Equally at home at the keyboard or on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams.
Mr. Kahane appears as soloist with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago and San Francisco symphonies among many others and is also a popular artist at all of the major US summer festivals, including Aspen, Blossom, Caramoor, Mostly Mozart and Ravinia. In April 2016, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Sarasota Music Festival, which offers master classes and chamber music coaching by a distinguished international faculty and features chamber music performances and orchestral concerts performed by highly advanced student and young professionals as well as faculty members.
Since making his Carnegie Hall debut in 1983, he has given recitals in many of the nation’s major music centers including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Equally at home as a chamber musician, Mr. Kahane collaborates with many of today’s most important chamber ensembles and was the Artistic Director of the Green Music Center Chamberfest during the summers of 2015 and 2016.
Jeffrey Kahane made his conducting debut at the Oregon Bach Festival in 1988. Since then, he has guest conducted many of the major US orchestras including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Indianapolis and New World symphonies among others. He served as the Music Director of the Colorado Symphony from the 2005/06 season through the 2009/10 season and for ten seasons was Music Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony, where he is now Conductor Laureate. He has received much recognition for his innovative programming and commitment to education and community involvement with all three orchestras and received ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming for his work in both Los Angeles and Denver.
Recent and upcoming engagements include a play/conduct for the fourth time with the New York Philharmonic as well as with the Houston, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Detroit, Milwaukee, Colorado, San Diego and Phoenix symphonies; concerto appearances with the Toronto, Cincinnati, New World, Oregon and Utah symphonies; and appearances at the Aspen, Britt, Oregon Bach and Tippet Rise festivals as well as with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia and with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra.
In May 2017, Mr. Kahane completed his 20th and final season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. During his highly successful tenure with the orchestra, he spearheaded the creation of many new initiatives, including Westside Connections, a chamber music series that brings together LACO musicians and guest artists with speakers from a wide range of disciplines; Baroque Conversations, which presents chamber and orchestral music of the 17th and 18th centuries with spoken program notes and audience Q and A; “Discover” concerts, evenings devoted to the exploration of a single work involving an hour long lecture with the orchestra on stage, followed by a complete performance; and Sound Investment, a commissioning club whereby for a modest investment, LACO patrons can participate in the commissioning of a major new work and interact with the composer from the very first stages of its conception to the performance. Between this program and the regular commissioning of new pieces, over 50 works have been given their premieres by LACO during Mr. Kahane’s tenure.
To celebrate his final season, Mr. Kahane programmed and oversaw a three week city-wide festival in January 2017. The festival incorporated a major educational and outreach project honoring the legacies of composer Kurt Weill and civil rights activist Rabbi Joachim Prinz and culminated in Kahane conducting LACO and a distinguished cast of vocalists in a rare production of Kurt Weill’s final Broadway opera, “Lost in the Stars.”
Jeffrey Kahane has recorded for the SONY, EMI, Telarc, RCA, Nonesuch, Deutsche Grammophon, Virgin Records, Decca/Argo and Haenssler labels in collaboration with the New World, Cincinnati, Bournemouth and Oregon Bach Festival symphonies. He has also recorded works by Gershwin and Bernstein with Yo-Yo- Ma, the complete works for violin and piano by Schubert with Joseph Swensen, and Bach concertos with LACO and Hilary Hahn.
A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mr. Kahane's early piano studies were with Howard Weisel and Jakob Gimpel. First Prize winner at the 1983 Rubinstein Competition and a finalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition, he was also the recipient of a 1983 Avery Fisher Career Grant. An avid linguist who reads widely in a number of ancient and modern languages, Mr. Kahane received a Master’s Degree in Classics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011. He is currently a Professor of Keyboard Studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
Jeffrey Kahane resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Martha, a clinical psychologist in private practice. They have two children - Gabriel, a composer, pianist and singer/songwriter and Annie, a dancer and poet.