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 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 is equally well known for his collaborations with artists and chamber ensembles such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Thomas Quasthoff and the Emerson and Takacs quartets.
Jeffrey 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 19th season as music director of the 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 new Green Music Center Chamber Fest in Sonoma, CA, which had its inaugural season in June 2015.
In addition to his programs and projects with LACO, Kahane’s recent engagements include appearances at the Mostly Mozart, Caramoor, Ravinia, Blossom and Oregon Bach festivals; recitals in Salt Lake City, Scottsdale, Denver and the Green Music Center in Santa Rosa; concerto performances with the Toronto, Houston, Oregon, Nashville and Colorado symphonies and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; play/conducts for the third time in four seasons with the New York Philharmonic as well as with the San Francisco, National, Detroit, Vancouver, Indianapolis and New Jersey symphonies and the Rochester Philharmonic; and conducting the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in Boston, the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center and the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado. Highlights of Kahane’s 2015-16 season include return appearances at the Ravinia and Aspen Music Festivals and with the New World, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Colorado and North Carolina symphonies; and premiering a new concerto by Andrew Norman with the New York Philharmonic.
Jeffrey 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’s recordings include works of Gershwin and Bernstein with Yo-Yo Ma for Sony, Paul Schoenfield’s Four Parables with the New World Symphony for Decca/Argo, Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety” with the Bournemouth Symphony/Andrew Litton for EMI, the Strauss Burleske on Telarc with the Cincinnati Symphony and the complete Brandenburg Concertos (on harpsichord) with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under Helmuth Rilling on the Haenssler label. He has also recorded the complete works for violin and piano by Schubert with Joseph Swensen for RCA, Bach’s Sinfonias and Partita No. 4 in D major for Nonesuch and Bernstein’s “The Age of Anxiety” for Virgin Records, which was nominated by Gramophone magazine for their Record of the Year award. His recordings as conductor include the Bach violin concertos with Hilary Hahn and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon, and a Bach’s Cantata No. 199, Mein Herze Schwimmt in Blut, with mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Liebersohn and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (Yarlung Records).
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 and the first Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award in 1987. 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 2015, he is a Visiting Professor of Keyboard Studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
Jeffrey Kahane resides in Santa Rosa 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.