BIOGRAPHY: David Kaplan, pianist, has been called “excellent and adventurous” by The New York Times, and praised by the Boston Globe for “grace and fire” at the keyboard. He has appeared as soloist with the Britten Sinfonia at London’s Barbican Centre, at Miami’s Arscht Center with Itzhak Perlman, and in recital at the Ravinia Festival, Sarasota Opera House, Washington’s National Gallery, Music on Main in Vancouver and Strathmore in Baltimore. This season, he makes his debut at the Berlin Philharmonie, performing Beethoven’s Concerto no. 3 with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.
Kaplan’s passion for connecting past and present music has resulted in New Dances of the League of David, a suite that incorporates newly commissioned miniatures into Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6. Among the 16 participating composers were Augusta Read Thomas, Caroline Shaw, Marcos Balter, Gabriel Kahane, and Andrew Norman. Selected as one of the “Best Classical Music Performances of 2015,” by The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini wrote: “‘New Dances’ is no gimmick… it was fascinating to hear Schumann through the ears of these perceptive, stylistically varied contemporary composers.” He has premiered works by numerous other composers, including Alex Weston, Matthew Aucoin, and Timo Andres. For a new program called Chaconne featuring works by Beethoven, Brahms, Ligeti, Rweski and Gubaidulina, he has asked for new works from Anthony Cheung and Christopher Cerrone, to be premiered in 2019. In NYC this past autumn, he curated an innovative piano series for The Metropolis Ensemble that featured over a dozen artists in works by composers ranging from JS Bach to Steve Reich, Richard Strauss to Morton Feldman.
Balancing solo performances with meaningful collaborations, Kaplan has played with the Attacca, Ariel, Enso, Hausman, and Tesla String Quartets. As a core member of Decoda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, he performs frequently in New York’s most exciting venues, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to National Sawdust, as well as creating innovative residencies as far away as Abu Dhabi, Mexico, and Scotland. His chamber music partners have included violinists Rachel Lee Priday and Arnaud Sussmann, and cellists Ashley Bathgate, Joshua Roman, Benjamin Capps, and Nick Canellakis. In 2016, he toured a joint recital together with Pulitzer Prize winning composer/performer Caroline Shaw, and since 2007 he performs frequently as part of a piano-duo with Timo Andres. Since stepping in to replace an ailing Menahem Pressler in 2015, he has appeared widely as a guest of the New York Chamber Soloists, including at the Mondavi Center in Davis, CA. He is a veteran of numerous distinguished chamber music festivals and series, such as the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, Barge Music, and the Canadian festivals of Banff and Orford. In addition, he has been a guest at Ravinia (RSMI), Tanglewood, Bard, and the Mostly Mozart Festival. He is the Artistic Director of Lyrica Chamber Music, a community series in Morris County, NJ currently in its 31st season.
Kaplan has recorded for Naxos, in music of Mohammed Fairouz with soprano Kiera Duffy (2016), and together with Timo Andres for Nonesuch in the acclaimed disc, Shy and Mighty (2010). Kaplan’s distinguished mentors over the years include the late Claude Frank, Walter Ponce, Alfred Brendel, Richard Goode, and Emanuel Ax. He studied conducting at the Universität der Künste Berlin with Lutz Köhler, under the auspices of a Fulbright Fellowship from 2008-2010. The recipient of a DMA from Yale University in 2014, Kaplan previously studied with Walter Ponce at UCLA, where he is now Lecturer in Piano for 2016-18. Away from the keyboard, he loves cartooning and cooking, and is mildly obsessed with classic cars.
David is proud to be a Yamaha Artist, and when at home in New York City, he enjoys practicing on his childhood piano, a 1908 Hamburg Steinway model A.