Renowned pianist Joseph Banowetz, a music professor, joins a list of UNT students and alumni nominated for Grammys.
Banowetz earned the Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra for recording Kletzki’s Piano Concerto in D Minor, Op. 22, with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, with Thomas Sanderling conducting. In addition, the album’s producers Marina A. Ledin and Victor Ledin earned nominations for Classical Producer of the Year. Winners of the 53rd annual Grammy awards will be named Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.
"I am very honored and happy to bring the music of Kletzki to the American public," Banowetz says.
It is his second Grammy nomination so far. In December 2007, Banowetz and UNT alumnus Alton Chung Ming Chan received a Grammy nomination for Best Chamber Music Performance on the album Balakirev and Russian Folksong. That same year, producers Marina A. and Victor Ledin also earned a nomination for Classical Producer of the Year for the album.
Banowetz's current nomination brings recognition to the once-lost music of Kletzki, a Polish-Jewish composer whose work was buried during the Holocaust. His music came to life with the help of UNT’s Lost Composers Project -- which aims to recover the music of composers whose works were obscured as a result of the Holocaust.
Kletzki’s concerto existed as a two-piano version that was found in a buried trunk and also survived in a number of libraries. But the orchestral version couldn’t be found, said Timothy Jackson, UNT music professor who leads the Lost Composers Project.
So Jackson asked then-UNT doctoral student John Norine to arrange the orchestral version, using the second piano part as the basis for the orchestral score. The resulting recording brought Grammy recognition that Jackson hopes will stir more interest in the Lost Composers Project.
“There is some really great music buried in this repertoire,” Jackson says. “These composers were considered to be the best in Germany at the time. But for me, it is an issue of justice -- of moral and artistic justice. I think that they deserve a hearing, which they were denied.”
Other UNT ties
Others with UNT ties on the nomination list include:
- UNT alumnus Michael Daugherty, who received a nomination for "Best Classical Contemporary Composition" for his piece Deus ex Machina. The album that includes his work also received several other Grammy nominations, including Best Classical Album.
- Former UNT student Norah Jones was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
- UNT alumnus Christian rapper Lecrae Moore earned a nomination for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album for “Rehab.”
About Joseph Banowetz
Banowetz has been heard as recitalist and orchestral soloist on five continents and has performed with such orchestras as the St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) Philharmonic, Moscow State Symphony, Prague and Bratislava radio orchestras, Budapest Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Beijing Central Philharmonic, Barcelona Concert Society Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic. In 1992, Banowetz was awarded the Liszt Medal by the Hungarian Liszt Society in Budapest in recognition of his outstanding performances of Liszt and the Romantic literature.
He has been invited to teach and lecture at many schools, including the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Juilliard School of Music in New York City and London's Royal College. Banowetz has recorded more than 30 records for the Naxos, Marco Polo, Toccata Classics, Warner Brothers and Altarus labels.
He is a graduate with a First Prize from the Vienna Academy for Music and Dramatic Arts.
Ellen Rossetti with UNT News Service can be reached at Ellen.Rossetti@unt.edu.