Called "an altogether extraordinary pianist" (Newark Star-Ledger), “a witty, congenial and adventurous pianist and composer” (New York Times) and “the Downtown keyboard magus" (The New Yorker), Jed Distler has premiered works by Frederic Rzewski, Lois V Vierk, Virko Baley, Wendy Mae Chambers, Andrew Thomas, Simeon ten Holt, Virgil Thomson, David Maslanka, William Schimmel, Kitty Brazelton, Alvin Curran and Eleanor Hovda, many which were written especially for him.
In addition to recent commissions from Jenny Lin, IonSound and Song in Music, his works have been recorded by Margaret Leng Tan, Guy Livingston and Quattro Mani, among other new-music luminaries, and no summer would be complete without WNYC’s ritual broadcast of Jed’s String Quartet No. 1, "The Mister Softee Variations." Distler's 2011 solo piano release on the Musical Concepts label “Meditate With The Masters” features his own arrangements of famous classical themes, while his work also can be found on Bridge, New World, Decca, Nonesuch, Naxos and Point Classics.
As Composers Collaborative's co-founder and artist director, Distler has created and programmed such innovative festivals as Solo Flights, Non Sequiturand the long-running Serial Underground series at New York’s landmark Cornelia Street Café. A regularly featured CD reviewer and blogger for Gramophone and Classicstoday.com where he mostly writes about piano music, Jed helped uncover the notorious Joyce Hatto scandal in February 2007.
Recent projects include recitals devoted to Thelonious Monk’s complete songs and a new record-breaking piece for 180 keyboard instruments. Distler taught for more than 20 years at Sarah Lawrence College, and has received grants and awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer and American Composers Forum, plus a coveted MacDowell Colony residency.
The composer-pianist tradition prevails in the early 21st century through Frederic Rzewski, who turns 75 on Saturday. Host Jed Distler returns to pay tribute to one of new music’s iconic veterans.
Composer Elliott Carter died Nov. 5 at age 103. In celebration of his legacy, Q2 Music devotes a full day of programming Tuesday to his life and music.
Composer-pianist Jed Distler returns to host a week of wide-ranging keyboard(s) repertoire, including tributes to the late Elliott Carter and Aaron Copland and obscure recordings from Igor Markevitch, Lois V Vierk and George Perle.
Q2 Music welcomes back pianist-in-residence Jed Distler for a month-long investigation of Beethoven's piano music and its far-reaching effects on contemporary keyboard music. This week: The Definitive Diabellis.
Q2 Music welcomes back pianist-in-residence Jed Distler for a month-long investigation of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas and their far-reaching effects on contemporary keyboard music.
Q2 Music welcomes back pianist-in-residence Jed Distler as part of our month-long investigation of Beethoven's far-reaching effects on contemporary keyboard music.
Q2 Music welcomes back pianist-in-residence Jed Distler for a month-long investigation of Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas and the far-reaching effects this titanic body of repertoire has had on contemporary keyboard music.
Today on Q2: Jed Distler highlights piano works by modern masters including Einojuhani Rautavaara, Leo Orenstein, Ernst Krenek, Eric Moe and others. Plus, a riff on the finale of Brahms's First Symphony.
I don't know why repetitious and pulsing patterns (minimalist or otherwise) obsess me, but they usually factor into pieces of music that catch me off guard and refuse to let my attention wander. That's what binds today's seemingly unrelated selections.
OK, you've asked for it. With the Beatles on one end and Beethoven on the other, I expose my musical DNA on Monday's show. In college I absorbed Bob Helps' Zen-like piano posture, paid attention to Stanley Cowell's unsung gifts, lapped up David Maslanka's music history class, got the "tonal green light" from David Del Tredici (he dedicated Opposites Attract to me ) and landed a composer/pianist role model and lifelong friend in Frederic Rzewski.
I love to bring together seemingly unrelated composers who nevertheless relate. Who had an inkling that Jerome Kitzke and J.S. Bach were rhythmic first cousins? Who could have guessed that John Adams' 20th century minimalism, Jascha Narveson's 21st-century post-minimalism and York Bowen's unabashed 19th-century pianistic vocabulary would effortlessly intertwine? Who knew, period?