A piano prodigy takes the stage

Jonathan Biss knows his way around a piano. Credit: Jillian Edelstein/EMIClassics
Jonathan Biss knows his way around a piano.
Credit: Jillian Edelstein/EMIClassics

Not to throw the phrase “musical genius” around, but pianist Jonathan Biss made his Carnegie Hall debut — to rave reviews — while he was still in his teens. Now 32, Biss is taking a break from teaching music to collaborate with the Philadelphia Orchestra for a series of performances this week.

Biss studied piano at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music under the legendary Leon Fleisher and is now on the faculty of the prestigious school.

“Teaching enriches my music,” he says. “Practicing is often a solo task. Teaching allows me to share my love of music with others.”

Biss is a third-generation musician. Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto, which won the New York Critic’s Circle Award, specifically for Biss’s grandmother, Raya Garbousova. Biss recently performed with his mother, the renowned violinist Miriam Fried, at the Kimmel Center, and his father, Paul Biss, is also a violinist of note.

“My parents just wanted us to play music,” says Biss. “They did not care what instrument it was. My brother chose the piano and I followed his footsteps. I’m glad that I chose a different instrument than them because I am independent and was able to make my own mistakes.”

The multi-talented Biss has the distinction of being the only classical musician Kindle has ever asked to write an e-book. “Beethoven’s Shadow” was ranked the No. 1 music offering on Amazon for several months.

He’s turning to a different musical master for his Philadelphia Orchestra gig, playing Mozart’s rarely heard Concerto No. 13.

“Many people find it comfortable to go to a concert to hear something that they have heard before. I think there is something magical about introducing the audience to something that they have not,” he says.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.