photo Benjamin Ealovega

photo Benjamin Ealovega

Jonathan Biss


American pianist Jonathan Biss is widely regarded for his artistry, musical intelligence and deeply felt interpretations, winning international recognition for his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances and for his award-winning recordings.

In the 2013-14 season, Biss’s orchestral engagements included the New York, Calgary and Rochester Philharmonics, the Boston, San Antonio and Seattle Symphonies, among others. He continues to play in the major recital series in the US and in Europe, presenting his second Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital in January 2014, among many others.

In January 2012 Onyx Classics released the first CD in a nine-year, nine-disc recording cycle of Beethoven’s complete sonatas. He wrote about this recording project and his relationship with Beethoven’s music more generally in Beethoven’s Shadow, an essay that was published electronically by RosettaBooks as a Kindle Single, available from His next Kindle Single, A Pianist Under the Influence, was released shortly thereafter.

Biss represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians that includes his grandmother Raya Garbousova, one of the first well-known female cellists (for whom Samuel Barber composed his Cello Concerto), and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. Growing up surrounded by music, Biss began his piano studies at age six, and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father. He studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Leon Fleisher. In 2010, Biss was appointed to Curtis’s piano faculty, and in September 2013, he and the Curtis Institute of Music partnered with Coursera—the leading provider of “massive online open courses“—to offer a free, online course on Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Over 30,000 people enrolled in the course: seven times the total number of students who have attended Curtis since the school opened its doors in October 1924.

For more information about Jonathan Biss and to read his blog about his life as a musician go to