Meet Jason Hardink
A fearless interpreter of large-scale piano works both modern and historical, Jason Hardink’s recent repertoire includes the complete Michael Hersch The Vanishing Pavilions, Olivier Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus, the Liszt Transcendental Etudes paired with the Boulez Notations, and Wolfgang Rihm’s numbered Klavierstücke, all of which he performs from memory.
His recent debut at Weill Recital Hall was lauded for its audacious programming and pianism demonstrating both “abandon and remarkable clarity” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times). David Wright of New York Classical Review called the recital an “analogous musical event” to Alex Honnold’s free solo ascent of El Capitan, and Frank Daykin of New York Concert Review wrote “I want to emphasize how very impressive this recital was, and how un-routine the programming was.”
Recent performances include his debut at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music as soloist in the North American premiere of Gerald Barry’s Piano Concerto with conductor Cristian Macelaru. Concerts during the 2019-2020 season include the premiere of a new solo piano work by Jason Eckardt at National Sawdust celebrating the centenary of Ives’ Concord Sonata, a performance of Michael Hersch’s The Vanishing Pavilions at Wien Modern, the complete Liszt Transcendental Etudes performed on an 1852 Bösendorfer at Music in Context in Houston, and Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles… with the Utah Symphony and Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Much sought after as a chamber musician, Mr. Hardink has collaborated in recital with violinists Augustin Hadelich, Nicola Benedetti, and Phillip Setzer. His performances with Augustin Hadelich of Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major (opus 30, No. 3) the Stravinsky Divertimento were recently featured on Performance Today. He has appeared on chamber music series all over the U.S., including Music in Context, fEARnoMUSIC, Music on the Hill, Aperio Music of the Americas, Montana Chamber Music Society, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Hardink has performed solo works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms on period instruments, and he has toured Norway with violinist Tor Johan Bøen performing the Grieg Sonatas for Violin and Piano on an 1853 Blüthner. He has performed concerti with conductors Donald Runnicles, Carlos Kalmar, and Brett Mitchell and regularly appears at the Grand Teton Music Festival every summer.
Mr. Hardink has commissioned a number of piano works, including Thomas Osborne’s And the Waves Sing Because They Are Moving, Bruce Quaglia’s Passagio Scuro, and Inés Thiebaut’s concerto for piano and small ensemble, Hiraeth. Upcoming commission projects include new solo works by Jason Eckardt, Steven Roens, Inés Thiebaut, and Anthony Green.
Recording projects include a recent performance of Saint-Saens’ Le carnaval des animaux with the Utah Symphony, Thierry Fischer, and pianist Kimi Kawashima, to be released as a live recording on the Hyperion label. Upcoming recordings releases include Jason Eckardt’s pulse-echo with the JACK Quartet.
Mr. Hardink has appeared as guest recitalist and adjudicator for both the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the Oberlin International Piano Competition. He has served as guest artist for the University of Utah Summer Chamber Music Workshop and the Idaho State University Summer Piano Institute. A native of Rhode Island and a graduate of both Oberlin Conservatory and the Shepherd School of Music, his former teachers include Robert Boberg and Sanford Margolis. Hardink holds a DMA from Rice University, where he studied with Brian Connelly; his Doctoral thesis “Messiaen and Plainchant” explores the varying levels of influence that Gregorian chant exerted on the music of Olivier Messiaen.
Mr. Hardink resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he holds the position of Principal Keyboard with the Utah Symphony and serves on the piano faculty of Westminster College. He is married to pianist Kimi Kawashima, and they are parents of twin boys, Luc and Derek.