Inon Barnatan

“One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (The New York Times)
Music Director of California’s La Jolla Music Society Summerfest


© Marco Borggreve


“One of the most admired pianists of his generation” (New York Times), Inon Barnatan is celebrated for his poetic sensibility, musical intelligence, and consummate artistry. He inaugurates his tenure as Music Director of California’s La Jolla Music Society Summerfest in July 2019. The coming season brings the release of a two-volume set of Beethoven’s complete piano concertos, which he recorded for Pentatone with Alan Gilbert and London’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

Highlights of the 2019/20 season include debuts with Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, Tiroler Landestheater und Orchester, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Dresdner Philharmonie and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. He will also be performing extensively throughout the United States, with orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and San Diego Symphony. Inon also makes his solo recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, returns to Alice Tully Hall with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and reunites with his frequent recital partner, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, for tours on both sides of the Atlantic. The first takes them to Wigmore Hall (London), Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and La Verdi Auditorium (Milan), while the second sees them celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with performances of his complete cello sonatas in San Francisco and other U.S. cities.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Inon went on to study at London’s Royal Academy of Music. He is a recipient of both the Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, and currently resides in New York.

For Inon’s full biography, please download the Publicity Pack.


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    01 May 20 Beethoven Piano Concertos: Part 2 Alan Gilbert & Academy of St Martin in the Fields

    “In the second concerto, the soloist Barnatan delights us with his celestial playing, bringing lightness and well-being. The piano concerto No. 5 is the apotheosis, Inon offers us all the splendour of his talent and his great sensitivity. Supported by the splendid Academy of St Martin in the Fields, this Part 2 album is of pure beauty. It is a triumph.”

    Choix Classique HD


    “All-embracing musicianship: Inon Barnatan brings exhilarating pianism to his Beethoven concerto cycle.”

    Christian Hoskins, Gramophone Collector, Dec 2020

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    29 Feb 20 Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 'Beethoven Akademie 1808'
    Cincinnati Music Hall

    “Barnatan’s playing sparkled in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, which concluded the program’s first half. His thoughtful way with phrasing consistently engaged the ear, yet he also soared through brilliant flights of virtuosity. The first-movement cadenza was a feat of imaginative phrasing as well as technical power. His personality shone through in the witty, lighthearted finale, and he often turned to communicate with the orchestra in this winning collaboration.”

    Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Business Courier, 01 Mar 20


    “Mr. Barnatan’s pianism was playfully agile in the concerto, yet delicate, defiantly so, against the menacingly united front of the orchestra in the second movement. When he returned later for an improvisation — the portion of the Akademie that you truly would need a time machine to know in its original form — he happily embodied Beethoven the entertainer, who was known to spin variations on a theme for hours. In this case, Mr. Barnatan chose the Shepherd’s Hymn from the “Pastoral,” dressing it up with an encore’s showiness and toying with shifts between major and minor keys.”

    Joshua Barone, New York Times, 02 Mar 20

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    30 Jan 20 Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 Royal Stockholm Philharmonic
    Stockholms Konserthus

    “Barnatan körde således sitt eget race vid tangenterna när partituret påbjöd […] Men han öppnade också upp fint för dialog när Gilbert och orkestern mötte upp för samtal. […] Att ta sig an “Rach 3″ har liknats vid att bestiga Mount Everest. Men Barnatan fick bedriften att framså som enkel[…].”

    Barnatan drove into the keys when it was demanded by the score […] but he also opened up nicely for the dialogue between Gilbert and the orchestra. […] Getting to grips with “Rach 3” has been similar to climbing Mount Everest. But Barnatan made it look simple.

    Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter, 31 Jan 2020

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    18 Oct 19 Beethoven Piano Concertos: Part 1 Alan Gilbert & Academy of St Martin in the Fields

    “Barnatan’s no-nonsense approach, at once classy and unaffected, has a way of directing the ear straight to the music’s heart, while the orchestra’s response to Alan Gilbert’s incisive conducting is a major asset in itself. Barnatan has the top-flight musician’s gift of making things happen without getting in the way. Countless special moments include the mesmerising, time-standing-still sequence of trills leading out of the Third Concerto’s first-movement cadenza, or the Fourth Concerto’s quiet opening solo chord – played quite simply, yet somehow seeming to contain and present a complete musical world.”

    Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine, Feb 2020


    “In this recital of the four piano concertos and the concerto for violin, cello and piano, Inon Barnatan shows his ability to detach himself emotionally from any external intrusion and delve into the music. His playing is therefore unadorned and confines itself, very well, to the score. Nevertheless, some emotions emerged; the album is not without soul. Sometimes he becomes master of the orchestra and sometimes he becomes a simple accompanist. He excels in this field, and it is with conductor Alan Gilbert and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields that all this is possible.”

    Interpretation: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    Sound Quality: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Ease: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
    Reward: Choix Classique HD

    Dans ce récital des quatre concertos pour piano et du concerto pour violon, violoncelle et piano, Inon Barnatan montre sa capacité à se détacher émotionnellement de toute intrusion externe à la partition. Son jeu est donc sans fioritures et s’en tient , très bien d’ailleurs, à la partition. Il n’en ressort pas moins certaines émotions, n’allaient pas croire que l’album est sans âme. Tantôt il se fait maître de l’orchestre et tantôt il se fait simple accompagnateur. Il excelle dans ce domaine et c’est sans compter avec la complicité du chef ‘Alan Gilbert‘ et de ‘Academy of St Martin in the Fields‘ que tout cela est possible.

    Interprétation: 4.7 out of 5 stars 
    Qualité sonore: 4.5 out of 5 stars 
    Bien-être: 4.6 out of 5 stars 
    Récompense(s): Choix Classique HD

    Classique HD


    “[…] maar door Barnatans diepe inzicht, poetische aanpak en geconcentreerde balans luister je op het puntje van je stoel. Hoogtepunt in dit opzicht vind ik het Vierde pianoconcert, waar energie en poezie naadloos samengaan […]”

    […] thanks to Barnatan’s deep insight, poetic approach and concentrated balance, you listen on the edge of your seat. The highlight in this respect is the Piano Concerto No. 4, where energy and poetry merge seamlessly […]

    Gerard Scheltens, Pianist


    “Af de tre indspilninger af alle eller nogle af Beethovens Klaverkoncerter er indspilningen med den amerikansk-israelske pianist Inon Barnatan og dirigenten Alan Gilbert, den man vil vælge til daglig. Den er tålmodig uden at være slæbende, fremadskridende uden at være jappet, grundig uden at være nørdet, følsom uden at være følende.”

    Of the three recordings of all or some of Beethoven’s Piano Concerts, the recording with American-Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan and conductor Alan Gilbert is the one to choose on a daily basis. It is patient without being dragging, progressing without being jabbed, thorough without being nerdy, sensitive without being emotional.

    Jakob Bronnum, Point of View, 7 Dec 19


    “What impresses the most about Barnatan’s performances is not their strength, although they certainly have that when needed, but their delicacy: Piano Concerto No. 1 sounds positively Mozartian in its pose and balance, and even in the cadenzas, which Barnatan plays with considerable flair, there is nothing the slightest bit proto-Romantic. The comparative lightness of Piano Concerto No. 3 is even more of a surprise, since this minorkey concerto is often presented with a certain portentousness that the music can certainly handle but that is not quite in keeping with a sensibility that remains closer to Mozart’s than to that of the Romantics or of Beethoven’s own later works. It is only in Piano Concerto No. 4 that Barnatan and Gilbert let a degree of emotional expansiveness begin to emerge clearly. That is entirely appropriate, and this still-underrated concerto, with its exceptional slow movement, here sounds like a piece in which Beethoven definitely began stretching the piano-concerto form even while maintaining elements from the Classical era.”

    Infodad, 5 Dec 19

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    10 Oct 19 Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 Minnesota Orchestra
    Orchestra Hall, Minnesota

    “But the individual who shone most brightly was Barnatan. It was clear why this pianist’s career has really taken flight over the past few years. His was a subtle, transfixing take on the Brahms concerto, a work full of incredulous sorrow at learning of the attempted suicide of the composer’s mentor, Robert Schumann, and commiserating comfort for his wife, the piano virtuoso Clara Schumann.

    Bignamini and the orchestra gave the gale-force grief of the concerto’s opening full voice before Barnatan responded with gentle melancholy, his solos bearing an air of asserting dignity amid distress. Most admirable was the pianist’s skilled way of subtly shepherding listeners from one mood to another over the course of an interlude. Everything flowed splendidly, each shift nuanced.

    This impression was strongest in the earnest Adagio movement, full of the warm affection and heartfelt reassurance that Brahms made clear was directed at Clara Schumann. Each of Barnatan’s soliloquies was a melancholy meditation, sweet, sad and ultimately soothing. And his gift for executing smooth transitions was never more evident than on the many moods of the finale, climaxing in a flurry of fast phrases exchanged with the orchestra. A well-deserved standing ovation inspired an encore, a Brahms Intermezzo with echoes of the Adagio, both emotionally and in Barnatan’s delicate touch.”

    Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, 10 Oct 19

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    04 Oct 19 Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife
    Auditorio de Tenerife

    “Inon Barnatan is a very interesting pianist, he has great sensitivity and a very solid technique that allows him to face all kinds of works. In addition, he is a renowned chamber music performer, especially highlighting his work alongside the magnificent cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Therefore, we expected a version of the Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 where all these virtues would shine. Barnatan did not disappoint, offering an expressive and heartfelt reading, especially in the most lyrical moments of the three movements. The duo with the clarinet in the first half showed his chamber music expertise, while he tackled with ease the concerto’s technical challenges.”

    Francisco Martinez Ramos, Bach Track, 6 Oct 19

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    12 Aug 19 Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 Thomas Adès & Boston Symphony Orchestra

    “The rest of the program was Beethoven at his sunniest. Taking center stage for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, soloist Inon Barnatan was an absolute delight. His intonation and phrasing were crystalline, and a sense of grounded serenity prevailed no matter how quickly his fingers flew. In the second movement, Adès led an imposing battalion of strings, facing off with Barnatan’s graceful passages. The third movement lit a fire under the pianist, and his playing took on new urgency but remained centered.”

    Zoë Madonna, The Boston Globe, 12 Aug 19

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    19 Jun 19 Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 Carlos Kalmar & Grant Park Orchestra
    Grant Park Music Festival

    “From Barnatan’s first phrases in the opening movement, there was no mistaking the warmth of his tone, the sparkling quality of his scalar passages, nor the hushed intimacies of his pianissimo playing. Every note mattered, nothing was tossed off, each phrase was sculpted for maximum expressive impact.”

    Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, 20 June 19


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    06 May 19 Transfigured Nights Harris Theater, Chicago

    “One was grateful to encounter [Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15, arranged by Viktor Derevianko] in a performance of such highly charged intensity as the one these six superb players delivered Monday night. The Adagio section came off particularly well, its keening string lines resting on somber piano chords punctuated by pungent strokes of xylophone and timpani. The finale, with its fidgety death-rattle of multiple percussion, registered with a clarity you seldom hear in any performance of the original version. The six artists interacted with an electricity that leapt off the stage.”

    John von Rhein, Chicago Classical Review, 7 May 19

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    01 Apr 19 Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 Tonhalle Orchester Zürich
    Tonhalle Maag

    “Barnatan has a lovely touch on the keyboard, light as a feather or weighty, exactly as required. He was thoroughly engaged with the music, at one with the orchestra, clearly enjoying himself. The performance was technically without fault; it flew by, aided by Gilbert’s expert accompaniment.”

    John Rhodes, Seen and Heard International, 01 Apr 19

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    09 Mar 19 Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 New World Symphony
    New World Center, Miami Beach

    “He brought a range of colors to the performance—playing with playful delicacy in the Intermezzo, stern force in the cadenza and a rumbling energy in the heroic passages of the concluding Allegro vivace. The final movement came off as just the joyful, affirmative statement it should be, with Barnatan bringing particularly exuberant playing to the fast passages in the middle of the keyboard with which the movement climaxes.”

    David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review, 9 Mar 19

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    23 Nov 18 Mozart Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major Houston Symphony
    Jones Hall

    “Barnatan added his own dash, sparkle and delicacy. Once in a while, he dug into the keys enough to ring out alongside the orchestra. More often, though, Barnatan emphasized the lighter parts of the spectrum. He drew in the slow movement’s lyricism to an even more intimate, personal level than the strings.

    He also brought a freewheeling spontaneity to the candenzas: Alfred Brendel’s in the first movement, Barnatan’s own in the finale. As an encore, the pianist offered Egon Petri’s arrangement of J.S. Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze. From the purity Barnatan gave the melody to the quiet shadings he conjured up in the accompaniment, every phrase was exquisitely wrought.”

    Steven Brown, Texas Classical Review, 24 Nov 18

    “The Israeli-born Barnatan eased his way into the piece, his part beginning as a sort of extension of the orchestra before blossoming into a showcase of his remarkable dexterity and wrist control. Alternating between Mozart’s clearly articulated melodies and ornamental showers of notes that quickly resolved back into the main theme, he was so in sync with the orchestra that their responses practically functioned as a third hand.”

    Chris Gray, Houston Chronicle, 26 Nov 18

    Featured in “Houston’s Best Classical Music Performances in 2018”

    “…the 39-year-old pianist tackled the concerto’s first movement with such friskiness his interplay with the orchestra verged on telepathic. In the second, he unfolded one of Mozart’s most exquisite melodies into a series of equally delectable variations before it was time to cut loose [in] the galloping third movement”.

    Chris Gray, Houston Chronicle, 27 Dec 18

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    18 Nov 18 Solo Recital: 18 March 2018
    Jordan Hall, Boston

    “[The concert] was near perfect, not in a clinical sense, but in how the works stood apart yet came together, and in how he generated so much warmth of spirit and musical camaraderie with the audience.”

    “In the first half we were treated to Barnatan’s “Time Travel Suite,” as he likes to call it, wherein the pianist curated a collection of short pieces and movements from existing suites—dance movements, variations, and fugues—from Rameau to Barber, assembling them into something greater than the parts.”

    “The Bach [Toccata in E minor, BWV914] was rich, not brittle, and surprisingly so with almost no pedaling. Barnatan exploited the modern piano, while paying homage to its predecessors. He produced sudden volume changes, and light ornamental flourishes. At times the bass line came forward as no harpsichord could allow, showing Barnatan’s ability to voice a melodic line from any range amidst textured polyphony. It became evident early on that he was in his comfort zone; we were as quickly transported to ours.”

    Jim McDonald, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 20 Nov 18 

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    31 Oct 18 Ravel & Mussorgsky International Piano Series
    Queen Elizabeth Hall

    “Each note of [Ravel’s] Jeux d’eau was perfectly placed, fingers rippling with great fluidity. Hunched low, occasionally raising his left leg for balance as crossed hands took him into the Steinway’s upper extremities, his playing was as neat as a pin.”

    “Barnatan captured the air of disquiet right from the grumbling bass stutters [of La Valse], wisps of a waltz emerging as if remembrances through thick mists. A few stomps from his left foot signalled the pianist getting caught up in the giddy, perfumed ballroom as a maelstrom of notes nearly burst the keyboard’s banks. Ravel’s transcription for two pianos is terrifying enough, but Barnatan stormed through this solo version with a sense of bravura.”

    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 1 Nov 18


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    06 Aug 18 Gershwin Piano Concerto in F major Minnesota Orchestra
    BBC Proms

    “Among the works Bernstein championed as a pianist was Gershwin’s snazzy Piano Concerto, here tackled with delicacy and flawless control by soloist Inon Barnatan. Both he and Vänskä emphasised the score’s sophistication as well as its flirtations with modernism, helping to underline its genuine stature as well as its showbiz appeal. Barnatan’s encore — Earl Wild’s arrangement of Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” — confirmed the pianist’s light-fingered virtuosity.”

    George Hall, Financial Times, 7 Aug 18

    “The hushed entry of the solo pianist Inon Barnatan was one of the evening’s highlights”

    “He was equally adept at projecting the music’s moments of grand rhetorical grandeur, and the cheeky, ragtime-ish melodies that pop up unexpectedly.”

    Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 7 Aug 18

    “Barnatan’s Gershwin Piano Concerto mixed all worlds, from the seriously portentous to smoky jazz, ruminative yearning to an electrifying fusion of connoisseur pianism, grand bravura and the teasingly non-European.”

    “Barnatan’s encore, Earl Wild’s Virtuoso Étude on ‘I got Rhythm’, was swish and light-fingered, classically cool with a dizzy suggestion of Domenico Scarlatti two-hundred years on, cigars and a bourbon for backcloth: superb.”

    Ateş Orga, Classical Source, 7 Aug 18

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    31 Dec 17 Tchaikovsky Piano Concert No. 1 Minnesota Orchestra
    Orchestra Hall

    “While past local visits have shown that Barnatan can play with exceptional gentleness and nuance, he clearly knows that Tchaikovsky’s First is all about pushing the romanticism needle into the red zone. And he wisely chose to give it all the schmaltz it deserves, yet did so with crispness, precision and urgency that felt honest not exploitative, most notably during his captivating cadenzas.”

    Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press, 1 Jan 18

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    27 Oct 17 Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Royal Festival Hall

    “The exceptional willingness of [Barnatan] to play as a member of the orchestra almost as much as a virtuosic soloist gave the performance a pleasing sense of intimacy.”

    “[…] His cadenzas and showier solo passages displayed all the bravura one could hope for, [while] his best moments came in the softer ebb and flow of the slow movement, where he projected a softly singing top line while weaving in and out of the woodwind principals’ texture with complete ease”

    ★★★★ Rohan Shotten, Backtrack, 30 Oct 17

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    14 Aug 17 Ravel Piano Concerto in G major BBC Symphony Orchestra
    BBC Proms

    “The superlative soloist […] Barnatan eased into the second subject with a perfect mixture of tender phrasing and precise detail.”

    “The Finale was a thrilling meeting of pianistic and orchestral virtuosity.”

    Steve Lomas, Classical Source, 15 Aug 17

    “Before the Turnage, the Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan glittered in Ravel’s G major Piano Concerto, hand in glove with Ono’s beat and a very alert BBCSO”

    Geoff Brown, The Times, 16 Aug 17

    “Inon Barnatan gave a refined performance of effortless virtuosity, skipping lightly through the fancy passagework.”

    “[Inon’s] encore – Mendelssohn’s Rondo capriccioso in E major Op.14 – [provides an] opportunity to enjoy Barnatan’s full expressive range and depth, from elegance to bombast, from majesty to impishness.”

    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 15 Aug 17


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    26 May 17 Gershwin Chicago Symphony Orchestra, May 17

    “What sparks there were flew in the middle portion of the program, which held a performance by pianist Inon Barnatan of the Gershwin Piano Concerto in F so hot that it would have burned your fingers, if in a singularly pleasurable way.”

    “His fingers were like perfectly timed pistons as he attacked coiled-spring rhythms, two-fisted chords and insidiously hummable tunes straight out of a smoke-filled Jazz Age night club. Brilliant pianistic technique served an utterly natural command of the Gershwin style: The honky-tonk piano episode of the opening movement and the whole of the driving finale were pure delight.

    Where Barnatan really came into his own was the slow movement, which he properly treated like a dreamy jazz improvisation, teasing the curling melodies as if channeling the great Gershwin’s own piano playing.”

    John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, 26 May 17

    “Inon Barnatan gave Gershwin’s neglected concerto the kind of committed, flamboyant and wholly idiomatic performance of which one can believe the composer himself would have whole-heartedly approved.”

    “…the Israeli pianist didn’t put a finger wrong. He showed himself fully in synch with Gershwin’s deceptively tricky style, bringing the rhythmic snap and sassy exuberance to the insistent, jazz-inflected syncopations of the first movement’s urban bustle. In the Adagio Barnatan brought the right nocturnal musing, with a magical, nuanced touch in the cadenza. The brief finale begins full tilt and never lets up. Barnatan fairly attacked the repeated-note theme with nimble athleticism and bracing bravura, culminating in an aptly rousing coda.”

    Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, 26 May 17

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    19 Mar 17 Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9
    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Arsht Center, Miami

    “Yet the big news at this final season concert of the Arsht Center’s classical series was the performance of the superbly gifted Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan.

    “Barnatan’s technique is impeccable and it is wedded to probing musicianship. He consistently brings out the inner depth and emotion beneath a score’s surface brilliance.

    … Barnatan’s reading of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major (‘Jeunehomme’) was both nimble and patrician. He breezed through the first movement with dexterity. Trills and ornaments were assayed with spot-on accuracy. The exchanges between piano and winds came across with the subtle teamwork of chamber music players.

    In the weightier Andantino, he conveyed the music’s darker undertones while maintaining a light and elegant touch. The finale is one of Mozart’s most clever and inventive rondos and Barnatan turned it into a fine display of virtuosity while the minuet-like interlude was given stylish classical grace. By any standard, Barnatan displayed exceptional Mozart playing.”

    Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review, 19 March 2017

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    07 Mar 17 Duo Recital with ALISA WEILERSTEIN: 7 March 2017
    Wigmore Hall, London

    “Upon Weilerstein’s embarkation on Beethoven’s D major Sonata, her accompanist Inon Barnatan flowed in and out of drastic changes with ease: sumptuously alternating between savagery and smooth idylls… Yet the vast body of the evening’s artistry was the mastery applied by both soloist and accompanist to more modern works. As soon as Weilerstein stepped into the characterisation of Samuel Barber’s Op.6 Sonata, her execution assumed a different mask altogether. Sporadic leaps across the stave were manic, dusty and choleric and Barnatan mirrored this eeriness in his spooked playing… However, even this performance was inferior compared to the enlightenment that crowned the evening. In Britten’s Cello Sonata in C major, the very skeletal component of the cello was unveiled. During this time Barnatan created transfixing and obsessive ruminations from arrays of trills, exploiting the pedals to induce a plethora of sounds from the piano’s own entrails. Altogether this for the most part was no concert, but rather an evening of unearthing discoveries.”

    ★★★★ Sophia Lambton, Bachtrack, 9 March 2017

    “On one hand the spruce Inon Barnatan is the most attentive of pianists. To ensure togetherness he’s constantly checking Weilerstein’s tempo and temperature. He delights in playing cat and mouse — such as the way he chased her tail in the wicked fugal finale to Beethoven’s Op 102 No 2. He can also, in his enthusiasm, turn his fingers into hammering steel rods, definitely tipping the volatile sound balance his way. Nothing, however, permanently eats into the joys of hearing and watching two strong personalities criss-crossing, intermingling.”

    ★★★★★ Geoff Brown, The Times, 9 March 2016

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    16 Feb 17 Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1: 15 February 2017
    NY Philharmonic/Manfred Honeck, David Geffen Hall

    “Barnatan is in his third and final season as the Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Association, a position designed to develop and boost the careers of talented young artists. Here’s hoping it pays off, because for the past three seasons the pianist has done nothing but impress.

    … Barnatan delivered a vibrant performance, beautiful and
    thrilling. His technique is supreme, and he displayed it via an ultra-smooth legato that still allowed for clear articulation of each note in a phrase—and in this concerto, there are multiple ascending and descending sixteenth note phrases that extend across multiple measures. With playing like this, the music
    flowed like a river.

    Barnatan maintained absolutely steady tempos, which as Artur
    Rubinstein demonstrated, is a fruitful interpretative path with Beethoven, whose music is built on syncopation and rhythmic tension. This was an ideal tack for the concerto, as it made for complete coordination between soloist and orchestra—integrated attacks and cadences had a satisfying weight.

    The steady tempos also paid off in the contrast with the
    cadenza in the first movement. The pianists played Beethoven’s original cadenzas, and the first one is enormous. Barnatan played with a sense of velocity that was all the more exciting for his ease of control, and his steadiness brought out the structural invention in the music. Then his judicious modulations of tempo brought out the improvisational flair and depths that sounded as if they were coming straight out of Beethoven’s own hands.

    That feeling was consistent with Barnatan’s pianism
    non-showy and dedicated to the music. The Largo was lovely and understated, and the Rondo finale (like the cheeky grace notes in the opening movement) full of vivacious humor.”

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    20 Oct 16 Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2: 20 October 2016
    Gewandhausorchester/Alan Gilbert, Gewandhaus Leipzig

    “Barnatan doesn’t place his bet on the heavy paw of the later Titan in Vienna but, instead, on the spark which extends even more to Mozart’s than it does to Haydn and short-circuits Beethoven’s future with his ancestors. Barnatan is the perfect pianist for this attitude which is as witty as it is relaxed: the delicacy of his keystroke, the richness of the watercolours, which he applies onto the canvas of orchestral multitude without ever allowing them to ever dissolve into each other, his elegant art of phrasing, which allows him to subtly sing even the most exuberant passages and cascades to their natural end, the ingenious refinement he applies to continuously bring alluring details to light without ever stalling the flow – these are the tools with which he chisels the sublime masterpiece of the classical artist from this early Beethoven.”

    “Barnatan setzt nicht auf die Pranke des späteren Titanen in Wien,sondern auf den Funken, der mehr noch als zu Mozart auf Haydn weist, Beethovens Zukunft mit den Ahnen kurzschließt. Für diese so gewitzte wie gelöste Musizierhaltung ist Barnatan der perfekte Pianist: Die Delikatesse seines Anschlags, der Reichtum der Aquarell-Farben, die er in orchestraler Vielfalt aufträgt, ohne dass sie je ineinanderflössen, seine elegante Phrasierungskunst, die ihn selbst die quirligsten Passagen und Kaskaden noch subtil aussingen lässt, die findige Raffinesse, mit der er fortwährend betörende Details ans Licht bringt, ohne dass dies den Fluss hemmte – das sind die Werkzeuge, mit denen er aus diesem frühen Beethoven das vollkommene Meisterwerk des Klassikers herausarbeitet.”
    Leipziger Volkszeitung

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    15 Aug 16 Solo Recital: 13 August 2016
    Lincoln Center, New York

    “At the penthouse later that night, Mr. Barnatan showed why he is one of the most admired pianists of his generation. He spoke to the audience about the heritage of the Baroque keyboard suite, then played his own reinvented one, which lasted nearly an hour. Beginning with a chaconne by Handel, he segued without break into various movements from suites and shorter pieces by Bach, Rameau and Couperin, followed by Ravel’s “Rigaudon” (from Ravel’s suite in tribute to Couperin). This led effectively to the premiere of a set of variations by Thomas Ades, music drawn from his new opera, “The Exterminating Angel,” which just had its premiere in Salzburg, Austria. Then, after two “Musica ricercata” by Ligeti, Mr. Barnatan ended with the colossal fugue that concludes Barber’s 1949 Piano Sonata.

    He played everything brilliantly. By bringing together composers from Bach to Barber who spanned three centuries, Mr. Barnatan created an historical public domain for his rapt listeners.”
    Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

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    28 May 16 Mozart Piano Concerto No.17: 28 May 2016
    LA Philharmonic/G. Dudamel, Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA

    “Barnatan’s playing was lively and wonderfully expressive.”
    Mark Swed, LA Times

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    02 Apr 16 Copland Piano Concerto: 2 April 2016
    San Francisco Symphony/M. T. Thomas, San Francisco Symphony Hall

    “However, it was in the second movement, the Allegro assai, where Barnatan truly shone; clearly enjoying himself in the ragtime snappy bounciness of the piece.”
    Mayumi Wardrop, Bachtrack

    “The sparkling young pianist Inon Barnatan as soloist…Barnatan played with a bright touch and delicious phrasing, leaving tiny bits of extra space that let the notes ring. His rhythmic sense for the music was excellent. Along with the orchestra, he brought out deep levels of burgeoning feeling and beauty in the first movement, and had the perfect, light touch in the finale.”
    George Grella, New York Classical Review

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    13 Dec 15 Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3: 13 December 2015
    ASMF/Alan Gilbert, Cadogan Hall, London

    “Inon Barnatan – poised, intelligent, crisp, sensitive – was easeful in his delivery…The first-movement cadenza embraced heroism and discretion, then the Largo, profoundly spacious, enjoyed Barnatan’s velvet touch, and the Finale had an impish quality to it, irrepressible and invigorating, the coda witty and merry. To a closely observed accompaniment – ringing with detail – some of Barnatan’s most-delicate rippling seemed better suited to Impressionism, but his artless approach persuaded and made for something continually innate and illuminating.”
    Colin Anderson, Classical Source

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    16 Oct 15 Copland Piano Concerto: 16 October 2015
    St Louis Symphony/Steven Jarvi, Powell Symphony Hall, St Louis

    “Barnatan, reading from a tablet propped against the piano’s music rack, nailed his manifestly challenging part, jazzy and serious (and the occasionally cacophonous) passages alike. (Jazzy won.) Copland wrote it for himself, and in some of it he clearly intended the performer to have fun. The pianist appeared to be having a blast.”
    Sarah Bryan Miller, St Louis Dispatch

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    25 May 15 Solo Recital: 26 May 2015
    Wigmore Hall, London

    “Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan’s star seems to be ascendant… No surprise, really; this is a pianist who combines a passion for contemporary music – the recital featured the world première of Sebastian Currier’s Glow – with simply the most astonishing lyrical gift. Vladimir Horowitz is supposed to have spent hours imitating the bel canto style, making melodies really sing from one note to the next, in defiance of the percussive piano’s natural decay after the start of each note. Barnatan is one of the few pianists I’ve yet heard to achieve this, with an all-consuming attention to the direction of melodies, to how one note ought to relate to the next.”
    ★★★★ George Slater-Walker, Bachtrack

    “Barnatan showed us all the ingredients of great Schubert playing in this movement – exceptional beauty of tone, a wide and finely calibrated range of dynamics, and an ability to make the piano sing. The slow movement opened in a simple and unaffected way but as the movement progressed Barnatan captured brilliantly the wide and extreme shifts in mood moving from soft dreamy reverie to deeply personal anguish and soul searching. The scherzo had a vibrant rhythmic drive and bite while the trio seemed to retreat into a quiet private place that was very moving. The finale was playful and enchanting and the wonderful melody in the central section was hauntingly beautiful…This was an outstanding recital that was warmly applauded by the Wigmore audience.”
    Robert Beattie, Seen & Heard International

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    13 Apr 15 Schumann Piano Concerto: 13 April 2015
    Milwaukee Symphony/Edo de Waart, Uihlein Hall, Milwaukee

    “After that tender, respectful moment, the buoyancy of Robert Schumann’s Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 54, did much to lift spirits in Uihlein Hall, particularly due to the deft and effervescent touch of pianist Inon Barnatan. Schumann, instead of featuring the piano as something to be accompanied by the orchestra, weaves an organic tapestry out of the two entities that is powerful, playful, charming, and, with Barnatan at the keyboard, was astonishing.
    Barnatan’s performance was incredibly athletic. He was able to pull a massive sound from the piano as easily as he tapered his sound to a whisper. From beginning to end, Barnatan’s interpretation of the Schumann felt like great chamber music. Sharing phrases with the orchestra with obvious attention to a partnership of the artistry he was creating, Barnatan’s technique was clear and accurate, and his stylistic intent was so natural that I wondered for a moment if he didn’t have Clara Schumann’s direct number.”
    William Barnewitz, Urban Milwaukee

    “Barnatan gave a mesmerizing and mercurial functionality of the piece, immersing himself and the audience in its many, temperamental shifts of mood. He moved from biting attacks and bold statements to light-handed, fluidly cascading arpeggios and delicate, lyrical lines.”
    Elaine Schmidt, Journal Sentinel

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    12 Mar 15 Ravel Piano Concerto: 12 March 2015
    National Arts Orchestra/Matthias Pintscher, Southam Hall, Ottawa

    “Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan was the soloist in another Ravel work, the bluesy Piano Concerto in G major. The crisp, urbane sophistication of Barnatan’s musicality suits this music perfectly.”
    Natasha Gautier, Ottawa Citizen


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    Beethoven Piano Concertos: Part 2

    Label: Pentatone

    Release Date: 01 May 20

    Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19
    Piano Concerto in D major, arranged by the composer after the Violin Concerto, Op. 61a
    Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 ‘Emperor’
    Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C minor, Op. 80

    Piano: Inon Barantan
    Conductor: Alan Gilbert
    Ensemble: Academy of St Martin in the Fields

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    Beethoven Piano Concertos: Part 1

    Label: Pentatone

    Release Date: 18 Oct 19

    Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
    Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
    Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56 (with Stefan Jackiw and Alisa Weilerstein)

    Piano: Inon Barnatan
    Conductor: Alan Gilbert
    Ensemble: Academy of St Martin in the Fields

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    Messiaen: Des Canyons Aux Etoiles…

    Label: Entertainment One Music

    Release Date: 05 Aug 16

    Messiaen: Des Canyons Aux Etoiles…

    Conductor: Alan Gilbert
    Ensemble: Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

    Piano: Inon Barnatan
    Xylorimba: Daniel Druckman
    Glockenspiel: Jeffrey Milarsky
    Horn: Philip Myers

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    Rachmaninov & Chopin: Cello Sonatas

    Label: Decca Music

    Release Date: 02 Oct 15

    Piano: Inon Barnatan
    Cello: Alisa Weilerstein

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    Schubert: Piano Sonatas

    Label: Avie Records

    Release Date: 10 Sep 13

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    Darknesse Visible

    Label: Avie Records

    Release Date: 23 Apr 12

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    Beethoven & Schubert: Works for Piano and Violin

    Label: Challenge Classics

    Release Date: 19 Mar 07

    Piano: Inon Barnatan
    Violin: Liza Ferschtman

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    Inon Barnatan: Schubert Recital

    Label: Bridge Records

    Release Date: 01 Jun 06