Equally at home at the keyboard or on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams.
Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983, Kahane has given recitals in many of the nation’s major music centers, including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta. He appears as a soloist with major orchestras such as the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, and is also a popular figure at all of the major US summer festivals.
Kahane made his conducting debut at the Oregon Bach Festival in 1988. Since then, he has guest conducted many of the major US orchestras, including the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and the Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Indianapolis and New World symphonies, among others. Currently in his 20th season as music director of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Kahane concluded his tenure as music director of the Colorado Symphony in June 2010 and for ten seasons was music director of the Santa Rosa Symphony, where he is now conductor laureate. He has received much recognition for his innovative programming and commitment to education and community involvement with all three orchestras and received ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming for his work in both Los Angeles and Denver. He is also the artistic director of the Green Music Center Chamber Fest in Sonoma, CA, which had its inaugural season in June 2015. In August 2016, the Sarasota Orchestra appointed Kahane to a three-year term as music director of the Sarasota Music Festival.
Recent engagements include appearances at the Aspen, Caramoor and Blossom festivals; concerto performances with the Toronto, Houston, New World, Oregon and Colorado symphonies, among others; play/conduct engagements with the San Francisco, National, Detroit, Vancouver, Indianapolis and New Jersey symphonies and the Rochester Philharmonic, as well as, for the third time in four seasons, with the New York Philharmonic; and conducting the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in Boston, the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center and the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado.
The 2016-17 season was Kahane’s 20th and final season as music director of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In January 2017, he oversaw a three week city-wide festival that incorporates a major educational and outreach project honoring the legacies of composer Kurt Weill and civil rights activist Rabbi Joachim Prinz and culminates in Kahane conducting LACO and a distinguished cast of vocalists in a production of Weill’s final Broadway opera, Lost in the Stars.
Additional 2016-17 season highlights included return visits to the Oregon Bach Festival; the Ravinia Festival, where he played/conducted the Chicago Symphony; and New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, where he played/conducted three Mozart concertos; a return to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; a solo recital for CAL Performances at UC/Berkeley; and appearances with the Houston, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Alabama symphonies.
Kahane’s recent European engagements include play/conduct programs with the Camerata Salzburg, Hamburg Symphony and the Real Filharmonía de Galicia in Spain as well as appearances at the Meck-Pomm Chamber Music Festival in Germany.
Kahane has recorded for the SONY, EMI, Telarc, RCA, Nonesuch, Deutsche Grammophon, Virgin Records, Decca/Argo and Haenssler labels in collaboration with the New World, Cincinnati, Bournemouth and Oregon Bach Festival symphonies, as well as works by Gershwin and Bernstein with Yo-Yo Ma, the complete works for violin and piano by Schubert with Joseph Swensen, Bach concertos with LACO and Hilary Hahn and Bach’s Cantata No. 199, Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, with LACO and mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Yarlung).
A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Kahane’s early piano studies were with Howard Weisel and Jakob Gimpel. First Prize-winner at the 1983 Rubinstein Competition and a finalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition, he was also the recipient of a 1983 Avery Fisher Career Grant. An avid linguist who reads widely in a number of ancient and modern languages, Kahane received a Master’s degree in Classics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011. Beginning in the fall of 2016, he is a Professor of Keyboard Studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
Kahane resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Martha, a clinical psychologist in private practice. They have two children – Gabriel, a composer, pianist and singer/songwriter, and Annie, a dancer and poet.