A Pianist Under the Influence (Kindle Single)

Written by Jonathan Biss
Category: · Arts & Photography

“Most of what I know about myself, I have learned from playing Schumann.”
—Jonathan Biss

World famous pianist Jonathan Biss has had a special relationship with composer Robert Schumann since he was a child. Avoiding traditional biography and dense musical criticism, Biss writes a moving tribute to one of the most vulnerable composers in classical music history in his second Kindle Single: A Pianist Under the Influence. Biss’s first Kindle Single, Beethoven’s Shadow, has been a bestseller on Amazon since its release in December 2011.

A Pianist Under the Influence reflects on Biss’s life-long, intense, multi-layered relationship with the composer’s music and historical treatment. As Biss writes from the unique position of performer, scholar and fan, his Single is both a personal and professional love-letter to the 19th century composer.

An engaging read for anyone interested in the creative process, the Single also includes an annotated audio guide for readers who wish to delve further into the material. A Pianist Under the Influence is an important aspect of Biss’s 2012-2013 focus on Schumann, during which Biss and several hand-picked collaborators will perform Schumann’s work, music by his notable influences such as Beethoven, Schubert, and Purcell, and selections from his long list of successors ranging from Berg and Janáček to 26-year-old composer Timothy Andres. At the core of the project is four sets of concerts, curated by Biss, including series at Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall and San Francisco Performances.


Jonathan Biss has appeared with the foremost orchestras of North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Widely regarded known not only for his artistry and poetic interpretations but also for his deep musical curiosity, Biss performs a diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven, through the Romantics to Janáček and Schoenberg as well as works by contemporary composers such as Gyorgy Kurtág and including commissions from Leon Kirchner, Lewis Spratian and Bernard Rands. Biss has a noted recording career. His recordings include an album of Schubert sonatas and two short Kurtág pieces that was named by NPR Music as one of the best albums of the year. In January 2012, Onyx Classics released the first CD in a nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Beethoven’s complete sonatas. The second album of Beethoven sonatas will release in January 2013. Biss studied at Indiana University and at The Curtis Institute of Music, where he was appointed to the piano faculty in 2010.



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