Thursday August 8, 2019 | 1:00PM (Pre-concert talk at 12:15PM)
Christ Church Cathedral | Map
David Jalbert, piano
Montreal pianist David Jalbert provides a finely nuanced and impassioned argument for what more people should recognize as one of the 20th century’s greatest sets of compositions for the piano. Following the example of J.S. Bach in setting one prelude and one fugue in each of the 12 major and minor keys of the modern Western scale, Shostakovich, writing in 1950, offered a staggering range of styles, ideas and counterpoints. This is beautiful music that goes from quiet noodlings to full-scale keyboard assaults. The set was written for the young Tatiana Nikolayevna, the winner of the first International Bach Competition in Leipzig at which Shostakovich had been a judge. Jalbert, as demonstrated in his 2008 recording for ATMA Classique, is capable of mesmerizing across the whole range.
David Jalbert, piano
A virtuoso with a warm and elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of a new generation of classical musicians, and was named by the CBC among the 15 best Canadian pianists of all time. With his personal style, incomparable stage presence, and refined ear, he has wowed audiences and critics everywhere: “a deeply musical pianist” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), “a virtuoso in the best sense of the word” (La Presse), “…wide-ranging musical imagination, phenomenal technique, and an unerring lightness of being” (The Toronto Star).
His first solo disc, dedicated to the works of Corigliano and Rzewski (in preparation for which he worked with both composers), was launched to great applause on Endeavor in 2004 and was followed in 2006 by a recording of Fauré’s complete Nocturnes (a winning selection on La Tribune des Critiques de Disques, France-Culture). His 2008 release on the ATMA label, Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues opus 87, drew rave reviews, won an Opus Award, and was nominated for a Juno Award. He followed it up with an album dedicated to works by minimalist greats John Adams and Philip Glass (2010), and his 2012 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was met with unanimous praise. He recorded works by Poulenc and Satie on “Le Comble de la Distinction” (2015) and virtuosic transcriptions of Russian ballets by Stravinsky and Prokofiev in 2017, which earned him another Juno nomination.
An accomplished chamber musician in both the hall and the studio, his releases include Poulenc’s music for winds and piano (with the woodwind quintet Pentaèdre) as well as the Rachmaninov and Chopin Cello Sonatas with his long-standing musical partner Denise Djokic. With violinist Jasper Wood and cellist Denise Djokic, he is also a member
of Triple Forte, a piano trio whose first recording was awarded a 2014 Prix Opus (Album of the Year). Jalbert has also collaborated with violinist Rachel Barton Pine, the Cecilia and Alcan string quartets, double-bassist Joel Quarrington (on another Opus-winning collaboration, the album Brothers in Brahms as well as a Schubert album) and with pianists Anton Kuerti, Wonny Song and Jean-Philippe Collard.
As guest soloist, Jalbert has appeared with many orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra,Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, Bielefelder Philharmoniker, Gauteng Philarmonic and National Symphony of Ireland and others. He has collaborated with conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Christoph Campestrini, Skitch Henderson, Jacques Lacombe, Bramwell Tovey, MarioBernardi, Peter Kuhn, David Currie, MarcDavid, Dinuk Wijeratne and others and has performed in Canada, the United States, Mexico, South Africa and Europe. Jalbert’s repertoire is expansive, and he plays Bach, Brahms, Stravinsky or Ligeti with equal pleasure. David Jalbert can be heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada broadcasts, not only as a pianist, but also as a guestcommentator.
A national and international prize-winner, David Jalbert was the 2007 winner of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize of the Canada Council for the Arts, has been awarded five Prix Opus by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique, was nominated for four Juno Awards, and is now an Associate Professor of piano at the University of Ottawa. He holds two Artist Diplomas: one from the Juilliard School in New York, the other from the Glenn Gould Professional School (Toronto). He received his Master’s Degree from the Université de Montréal at age 21, winning the Governor General’s Gold Medal (awarded yearly to the top graduate student of the University). His main teachers have been Jerome Lowenthal, Marc Durand, André Laplante, and Pauline Charron. He has also worked with Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Claude Frank, Gilbert Kalish, and Marylin Engle.