|As head of the performance
faculty, Gilbert Kalish had done much to create the uniquely supportive
and stimulating environment of Stony Brook's music department. Through
his activites as performer and educator, he has become a major figure
in American music making. A native New Yorker, Mr. Kalish studied with
Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford and Isabelle Vengerova. He is a frequent
guest artist with many of the world's most distinguished chamber
ensembles. He was a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber
Ensemble, a pioneering new music group that flourished during the
1960's and '70's. He is noted for his partnerships with other artists,
including cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, soprano Dawn Upshaw,
and, perhaps most memorably, his thirty-year collaboration with
mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani. In addition to teaching at Stony Brook, he
has also served on the faculties of the Tanglewood Music Center, the
Banff Centre and the Steans Institute at Ravinia. Mr. Kalish's
discography of some 100 recordings encompasses classical repertory,
20th-century masterworks and new compositions. In 1995 the University
of Chicago presented him with the Paul Fromm Award for distinguished
service to the music of our time.
|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 has been the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players since 1969 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 DeGaetani was universally recognized as one of the most remarkable artistic collaborations of our time. He maintains long-standing duos with the cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnick, and he appears frequently with soprano Dawn Upshaw.
As educator he is Leading Professor and Head of Performance Activities at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 1968-1997 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 faculty at distinguished music institutions such as the Banff Centre and the Steans Institute at Ravinia, and 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, an immense discography of vocal music with Jan DeGaetani and landmarks of the 20th Century by composers such as Carter, Crumb, Shapey and Schoenberg. 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. [See Bruce Duffie's Interview with Paul Fromm.]
Columbia College, B.A.
Berkshire Music Center
Julius Hereford, Isabella Vengerova, Leonard Shure
SUNY Stony Brook Artist-in-Residence/Professor 1970 - present
SUNY Purchase 1975-1979
Rutgers University 1966-1969
Swarthmore College Associate in Performance 1966-1974
Honorary Doctorate - Swarthmore College, 1987
Paul Fromm Award - University of Chicago, 1995
(for distinguished service to the music of our time)
Guest Teacher of the Year, Philadelphia Settlement School 1996
Winner of "Indie" award 1997 and 1999 - given by Independent Record Producers for the Outstanding Chamber Music Disc of the year
Contemporary Chamber Ensemble 1962-1979
Regular Pianist for Boston Symphony Chamber Players 1969-1998
Gramercy Chamber Ensemble
Aeolian Chamber Players
Penn Contemporary Players (Univ. of Pennsylvania)
Guest Appearances with:
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Buffalo Symphony Orchestra
New York Philharmonic
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Fine Arts Quartet
Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra
New Jersey Chamber Orchestra
New World String Quartet
New York Woodwind Quintet
Orion String Quartet
Sea Cliff Chamber Players
Thouvenal String Quartet
Guest artist with: Ying Quartet, Minnesota Chamber Music, St. Lawrence Quartet, Talich Quartet, New England String Ensemble, Avalon Quartet, The Barge Series (NY), Houston Chamber Music Society.
Radio and Television:
Many appearances for BBC, Australian, New Zealand, German and Ammerican TV including first British Broadcast of Crumb Makrokosmos for Solo Piano; Complete Beethoven Violin and Piano Sonatas; Complete Ives Violin and Piano Sonatas.
Recitals throughout much of the world.
Appearances at many leading music festivals, such as Mostly Mozart, New York; Brighton and Aldeburgh, England; Ojai, California; Lucerne, Switzerland; Sarasota, Florida; Badenweiler, Germany; Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Netherlands, and many others.
Numerous first performances of works written for the performer by many of the world's leading composers (Carter, Crumb, Reynolds, Kupferman, etc.) [See Bruce Duffie's Interview with Roger Reynolds.]
Concerto appearances in some of the most significant works of the 20th Century by composers, such as Berg, Berio, Carter, Messiaen and Stravinsky. [See Bruce Duffie's Interview with Luciano Berio.]
Numerous concert appearances (about 50 per year) in many of the major world centers including New York concerts at Carnegie, Avery Fisher, Town Hall, 92nd Street "Y", Symphony Space, Tully Hally, Weill, Merkin, Miller Theatre (including the first solo piano recital in this newly renovated Columbia University concert hall).
Tours of Japan, Europe and South America with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.
European and American tours with leading concert artists, such as Jan De Gaetani, Dawn Upshaw, The Juilliard Quartet and many others.
World Premiere Performances:
Works by Bacon, Carter, Copland, Crumb, Ives, Kirchner, Perle, Shapey, Walden, etc.
(1999-2000) David Diamond, Osvaldo Golijov, James Primosch, Ralph Shapey
Beethoven - Complete Works for Cello & Piano (Arabesque)
Berg - Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano
Berger - 3 pieces for 2 Pianos (Columbia)
Berger - Cello Duo, Guitar Trio (New World)
Alan Blank - Notation for Piano (CRI)
Brahms Horn and Clarinet Trios (Nonesuch)
Brahms Songs (Arabesque)
Brahms Piano Quartet (Musical Heritage)
Carter - Double Concerto, Duo for Violin and Piano (Nonesuch)
Concord Sonata - (Nonesuch)
Copland - Piano Variations, Piano Quartet and Sextet (Nonesuch)
Crumb - Makrokosmos III for 2 Pianos and 2 Percussion (Nonesuch)
Crumb - Apparition (Bridge)
Debussy - Afternoon of a Faun (arranged by Schonberg)
Debussy - En Blanc et Noir (Nonesuch)
Debusy and Ravel Songs (Arabesque)
Foote and Beach - Violin Piano Sonatas (New World) 1977
Steven Foster - Songs (Nonesuch)
Haydn - Piano Sonatas, five volumes (Nonesuch)
Ives - Piano Trio - Complete works for Piano and Strings (Columbia)
The Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano (Folkways)
Concord Sonata - (Nonesuch)
Ives - Songs (Bridge)
Ives Trio (with Yo Yo Ma) (SONY)
Kupferman - Celestial City (Concerto for Piano and tape) (Serenus)
Concerto for Flute - Piano and String Quartet (Serenus)
Martino - Trio (CRI)
Mozart - Sonata and Fantasie (Baldwin)
Poulenc - Music for Piano and Winds (Nonesuch)
Rachmaninoff and Chausson - Songs (Nonesuch)
Saint Saens - Works for various wind instruments and piano (Desto)
Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire (Concert Disc)
Suite Opus 29 (Deutshe Gramaphone)
Kammerkonzert Opus 9 (arranged by Webern)
Fantasie for Violin and Piano
Pierrot Lunaire - 2nd recording (Nonesuch)
Schoenberg-Schubert - Songs (Nonesuch)
Schubert - Solo Piano Music (Nonesuch)
Schuman - Vocal Duets (Nonesuch)
Shapey - Cello Sonata (New World)
Silver - Cello Sonata (CRI)
Smetana Trio (Nonesuch)
Sonatas for Violin and Piano, 2nd recording (Nonesuch)
Songs - (Nonesuch)
Strauss - Waltzes (arranged by Schonberg, Berg and Webern)
(Recorded by DGG with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players
New American Music on 5 records with the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble with works by Druckman, Harbison, Myrow, Reynolds, Schwantner, Shifrin,
Wolf - Songs (Nonesuch)
With Ronald Roseman, Oboe
Hindemith - Sonata Schuman - Romances
Kupferman - Dialogues Schuller _Sonata (Desto)
Music in the Shadow of WW I (Arabesque) Indie Award - 1999
Music in the Shadow of WW II (Arabesque) Indie Award - 1997
Songs of Messiaen with Dawn Upshaw (to be released by Nonesuch)
Harbison Songs & Piano Quintet with Dawn Upshaw and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players (Nonesuch) [See Bruce Duffie's Interview with John Harbison.]
3 time nominee for Grammy Award
Selected as mong the best recording of the year by New York Times, Stero Review, Time, Newsweek, High Fidelity, Village Voice
Reissue on CD of many previous LP records including Ives Concord Sonata and Haydn Piano Sonatas plus works of Brahms, Ives, Wolf, Ravel, Schumann, Schonberg, etc.
Master Classes: (1999-2000)
The Banff Centre
The Eastman School
Port Jefferson Arts Council (Fees donated to the SB Music Dept.)
Music Conservatory, Madrid, Spain
Festival Concert Appearances:
Banff Centre, Canada
Chamber Music West, San Francisco
Mostly Mozart, Avery Fisher Hall, NY
Pepsico, Purchase, NY
Swarthmore Festival of Music and Dance
Symphony Space, NY - Scarlatti, Beethoven Marathons
Tanglewood Music Center
Summer Music Festivals (current) - Faculty and Performing Artist:
The Banff Centre
California Summer Music, Pebble Beach, CA
Great Lakes Festival, MI
Ravinia Steans Institute
Sarasota Music Festival, FL
Summerfest, La Jolla, CA
Yale at Norfolk
Yellow Barn, Putney, VT
Summer Music Festivals prior to 1998:
Bowdoin College Summer Music School and Festival
Cummington School of the Arts
New College Festival, Sarasota, FL
Tanglewood Music Center
(Chairman of Faculty)
Banff Center for the Arts
Jerusalem Music Center
Other Professional Activities:
Head of Keyboard Panel - International Conference on 20th Cent. Notation, Ghent, Belgium
Judge - Three Rivers International Piano Competition (1978, 1979)
Judge - Naumberg "Chamber Music Ensembles" Competition (1979)
Visiting Committee - Dartmouth Music Department (1977)
Trustee - Greenwood Music Camp (1974-1978)
Judge - International Competition for American music for Piano
(Sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Hall, 1981)
Member of the artist advisory board of Pro Musicus, an organization which sponsors and supports young musicians.
Judge - Naumburg Piano Competition
Judge - Naumburg Chamber Music Competiton
Judge - Fischoff Chamber Music Competition
Board Member of the Charles Ives Society
Board Member of Ditson Fund (Columbia)
Advisory Board - Orchestra 2001 (Philadelphia)
Miller Theatre (Columbia University)
Cover Photo Artist and article about my work in Clavier Magazine
Feature Article about my work in Boston Globe Sunday Magazine
Service at Stony Brook:
Chairman of the Performance Faculty
Member, Music Dept. Advisory Council
Director, Contemporary Chamber Players
Member, Concert Committee, UG Studies Committee; served on numerous other dept. committees; presently head of Dept. Chair Committee.
Search Committees: Clarinet (chair), Flute (Chair), Voice, Conductor, Composer, Viola, Violin (Chair), Piano (Chair)
Member of University Honorary Doctorate Committee for 3 years
State University of NY Festival of the Arts
Selected by SB music department students as Outstanding Teacher of the year in 1980.
Paul Fromm Award, presented by the Department of Music, the University of Chicago, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the performance and advocacy of the music of our time, April 2, 1995.
Ludwig van Beethoven, Cello Sonatas and Variations, with Joel Krosnick, CD, Arabesque, Z6656-2 (1995).
Bartok, Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, CD, Delos 3151 (1993).
Charles Ives, Trio, with Yo-Yo Ma and Ronan Lefkowitz, CD, Sony SK 53126 (1993).
Charles Ives, Songs, with Jan DeGaetani, CD, Elektra/Nonesuch, 9 71325-2 (1976, reissue 1990).
Songs of America, with Jan DeGaetani, CD, Elektra/Nonesuch, 9 79178-2 (1988)
"Kroslish Sonata," by Ralph Shapey, CD, New World Records, NW 355-2 (1978)
© 1999 Bruce Duffie
This interview was recorded at the Ravinia Festival in Highland
Park, IL, on July 15, 1999. Portions
were used (along with recordings) on WNIB in 2000.
This transcription was made in 2009 and posted on this website at
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.