Fall 2017
For Immediate Release
Kathryn King
Kathryn King Media
2017-18: Donald Berman Brings Innovative Approaches to Performance and Teaching 

World Premiere of Harbison / Schwartz Songs in Boston 
Recordings of Theofanidis and Perle

Photo by Jill Steinberg

Donald Berman, a pianist whose playing has been characterized as "fearless" 
( New York Times; Classics Today; Boston Musical Intelligencer), "exquisite" ( Boston Globe), "eloquent" ( New York Times) "awe-inspiring" ( Columbus Dispatch) and "deliciously witty" ( New York Times), commences the 2017-2018 season with three concerts in the Boston area. On Saturday, 23 September at 8pm and 10pm, he joins 
soprano Lynn Torgove at Emmanuel Church in the world premiere of three songs by John Harbison, set to verses of poet Lloyd Schwartz. The next day, on 24 September at 3pm, he shares the stage of Distler Hall at Tufts University with soprano Susan Narucki, in repertoire they are soon to record, songs of Schumann, Kurtág, Zemlinsky and Primosch. On 7 October at 8pm, he will play a recital with Lydian Quartet violist Mark Berger at Brandeis University's Slosberg Hall, in music of Prokofiev, Schumann, Aylward and Enescu.

Donald Berman is so well known for his dedication to new music and the sophistication of his ability to weave today's music together with standard repertoire that he is frequently sought after by composers, who either write pieces specifically for him or ask him to play world premieres of their works.  John Harbison  and  John Morrison  are just this year's case in point, last season's being solo works by  Dániel Péter Biró  and  Scott Lindrot h, a piano quintet by  Elena Ruehr , and  Scott Wheeler's Epithalamion , one of the pieces on Mr. Berman's CD  Scott Wheeler: Portraits & Tributes  (BRIDGE 9463). The concert at New York's  National Sawdust  in June 2016 on which Mr. Berman played selections from  Portraits & Tributes  live was recorded for American Public Media, part of it broadcast on  Performance Today  last May. He has a recording, with the  Henschel Quartet , of a new piano quintet by  Christopher Theofanidis  due to come out later this year. Another recent project is a recording of  George Perle's Serenade for Piano & Orchestra  with the  Boston Modern Orchestra Project , for release on BMOP Sound.

Since joining the faculty of  Longy School of Music of Bard College  in 2016, Donald Berman has further built on one increasingly important aspect of his professional life, teaching. Throughout his career as a performer, Mr. Berman has presented lectures and masterclasses in Israel, Italy, and throughout the U.S.; taught  The New Music Ensemble  for 20 years at  Tufts University ; and directed the  New England Conservatory Summer Piano Institute  from 2007-2012. This season however, in addition to his piano studio teaching, and co-teaching a course on contemporary improvisation with pianist Peter Cassino, the path Mr. Berman has chosen for his current appointment at the Longy School of Music of Bard College is  project based learning , an approach he first piloted at Tufts University in such courses as  Moondrunk: Madness, Transgression, and Transcendence in Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire . The areas of inquiry he has devised for the 2017-2018 school year are classes whose mere titles would entice any thinking person:  The Reckoning  - a performance seminar focusing on how the composition the student is playing has been received throughout history (Fall semester);   The Soul Selects Her Own Society: Emily Dickenson, Charles Ives and Free Thinking  - about identity (Spring semester); and, during Longy's Summer Intensive Divergent Studio,   Indeterminancy: fixed concepts / flexible outcomes .  Says Mr. Berman, "Project based learning allows the student the chance to study different scholarly approaches to targeted repertoire - musicological, theoretical, performance practices and innovations - that they will then distill to curate and perform in a concert that is part and parcel of their coursework." 
Donald Berman has been on the frontlines of new music scholarship, performance and recording for over 30 years. A pianist and scholar of exceptional gifts, he has been a  Fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies and is  President of the Charles Ives Society. Performance highlights in recent years have focused primarily on solo and chamber music repertoire, combining familiar works by such composers as Scarlatti, Fauré, Chopin, Copland, Bloch, Schubert, Poulenc, Rieger, Kagel and Schoenberg with premieres and seldom performed works by Stucky, Wyner, Chang, Theofanidis, Saariaho, McDonald, Boulez, Cage, Schoenfield, Harbison, Zare, Lieberson, Lerdahl and many others. As  General Editor of the 3-volume Charles E. Ives: Shorter Works for Piano, Mr. Berman has performed his compositions extensively and collaborated with two different publishers to issue a new edition of these important works. The first volume was issued in 2015. Volume 2 will be published in 2017 by Peermusic. Volume 3 will be published by AMP/Schirmer in 2018. From 1998-2008 Mr. Berman curated an immense project which ultimately resulted in a highly praised series of four concerts of unknown and under-appreciated American music at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and a subsequent 4-CD set, Americ ans in Rome (BRIDGE 9271). In addition to the acclaim for Scott Wheeler: Portraits & Tributes, Mr. Berman's CD of piano works by Martin Boykan (BRIDGE 9434) was called a "wonderful recording" by the New York Times, and was included on the Boston Globe's "Best of Boston" list. His other recordings can be found on Naxos, ARSIS Audio, Bridge, New World, CRI, Koch, Centaur, Newport Classics, Accurate and Capstone Records.

Mr. Berman lives in Cambridge MA with his wife and two children.

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For more information about Donald Berman call 917-751-8228 and visit kathrynkingmedia.com and donaldbermanpiano.com
Kathryn King Media
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