Gilbert Kalish, piano
Gilbert Kalish leads a musical life of unusual variety and breadth. His profound influence on the musical community as educator, and as pianist in myriad performances and recordings, has established him as a major figure in American music making.
A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia College, Mr. Kalish studied with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford and Isabella Vengerova. He was this pianist of the Boston symphony Chamber Players for 30 years and was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a group devoted to new music that flourished during the 1960’s and 70’s. He is a frequent guest artist with many of the world’s most distinguished chamber ensembles. His thirty-year partnership with the great mezzo-soprano Jan De Gaetani was universally recognized as one of the most remarkable artistic collaborations of our time. He maintains longstanding duos with the cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, and he appears frequently with soprano Dawn Upshaw.
As educator he is Distinguished Professor and Head of Performance Activities at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 1969-1997 he was a faculty member of the Tanglewood Music Center and served as the “Chairman of the Faculty” at Tanglewood from 1985-1997. He often serves as guest artist at distinguished music institutions such as The Banff Centre, and the Steans Institute at Ravinia, and the Marlboro Festival. He is renowned for his master class presentations.
Mr. Kalish’s discography of some 100 recordings encompasses classical repertory, 20th Century masterworks and new compositions. Of special note are his solo recordings of Charles Ives’ Concord Sonata and Sonatas of Joseph Haydn, and immense discography of vocal music with Jan De Gaetani and landmarks of the 20th Century by composers such as Carter, Crumb, Shapey and Schoeberg. In 1995, he was presented with the Paul Fromm Award by the University of Chicago Music Department for distinguished service to the music of our time.