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—reflects 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) and “remarkable blend of the intellectual, physical and even devilish sides of performance” (Chicago Sun-Times). A frequent recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Wosner is known for imaginative programming that links music of the past and present, as in his ongoing Bridge to Beethoven recital series with violinist Jennifer Koh, which pairs the composer’s violin sonatas with new works inspired by them. In the 2016-17 season, Mr. Wosner continues his focus on Beethoven through a variety of collaborations, while also launching a new solo recital series, Schubert: The Great Sonatas, which will continue into the 2017-18 season.
Pianist Shai Wosner explores the inner connections between the musical languages of Brahms and Schoenberg on his first commercial recording released by ONYX. The recital album pairs in alternation Brahms's Fantasies Op. 116 and Schoenberg's Six Little Pieces Op. 19, framed by two homages to tradition: Schoenberg's Suite for piano Op. 25 and Brahms's Handel Variations.
In his liner notes, Mr. Wosner writes that "it is hard to find two composers who at once have so much in common and that have inspired such wildly different reactions as Brahms and Schoenberg". He adds that although both were great innovators, the two composers also shared an acute sense of music history: "Brahms's music is often inspired by the legacies of his predecessors and the tension between them, with Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven on one hand and Chopin and Schumann on the other. Schoenberg, similarly, thought in terms of evolution rather than revolution and both men's works often display a sense of duty to meld various strains of tradition in search of new meaning and with a view to the future."
In a review of Mr. Wosner's performance of Schoenberg's Suite for piano Op. 25, The New York Times wrote that his playing "had an impressive sweep as well as a vivid vocabulary of gestures."
Shai Wosner, piano
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Arnold Schoenberg Seven Fantasies op.116 alternated with Six Little Piano Pieces