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How to Think Like Bach

Bach's Well-Tempered Lens with Jeremy Denk

Originally Aired: Monday, May 11, 2020

Photo by Shervin Lainez


Through his works, J.S. Bach is not just teaching us how to compose; he’s teaching us how to think through an idea, meditate on it, dialogue with it. Among composers, he uniquely represents this sense of engaging with the nature of reason itself. 

Tonight, pianist Jeremy Denk wraps his residency at The Greene Space with one part discussion, one part listening session as we explore what our minds do when we hear Bach. Hear from neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, music therapist Concetta Tomaino, and flutist Emi Ferguson, while listening to Denk perform examples of Bach’s genius.  Plus, hear a solo Bach performance from Denk’s longtime recital partner, cellist Steven Isserlis.

A winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize, Denk has been drawing audiences into the technical, musicological, cultural and philosophical elements involved in his own approach to Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Through this series, he has looked at how these timeless themes and shared aspects of the human experience can help to unite us in these divided times.

Watch the live video stream here

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