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IU Jacobs School of Music alumnus named 2013 MacArthur Fellow


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Concert pianist Jeremy Denk, an Indiana University Jacobs School of Music alumnus who also served on the school's faculty, has been named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow.

As one of 24 fellows to receive a MacArthur "genius grant," Denk will receive a stipend of $625,000 paid out over five years. There are no stipulations for use or reporting requirements for the stipend, allowing recipients the freedom to follow their own creative vision.

Other 2013 fellows include a paleobotanist, behavioral economist, medieval historian, playwright, astrophysicist and immigration lawyer.

Denk received a master's degree in music from the Jacobs School of Music in 1993. He was appointed as visiting assistant professor at the Jacobs School in August 1996 and then served as an assistant professor from August 1997 through May 2003.

He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and London. He recently returned to Carnegie Hall in recital as part of a 13-city tour of the U.S. and performed Bach’s complete set of six keyboard concertos in a single evening with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Denk will perform and curate as music director the 2014 Ojai Music Festival, for which he is also composing the libretto to a semi-satirical opera. He has toured frequently with fellow Jacobs School of Music alumnus and faculty member, violinist Joshua Bell. Their album "French Impressions" won the 2012 Echo Klassik Award.

"As a complement to his performance career, Denk is a gifted expositor," the pianist's MacArthur Fellow bio reads. "In the liner notes on his recordings, his blog, Think Denk -- a spirited 'life log' of technical analysis, informative repartee and witty memoir -- and articles in publications such as the New Yorker and the New Republic, he couples analytical thinking about the sound and structure of a piece with lyrical descriptions of the affect produced as one plays or listens to it. Denk’s writings not only offer poignant and humorous meditations on such subjects as the complex relationship between protégé and mentor, they also demonstrate the connection between the process of writing and the practicing musician’s ceaseless efforts to find the most vivid and meaningful way to bring a particular phrase to life."

Nearly 900 MacArthur Fellows have been named since the awards began in 1981. A complete list of previous fellows is available online.