Boris Giltburg, piano
Union College



Sunday, November 26, 2023 - 3:00 PM

On the heels of his stunning 2022 debut, Giltburg brings his breathtaking virtuosity and probing intellect to a program that ingeniously balances Rachmaninoff’s world of miniatures with two large-scale works that reimagined the sonata form.

Beethoven: A-flat major Sonata, Op. 110
Liszt: B-minor Sonata
Rachmaninoff: 13 Preludes, Op. 32

Sponsored by Ellen-Deane Cummins


Union College
Memorial Chapel
Schenectady, NY

General Admission seating – doors open 45 minutes before concert.
All kids and college students admitted free at door.

Ticket information and policies

The Moscow-born, Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg is lauded across the globe as a deeply sensitive, insightful, and compelling interpreter. Critics have praised his “singing line, variety of touch, and broad dynamic palette capable of great surges of energy” (Washington Post) as well as his impassioned, narrative-driven approach to performance: “the interplay of spiritual calm and emphatic engagement is gripping, and one could not wish for a more illuminating, lyrical, or more richly phrased interpretation” (Suddeutsche Zeitung).

Giltburg is widely recognized as a leading interpreter of Rachmaninov: “His originality stems from a convergence of heart and mind, served by immaculate technique and motivated by a deep and abiding love for one of the 20th century’s greatest composer-pianists” (Gramophone). To celebrate Rachmaninov’s 150th anniversary in 2023, Giltburg completes his cycle of Rachmaninov’s solo works and has released the last disc in his acclaimed Rachmaninov concerto cycle. To coincide with this, Giltburg’s plans have included Rachmaninov concerti with Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony at the Barbican, with Tomáš Netopil and the Czech Philharmonic at the Rudolfinum, with Nicholas Collon and the Finnish Radio Symphony, with Krzysztof Urbanski and the Dresden Philharmonic, and the complete cycle with the Brussels Philharmonic and Giancarlo Guerrero at Flagey. Recital appearances this year featuring Rachmaninov include the Stuttgart Liederhalle, Duesseldorf Tonhalle, Birmingham Town Hall, Spivey Hall, Atlanta, and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

In recent years, Giltburg has engaged in a series of in-depth explorations of other major composers. Over the past two seasons, he has explored the complete works of Maurice Ravel, performing the solo works shared amongst Bozar, Flagey, and the Amsterdam Musiekgebouw, and the whole cycle at Wigmore, finishing with the violin sonatas in October 2023 in a new collaboration with Alina Ibragimova. He played the Ravel concerti with the Orchestre National de France/Macelaru at Bozar, Brussels Philharmonic/Prieto at Flagey, and Residentie Orkest/Bihlmaier at the Concertgebouw.

To celebrate the Beethoven anniversary in 2020, he embarked upon a unique project to record and film all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas across the year, blogging about the process as it unfolded. "These interpretations are enormously pleasurable and at times revelatory…Giltburg’s pianism is ideally suited to late Beethoven" (five stars, BBC Music Magazine). He also recorded the complete concerti with Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, appeared in the BBC TV series “Being Beethoven,” and performed both concerti and sonatas in concert.

Giltburg regularly plays recitals in the world’s most prestigious halls, including Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Wiener Konzerthaus, and Southbank Centre. He has worked with many top orchestras and conductors across the world including with Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Santa Cecilia di Roma, and at the BBC Proms.

Giltburg is a consummate recording artist and has been exclusive to Naxos since 2015, winning the Opus Klassik award for Best Soloist Recording for Rachmaninov concerti and Etudes Tableaux; and a Diapason d’Or for Shostakovich concerti and his own arrangement of Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet. He also won a Gramophone Award for the Dvořák Piano Quintet on Supraphon with the Pavel Haas Quartet, as well as a Diapason d’Or for their latest joint release, the Brahms Piano Quintet.

Giltburg feels a strong need to engage audiences beyond the concert hall. His blog “Classical music for all” is aimed at a non-specialist audience, and he complements it with articles in publications such as Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Guardian, Times, and Fono Forum. During the lockdown period in spring 2020, Giltburg regularly streamed live performances and masterclasses from home, with over 1 million views.