It's the bane of Jeremy Denk's existence that his terrific credentials as a pianist are most often accompanied by references to his blog. Google lists 63,000 pages under his name, of which 47,000 results still show up if you add 'blog' to the search. Add one with this post, since we're falling to the trope. Again. In a way, that's his fault for writing such a compelling blog, full both of musical insights and of hilarious, deadpan commentary. We've learned a lot about how an artist approaches a piece of music. And the endearing quirkiness is the jam that makes us eagerly swallow the pill of musical structure and theory.

This should not take away from Jeremy's accomplishments as an inquisitive, accomplished pianist: he's a frequent visitor in the Bay Area where he has collaborated with MTT quite a few times (he even covered the YouTube orchestra which MTT conducted), or as the accompanist for Joshua Bell (who is in town as well, playing Bruch violin concerto tonight through Sunday at Davies). Denk will be playing a monster program on Sunday at Zellerbach Hall for Cal Performances, climbing two summits of the repertoire, Bach's Goldberg Variations and Ligeti's Etudes. He just released a solo CD of the Ives' Sonatas, two hairy (yet wonderful) pieces that would scare lesser artists. Having read Jeremy's blog for years now, we jumped at the opportunity to call him in New-York a couple weeks ago. And blame the laid-back vibe of his online writings for putting to him some questions we'd never dare ask any other virtuoso. He took it all in good stride.