"Where the beauty of a work of art begins"
Mark Ludwig, director and producer
Jonathan Biss has selected a concert program centered around three ideas.
The first is a quote from Arnold Schönberg attesting that "the beauty of a work of art begins" when it makes us miss what we usually conceive of as beauty. Schönberg protégé Viktor Ullmann explored this potent idea in the concert critiques he wrote while imprisoned in Terezín. These critiques are newly translated in Mark Ludwig's book Our Will to Live: The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann.
The program also focuses on music that infused Ullmann's life and sensibility — music that also helped comfort and sustain the prisoners of Terezín. We offer tribute to Ullmann and all artists silenced by oppression, war, or genocide.
Finally, these are works that resonate deeply with Jonathan Biss and to which he has a special artistic affinity. The intellect, talent, and sensibility he brings promise a truly stellar concert.
JONATHAN BISS, piano
“Alban Berg means the highest degree of responsibility toward the values of older music and the achievements of newer music, means strict self-discipline, the preservation for the soulful warmth and passion that has flowed into music since — and because of — the Romantic era, but it also means balancing that out with polyphonic-constructive work, a symmetry between musical feeling and thought.”