Jonathan Biss Piano Master Class

NEC: Williams Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Jonathan BissMildred Levinson Piano Artist-in-Residence, presents a master class featuring students from the NEC Piano Studios. This master class is funded by Edith Michelson Milender.

Jonathan Biss is a world renowned pianist who channels his deep musical curiosity into performances and projects in the concert hall and beyond. In addition to performing with leading orchestras, he continues to expand his reputation as a teacher, musical thinker, and one of the great Beethoven interpreters of our time. He is Co-Artistic Director alongside Mitsuko Uchida at the Marlboro Music Festival, where he has spent fourteen summers. He also led a popular online course via Coursera, which has reached more than 150,000 people from nearly every country. He has written extensively about the music he plays and has authored four audio- and e-books, including UNQUIET: My Life with Beethoven, the first Audible Original by a classical musician.

This season Biss performs solo recitals in New York presented by the People’s Symphony Concerts, and with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; Beethoven trios with violinist Midori and cellist Antoine Lederlin in Cologne, Engardin, Hamburg, London, and Tokyo; and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with the Atlanta Symphony, Budapest Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He continues his ongoing Beethoven/5 commissioning project, performing Brett Dean’s Gneixendorfer Musik– Eine Winterreise in its U.S. premiere with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as with the Melbourne Symphony. 

Growing up surrounded by music, Biss began playing the piano at age six and went on to study with Evelyne Brancart at Indiana University and Leon Fleisher at the Curtis Institute of Music. He has been recognized with numerous honors, including Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. He was an artist-in-residence on American Public Media’s Performance Today and the first American chosen to be a BBC New Generation Artist. He is also on the piano faculty of the New England Conservatory.

This master class is made possible by Edith Michelson Milender in honor of her mother Mildred Levinson ‘29.

Mildred completed a four-year program in two years and graduated from NEC with a diploma in Piano in June 1929, receiving special honors in Fine Arts and English Literature. Upon graduation, she received a scholarship that allowed her to earn a postgraduate Piano as a Soloist diploma from NEC in June 1930. After NEC, Mildred held a successful career as both a performer on local radio and as a private piano teacher in the Boston area. Mildred married Leo Michelson and raised three children who grew up to appreciate their mother’s passion for classical music.

  • Jonathan Biss, Piano
  1. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106, 'Hammerklavier'

    • Yutong Sun, piano
  2. Schumann: Études Symphoniques, Op. 13

    • Jonathan Senik, piano
  3. Berg: Piano Sonata No. 1

    • Joseph Vasconi, piano