Jeremy Denk

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Jeremy Denk
Jeremy Denk au salle Bourgie.png
in Montréal, Québec, Canada at the MBAM Bourgie Hall.
Born (1970-05-16) May 16, 1970 (age 50)
OccupationClassical pianist

Jeremy Denk (born May 16, 1970 in Durham, North Carolina) is an American classical pianist.


Jeremy Denk is an acclaimed pianist. Winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship,[1] the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America's Instrumentalist of the Year award,[2] Denk has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[3] Denk returns frequently to Carnegie Hall and has performed with the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra, as well as on tour with Academy of St Martin in the Fields.[4]

Denk has toured extensively throughout the US, including returning to the National Symphony Orchestra led by Sir Mark Elder, and performing with the St. Louis, Vancouver, and Milwaukee Symphonies. He has also toured the UK, including appearances in Perth, Southampton, the Bath Festival, and a return to Wigmore Hall. He has also appeared with the Britten Sinfonia, and made his debut at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Philharmonie in Cologne, and Klavier-Festival Ruhr, and continues to appear extensively on tour in recital throughout the US, including Chicago, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Miami, Philadelphia, and at New York's Lincoln Center's White Light Festival in a special program that included a journey through seven centuries of Western music.[5]

Denk's releases from Nonesuch Records include the opera The Classical Style with music by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. He joined his long-time musical partners, Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis, in a recording of Brahms' Trio in B-major.[6] His previous disc of the Goldberg Variations reached number one on Billboard's Classical Chart.[7]

In 2014 Denk served as music director of the Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he wrote the libretto for a comic opera.[8] The opera was later presented by Carnegie Hall and the Aspen Festival. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its "arresting sensitivity and wit."[This quote needs a citation] His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Guardian, and on the front page of The New York Times Book Review.[9][10] One of his New Yorker contributions, "Every Good Boy Does Fine" (cf. EGBDF), forms the basis of a book for future publication by Random House in the US, and Macmillan in the UK.[11] Recounting his experiences of touring, performing, and practicing, his blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress web archives.[12][13]

In 2012, Denk made his Nonesuch debut with a pairing of masterpieces old and new: Beethoven's final Piano Sonata No. 32, Op. 111, and Ligeti's Études.[14] The album was named one of the best of 2012 by The New Yorker, NPR, and The Washington Post, and Denk's account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3's Building a Library as the best available version recorded on modern piano. Denk has a long-standing attachment to the music of American visionary Charles Ives, and his recording of Ives's two piano sonatas featured in many "best of the year" lists.

Denk graduated from Oberlin College, Indiana University, and the Juilliard School. He lives in New York City.[15]

In 2019, Denk released an album entitled c.1300–c.2000, of piano versions of pieces by composers from circa the years 1300 to 2000. The album was released on Nonesuch Records.[16] He discussed the work on BBC Radio 4's Front Row in March 2019.[17]

Denk made his Edinburgh International Festival debut in August 2019 with a programme of piano works by Bach, Ligeti, Liszt, Berg and Schumann.[18]


  • September 2013: J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, Nonesuch Records
  • November 2012: American Mavericks, including Henry Cowell's Synchrony and Piano Concerto with Michael Tilson Thomas, SFS Media
  • May 2012: Ligeti/Beethoven, including Books I and II of György Ligeti's piano études and Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 32, Nonesuch Records
  • January 2012: French Impressions, including sonatas of Franck, Ravel, and Saint-Saëns with violinist Joshua Bell, Sony Classical
  • October 2010: Jeremy Denk Plays Ives, which features Charles Ives' Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, on his Think Denk Media Label
  • Bach Partitas 3, 4, 6. Azica Records
  • Works for Solo Piano by Leon Kirchner. Sonata No. 2 for Piano. Albany Records
  • Tobias Picker's Piano Concerto No. 2 ("Keys to the City"). Russian Philharmonic. Thomas Sanderling, conductor. Chandos Records
  • John Corigliano Violin Sonata. Joshua Bell, violin. Sony Records
  • Gabriel Fauré Violin Sonata. Chausson Concert. Soovin Kim/Jupiter String Quartet. Azica Records
  • Brahms and Dvořák Quintets, with Concertante Chamber Ensemble. Meridian Records
  • February 2019: c. 1300–c. 2000, Nonesuch Records


  • Denk, Jeremy (April 8, 2013). "Every good boy does fine : a life in piano lessons". Personal History. The New Yorker. 89 (8): 40–45. Retrieved December 22, 2015.


  1. ^ "Jeremy Denk – MacArthur Foundation". Retrieved September 30, 2013.
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  8. ^ "2014 Festival". Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  9. ^ Jeremy Denk (February 6, 2012). "Flight of the Concord". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  10. ^ Jeremy Denk (April 15, 2012). "Earth Music: The Great Animal Orchestra by Bernie Krause". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
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  13. ^ Think Denk It's a pun: "denk" is German for "think".
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  16. ^ Tom Huizenga (January 31, 2019). "Jeremy Denk Maps Centuries of Music History on 'c.1300-c.2000'". NPR. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  17. ^ Presenter: Stig Abell; Producer: Hannah Robins (March 26, 2019). "A history of classical music in ten minutes - plus tragedy on today's stage". Front Row. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  18. ^ "Jeremy Denk". Edinburgh International Festival. May 21, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.

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