Jonathan Biss


Jonathan Biss

American pianist Jonathan Biss has the kind of career many young musicians can only dream of. Spotted by Isaac Stern at the age of 15 he made his Carnegie Hall debut at 19 and played with the New York Philharmonic at 20.

Life and Music

  • Biss was born into what can only be described as a musical dynasty – his parents are the violinists Paul Biss and Miriam Fried and his paternal grandmother was the cellist Raya Garbousova, for whom Barber wrote his cello concerto.
  • Growing up surrounded by music, he began his piano studies at age six and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. He went on to study at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Leon Fleisher.
  • His debut recital disc of Beethoven and Schumann piano works was released by EMI to critical acclaim and he has performed with most major US orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, National Symphony and New York Philharmonic to name only a handful.
  • As well as having already appeared with such established greats as Daniel Barenboim, Kurt Masur and Lorin Maazel, Biss regularly performs all the Beethoven concertos.
  • He has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award, Wolf Trap's Shouse Debut Artist Award, Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, and the 2003 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.

Did you know?
Biss also finds time to pursue interests outside music. A grant from the Borletti-Buitoni trust, of which Mitsuko Uchida is a trustee, has enabled him to study part-time for a degree in politics and literature.