Matt Herskowitz Pays Tribute to Dave Brubeck With Special Retrospective "From Bach To Brubeck"


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Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York @ Kosciuszko Foundation
Pianist extraordinaire Matt Herskowitz, currently Artist and Composer-in-Residence at the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York continues his exploration of the special relationship between chamber music and jazz with a special tribute program to Dave Brubeck, accompanied by his jazz trio and the Sweet Plantain String Quartet.

From Bach To Brubeck showcases the influence the seminal German composer had on jazz performers and how Brubeck's work lives on in today's generation of performers. The evening will present three arrangements of Bach works by Matt Herskowitz, Mr. Brubeck's Chromatic Fantasy, which was inspired by J.S. Bach, and, to close the circle, Matt Herskowitz's Chorale and Variations on a Theme of Dave Brubeck.

There is a close relationship of deep mutual respect between the two pianists. Upon hearing Matt Herskowitz play for the first time, Dave Brubeck wrote him in a letter: “So much technique almost ruined my day. I thought to myself 'I better retire now.'" Despite the rocky start, the two have since stayed in touch. Matt had sent a copy of his latest album “Jerusalem Trilogy" (Justin Time Records, 2010) to his idol, which features works by Herskowitz that blend elements of Western classical music and jazz with Arabic and Jewish music. Dave Brubeck wrote back: “Congratulations! You have transformed the concept of “world" music as I conceived of it half a century ago. You have carried it further than I could imagine back then. The playing is wonderful throughout."

You can witness the next chapter of this intriguing dialogue yourself at Mr. Herskowitz' concert on October 27th at 7:30PM at the Kosciuszko Foundation, 15 East 65th Street, New York NY. Tickets: 212-239-9190 or http://www.lyricny.org/Scripts/SPC/store_pages/mainpage.php

Wednesday, October 27th 7:30PM
Kosciuszko Foundation, 15 East 65th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues)

Matt Herskowitz—Piano, Lyric Artist and Composer-in-Residence
David Rozenblatt—Percussion
Mat Fieldes—Bass

Sweet Plantaine String Quartet
Eddie Venegas—Violin/Trombone
Joe Deninzon—Violin
Orlando Wells—Viola
David Gotay—Cello

Bach à la Jazz (based on Prelude in C minor, WTC bk. 2)
Praeambulum from Partita in G Major

Prelude in D-flat Major, Op. 28, No. 15 / Dzienkuye

Chorale and Variations on a Theme of Dave Brubeck


Chromatic Fantasy Sonata (inspired by J.S. Bach) :

  • Allegro Molto
  • Chorale
  • Chaconne
MATT HERSKOWITZ Undertow (based on Bach's 3-part Invention no. 9 in F minor)

Matt Herskowitz—Piano
Lyric Artist and Composer-in-Residence

Hailed as “extraordinary high-octane keyboard virtuosity," pianist Matt Herskowitz is a unique voice from within the nexus of classical and jazz traditions. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, Mr. Herskowitz's performances have led to both Grammy and Oscar Award nominations. His performance with Absolute Ensemble, a New York-based crossover contemporary chamber band, helped earn a Grammy nomination for their first album, Absolution, which features Matt as both composer and soloist (2001, Enja Records). His jazz arrangement of a Bach prelude for the soundtrack of The Triplets of Belleville helped earn the animated film two Oscar nominations and a French César award for best soundtrack in 2003. His first solo recording, Gabriel's Message (2000, CCnC Records), features his original arrangements and compositions based on Christmas themes, and has received world-wide critical acclaim resulting in international invitations. In 2004, Mr. Herskowitz recorded a solo recital for BRAVO Arts Channel which features classical, jazz, and original work.

Mr. Herskowitz tours extensively throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S. He is a founding member of MaD Fusion—a progressive fusion ensemble. Their first CD, Forget Me Not (2005, Disques Tout Crin), received critical acclaim from European, U.S. and Canadian Jazz critics. After hearing the album, jazz-legend Dave Brubeck wrote: “Hearing such technique almost ruined my day. I said to myself, 'I'd better quit now.'" MaD Fusion has performed at the Hamburg and Bremen International Music Festivals in Germany, at the Rhino Jazz Festival in France, at the Lyric Chamber Music Society in New York City, at the Luzerne Music Center Jazz Series in New York, and with the Philadelphia Piano Quartet on the Classic Chamber Concerts Series in Naples, Florida.

In addition to The Triplets of Belleville, Mr. Herskowitz's other film contributions also include a solo piano improvisation on the soundtrack of Robert Lepage's La Face Cachée de la Lune. In 2001, Mr. Herskowitz scored a short avant-garde French film, one of six new scores written for 1930's era silent French films. The music was performed live with the films at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater by Parabola, an ensemble specializing in new film and theater music. Other contributing composers included Carter Burwell and Stephen Endelman.

Mr. Herskowitz later worked with Mr. Burwell on a live theater project of plays by the Coen brothers and Charlie Kaufman, which received performances in New York, London, and Los Angeles. As a songwriter, Mr. Herskowitz has collaborated with many artists and producers, including pop diva Lara Fabian, and French pop-rock singer Sylvie Cobo. His songs have appeared on best-selling albums in France and Canada.

Other notable accomplishments include the 1998 Canadian premiere of Mr. Herskowitz's Chorale and Variations on a Theme of Dave Brubeck- an original piece for piano and chamber orchestra performed by the Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal. Mr. Herskowitz is also the Grand Prize Winner of the 1997 Orford Festival International Piano Competition. As a result of the award, he was invited to record Glazunov's Piano Concerto no. 2 with I Musici de Montreal (1998, Chandos Records). The recording was hailed as “by far the best performance on CD" by Strad magazine.

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