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Musical World

Jonathan Biss & Miriam Fried

  • Instrumental Duo


Jonathan 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), as well as his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist/violinist Paul Biss. Growing up surrounded by music, Mr. Biss began his piano studies at age six and his first musical collaborations were with his mother and father.

In recent years Jonathan Biss and Miriam Fried have each devoted a portion of their schedules to performing together.  This year they will give duo recitals in Austin, New York, Washington, and in Boston, where they will play the complete Bartok and Brahms Violin Sonatas over two adjacent Sundays.  Both are enthusiastic chamber musicians. Mr. Biss has been a member of Chamber Music Society Two at Lincoln Center, is a frequent participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, and often collaborates with such chamber ensembles as the Borromeo Quartet and Mendelssohn Quartet, of which Ms. Fried is a member.

"So how do you like your virtuosos:  Veteran or wunderkind?...This was not a competition, but a glorious collaboration between two like-minded players who share not only blood but also a passion for the intricate interplay that chamber music affords...The recital proved a satisfying combination of youthful vigor and the kind of musical wisdom that only comes with experience."-St. Paul Pioneer Press

"[Ms. Fried's] readings of a handsome bundle of Mozart Sonatas were distinguished in their expressive cogency and sound musical logic. An encore slow movement taken from a Beethoven Sonata brought some of the warmest and most heartfelt playing of the night.  For his part, Mr. Biss shone with a beautiful limpid tone, a sensitive touch and a certain Apollonian refinement.  He is indeed a pianist to watch."-The New York Times