Stefan and Jeremy Denk triumph in Ives tour

December 2, 2015

Stefan and frequent collaborator Jeremy Denk have just finished their tour of Charles Ives’ violin sonatas, with critically-acclaimed performances in New Jersey, Maine, Philadelphia and New York City. Reviewers were, praising his balance of “fervor and elegance, beautiful tone and earthy colorings” (The New York Times), "his distinctive tone quality and profound use of color and articulation” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and how he was able to "turn on a dime, moving from a beautifully burnished tone to a sound with a sharper, snappier edge, capturing Ives’ mercurial mood shifts in a thoroughly visceral way.” (Portland Press Herald).

Next up, Stefan will make his debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra December 12 and 13 with a performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, followed by a tour with the Russian National Orchestra in March 2016 which will include his Carnegie Hall debut, playing the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2.

 

PRAISE FOR THE IVES SONATA TOUR:

“The tirelessly inquisitive pianist Jeremy Denk, an Ives champion, and the brilliant young violinist Stefan Jackiw gave arresting accounts of these four astonishing sonatas at the 92nd Street Y. The event was a model of how performers can both inform and entertain an audience with a challenging program...Mr. Denk’s playing exuded affinity for Ives and vivid imagination. Mr. Jackiw, deftly balancing fervor and elegance, beautiful tone and earthy colorings, proved a comparably inspired Ivesian on this exciting night."

- New York Times, Anthony Tommasini

 

"With his distinctive tone quality and profound use of color and articulation, Jackiw made perfect sense of Ives' hairpin turns, making them mean something beyond gleeful trickster-ism. Many of Ives' endings just stop in mid-thought, and though Jackiw didn't impose a false sense of conclusion on them, he somehow crafted a "to be continued" quality."

- Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns

 

"When Stefan Jackiw and Jeremy Denk played the composer’s four Sonatas for Violin and Piano at Bowdoin College on Wednesday evening, they moved through the works with all the richness of tone and fluidity of phrasing you would expect from, say, a Brahms recital, but without sacrificing the provocateur’s edge that gives Ives’ music its distinctive character. Jackiw, a young powerhouse violinist, and Denk, one of the most thoughtful pianists performing now – in some ways, the Alfred Brendel of his generation – both grew up with Ives as part of their musical cosmos, so the music’s technical and conceptual difficulties are nothing to them...There was much to admire in the qualities Denk and Jackiw each brought to these pieces. Denk’s work was, as always, animated, sharp-edged and texturally transparent, the work of a pianist who never plays a phrase without a reason for shaping it a specific way. Jackiw’s playing matches those qualities, and like Denk, he can turn on a dime, moving from a beautifully burnished tone to a sound with a sharper, snappier edge, capturing Ives’ mercurial mood shifts in a thoroughly visceral way."

- Portland Press-Herald, Allan Kozinn