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Gabriel and Jeffrey Kahane: A Family Songbook

Gabriel Kahane – piano, guitar, voice
Jeffrey Kahane – piano

Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Hudson Hall, Rogers Music Center

In their first joint recital in a decade, father and son Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane trace their musical roots through a song-obsessed program spanning five centuries.

This evening will include solo piano works by J.S. Bach, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Duke Ellington, among others, as well as songs by Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Tracy Chapman, Connie Converse, Jerome Kern, and Gabriel Kahane.

The performance will culminate in the Oregon premiere of “Final Privacy Song”, a sprawling meditation on a climate crisis and surveillance, composed by the younger Kahane on a text by acclaimed poet Matthew Zapruder.

Jeffrey KahaneJeffrey Kahane


Equally at home at the piano or on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane is recognized around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach and Mozart to the music of our time.

Mr. Kahane has appeared 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 August 2016, he was appointed Music Director of the Sarasota Music Festival and he also served as the orchestra’s Artistic Advisor for two seasons.

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 and Los Angeles. A highly respected chamber musician, Mr. Kahane collaborates with many of today’s most important chamber ensembles and was the Artistic Director of the Green Music Center’s 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. In May 2017 Mr. Kahane completed his 20th and final season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He also 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.

During his highly successful tenure with the Los Angeles Chamber 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 were given their premieres by LACO during Mr. Kahane’s tenure. He is now the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate.

Recent and upcoming engagements include a fifth play/conduct with the New York Philharmonic as well as play/conducts with the Houston, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Milwaukee, Colorado, San Diego, San Antonio and Phoenix symphonies; concerto appearances with the Toronto, Cincinnati, New World, New Jersey, 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 New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. During the 21/22 season, Mr. Kahane performed the world premiere of a new concerto written for him by his son, Gabriel Kahane, with the Kansas City Symphony. Subsequent performances of the concerto, titled Heirloom, are scheduled with the Oregon Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and at the Aspen Music Festival, and a commercial recording is planned for April of 2023 with a release sometime during the 23/24 season on a label TBD.

Mr. Kahane also recently conducted two productions of Kurt Weill’s operas – the first, a rare fully staged production of Weill’s last Broadway opera, Lost in the Stars, during his final LACO season; and the second, a concert version of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with the Hamburg Symphony in May 2018.

Jeffrey Kahane has recorded for the SONY, EMI, Telarc, RCA, Nonesuch, Deutsche Grammophon, Virgin Records, Decca/Argo and Haenssler labels in collaborations 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.

Jeffrey Kahane

Gabriel KahaneGabriel Kahane


Gabriel Kahane’s fifth LP, Magnificent Bird (Nonesuch Records), brings to life a trunk of songs written in self-imposed isolation—a full year off the internet—with the help of a dozen-and-a-half colleagues, including Andrew Bird, Chris Thile, Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw.

In October 2020—the final month of his digital hiatus, and a resolutely chaotic period in the United States—he set out to write a song every day. “I wanted to create an aural brain scan at the end of this experiment,” he explains, “and to give myself permission to write about small things, rather than trying to distill the enormity of the moment into grand statements.”

The resulting album, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a gorgeous, intimate collection of ten musical snapshots,” finds the songwriter shuttling between the quotidian mundane and a series of overlapping national and global crises: a portrait of life in the roiling chaos of the 21st century.

As attested to by the expansive personnel on Magnificent Bird, Kahane’s musical communities are broad: past collaborators include artists ranging from Phoebe Bridgers, Paul Simon, Sylvan Esso, and Sufjan Stevens, to Pekka Kuusisto, Anthony McGill, and Attacca Quartet.

A sought-after composer of concert works, Gabriel will appear in the 2022/2023 season with the St. Louis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony, which will present emergency shelter intake form, Kahane’s 2018 oratorio exploring inequality through the lens of housing issues. He returns this fall to the Oregon Symphony, where he has served as Creative Chair since 2018, as soloist in his new song cycle The Right to Be Forgotten, a further exploration—begun with Magnificent Bird—of the increasingly fraught relationship between technology and humanity.

Kahane’s work as a theater artist has been seen at the Public Theater, which commissioned and produced his 2012 musical, February House, written with the playwright Seth Bockley, as well as at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which co-commissioned and produced Book of Travelers, first staged by director Daniel Fish in 2017, and released the following year as a critically-acclaimed album on Nonesuch Records. Gabriel’s BAM debut came in 2014, with The Ambassador, directed by Tony and Olivier Award-winner John Tiffany.

Education is an area of great interest for Kahane, who served in the spring of 2021 as a visiting lecturer at Princeton University through the Lewis Center’s Atelier program; he appears frequently throughout the United States offering master classes and workshops. Gabriel’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker online and in The New York Times; his wide-ranging newsletter “Words and Music,” can be accessed at gabrielkahane.substack.com.

The recipient of a 2021 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Kahane is a current Mellon Creative Fellow at the University of Washington. After almost two decades in New York, he relocated in March of 2020 to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his family.

Master Classes

Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane will be holding Masterclasses before their concert:

  • March 8: 10:45 a.m. in Rogers Rehearsal Hall
  • March 9: 11 a.m. in Hudson Concert Hall

Students are encouraged to attend this fantastic learning opportunity.

The general public is invited to attend and observe. There is no cost.

Willamette University

Arts at Willamette

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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