy, New York; Utica Chamber Music Society in Utica, New York; deBlasiis Chamber Music series in Glens Falls, New York; Howland Chamber Music Circle in Beacon, New York; Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania; Gettysburg Concert Association in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; and 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; a series of performances at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; a residency at the University of Idaho; and multi-year visiting chamber ensemble residencies at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, Concord Academy and Worcester Academy in Massachusetts. The Walden Chamber Players has completed the second year of its ACK residency in the Nantucket public schools. Walden has released two CDs—one in 2013 of the chamber music of Gerhard Schedl entitled “A Voice Gone Silent Too Soon,” which Gramophone Magazine praised for its “superb performances” and one in 2007 of Augusta Read Thomas’ chamber music entitled “SunThreads.” Walden’s new CD, called “The Evolution of the American Sound,” features music by Aaron Copland and Ned Rorem, among others, and is due to be released in 2015.

Bass and his wife, Boston Symphony violinist Tatiana Dimitriades, perform frequently throughout New England as the Boston Duo. Bass has also given numerous performances with many members of the Boston Symphony, including concertmaster Malcolm Lowe and principal cellist Jules Eskin. Other artists with whom he has collaborated include violinists Sarah Chang, Andres Cardenes, Nicolas Datricourt, Yuri Mazurkevich, Peter Zazofsky, and cellist Leslie Parnas.

Bass has also performed as orchestral keyboardist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in works by Bartok, Debussy, Henze, Messiaen, Respighi, and Stravinsky at Tanglewood, Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and on two European tours under conductors Roberto Abbado, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Bernard Haitink, and Seiji Ozawa. Other conductors he has worked with include Charles Dutoit, Louis Lane, Keith Lockhart, Ludovic Morlot, and Marcelo Lehninger.

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 he was awarded the Charles Hayden Memorial Scholarship for Piano Achievement at The Juilliard School, where he studied for nine years in the Pre-College with Richard Fabre.  As a teenager, he spent four summers at Interlochen, as a student of Erno Daniel and Nelita True, and two summers at the Aspen Music Festival, as a student of John Perry.  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. 

Jonathan Bass was the chair of The Boston Conservatory Piano Department from 2008 to 2015, and he has been on the faculty since 1993. He also gives frequent master classes at music schools throughout the country. From 2006 to 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 also serves on the faculty at the New England Conservatory Division of Preparatory and Continuing Education as well as at the Walnut Hill School.  


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