Piano Jazz Sessions : Yaron Herman & Iddo Bar-Shaï
Yaron Herman invites Iddo Bar-Shaï: this concert brings two incredibly unique pianists together. Yaron Herman once again proves that creativity has no barriers and unites people in many different ways, working as a common denominator between musicians, styles and influences. The two musicians present a programme of creations and improvisations for two pianos and a celesta.
This concert will be broadcast on delay on Radio Classique and on the website of the Fondation.
Yaron Herman was an enthusiastic basketball player from a young age, but an injury led him to turn to music, particularly the piano, which he began playing at 16 years of age. Studying under Opher Brayer, he swiftly established a well-defined technique, qualifying him to give his first concerts in Israel. When he was just 19, he moved to Boston to start school at the prestigious Berklee College of Music but, disappointed by the education he received there, he left the United States and landed in Paris, the city he would ultimately call home.
At 21, Mr Herman recorded his first album, Takes 2 to Know 1, in a duo with drummer Sylvain Ghio. In 2006, he released Variations, his first solo album, a work that reveals a singular pianistic virtuosity demonstrated in original compositions and numerous covers: George Gershwin, Gabriel Fauré, Sting, and even popular Israeli songs. This album saw great success and was followed by a tour, giving the artist the chance to perform at the Forbidden City in Beijing, a first for a jazz pianist.
Two years later, he featured a trio on his CD A Time for Everything, accompanied by double bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Gerald Cleaver, both of whom he met in New York. This album was hailed internationally, recognition earned in part by the trio’s jazz covers of several pop songs, including Britney Spears’ Toxic and Message in a Bottle by British rock group The Police.
The second album by the same trio, Muse, came out in 2009 and was voted “Jazz Album of the Year” on iTunes. Mr Herman also took part in an increasing number of collaborations with artists such as saxophonist Raphaël Imbert, clarinettist Michel Portal and, more recently, drummer Ziv Ravitz, with whom he released the album Everyday in 2015 on the Blue Note label.
In March 2017, Mr Herman explored more distant horizons on his eighth album, Y. For this new adventure, the pianist joined forces with his alter-ego, Ziv Ravitz, and invited bassist Bastien Burger of The Dø to take part. The Franco-Israeli pianist internalises and intertwines all genres and styles that have influenced him, from jazz to post-rock to electro, whether the source is Sufjan Stevens, Steve Reich or Keith Jarrett. Capable of releasing breakneck energy as easily as expressing supremely refined sensitivity, Mr Herman chose to compose his own “songs” for Y – as they are indeed songs, each having its colours and spaces enriched by the voices of his singer and guitarist friends Matthieu Chedid (aka -M-), young French electro-pop producer Dream Koala and bluesman and crooner Hugh Coltman. Between drums recorded on a mobile phone (Jacob), heavenly choirs (Dreamson) and bells (Phoenix), the composer seeks, invents and paints a marvellous musical tableau that attains the dizzying heights of his limitless inspirations.
In 2018, Yaron Herman took part in two projects: first, he formed a trio with talented drummer Ziv Ravitz and bassist Sam Minaie (on a world tour with Melody Gardot); second, he made an album with GECA in Geneva. Following that release, they performed in prestigious venues such as Le Centquatre-Paris and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.
The album Song of the Degrees, his ninth, was recorded with Ziv Ravitz and Sam Minaie and was released in February 2019 on the prestigious Blue Note label.
Israeli pianist Iddo Bar-Shai studied with Pnina Salzman and Alexis Weissenberg. He has performed on important stages such as the Wigmore Hall, Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris Philharmonie, Tokyo Opera City Hall and the Beijing Zhongshan Concert Hall.
Iddo has played under the batons of Lawrence Foster, Elihau Inbal, Aldo Ceccato, Ion Marin and Jesus Lopez-Cobos among others with prominent orchestras such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Les Siecles and The Orchestre National de Lille.
He has performed with renowned artists such as Martha Argerich, Menahem Pressler, Renaud Capucon, Vilde Frang, Alisa Weilerstein, Anna Prohaska, Veronika Eberle and quartets such as the Ysaÿe, Ebène, Aviv, Modigliani and the American String Quartet. His interest in other forms of art brought him to collaborate, during his artist in residency at “Les Dominicains de Haute Alsace”, with shadows artist Philippe Beau for a project “Les Ombres Errantes” with Francois Couperin’s keyboard works which was highly acclaimed by the French press
Next season will mark his first collaboration on stage with renowned pianist Maria Joao Pires, the Gewandhaus orchestra and maestro Christoph Eschenbach amongst others.
He participated in festivals such as Verbier, Ravinia, La Roque d'Anthéron, Menton, “Progetto Martha Argerich” in Lugano, “La Folle Journée” festivals in Nantes, Lisbon, Tokyo, Warsaw, Bilbao and Rio de Janeiro, “La Grange de Meslay”, the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival in Berlin and Jerusalem, Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele and the Radio-France music festival in Montpellier, and his concerts were broadcast by Mezzo, Arte and NHK TV channels.
He is the founder and artistic director of the festival “Les Coups de Coeur a Chantilly” inaugurated in spring 2021 with renowned artists such as Martha Argerich (with concerts celebrating her 80th birthday), Maxim Vengerov, Mischa Maisky, Evgeny Kissin, Gidon Kremer and Renaud Capucon.
His recordings for “Mirare” label which include music by Haydn, Chopin and Francois Couperin, received numerous awards and praise by the international press; among which it was described as “one of the best ever, dedicated to the piano works of Haydn” by “Le Monde de La Musique” and as a "magnificent achievement which confirms a new great talent of present keyboard" by “Classique-News”.