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Guest pianist Jonathan Biss in concert March 1

Jonathan Biss is the opening artist for Furman's inaugural David Gibson Recital Series.

The Furman University Department of Music will host celebrated pianist Jonathan Biss Thursday, March 1, at 8 Daniel Recital Hall.

His performance is free and open to the public. Biss is the opening artist for Furman’s inaugural David Gibson Recital Series, named in honor of the late, longtime Furman music faculty member. Funding for the series was initiated by Gibson student, David Belcher, Furman Class of 1979.

Biss is a world-renowned pianist who shares his deep musical curiosity with classical music lovers in the concert hall and beyond. He will repeat the all-Beethoven program he presents the previous evening in Atlanta’s Symphony Hall.

In addition to performing a full schedule of concerts, Biss has spent 11 summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and written extensively about his relationships with the composers with whom he shares a stage.

A member of the faculty of his alma mater the Curtis Institute of Music since 2010, Biss led the first massive open online course (MOOC) offered by a classical music conservatory, Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. The course has reached more than 150,000 people in 185 countries.

This season, Biss continues his latest Beethoven project, Beethoven/5, for which the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is co-commissioning five composers to write new piano concertos, each inspired by one of Beethoven’s.

Biss has embarked on a nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas, and in 2018 he will release the seventh volume, including the sonatas Op. 2, No. 2; Op. 49, No. 2; Op. 31, No.2 (“Tempest”), and Op. 109. The recording cycle will be complete in 2020.

His bestselling eBook, Beethoven’s Shadow (RosettaBooks, 2011) describes the process of recording the sonatas and was the first Kindle single written by a classical musician. Biss has also written a Kindle eBook about composer Robert Schumann, A Pianist Under the Influence.

Growing up surrounded by music, Biss began his piano studies at age six. He represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother and cellist Raya Garbousova, and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss, his first musical collaborators.

He studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Leon Fleisher.

For more information about the concert, call the Furman Music Office at 864-294-2086.

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