Fresh Air for Friday, September 27, 2013

Vijay Iyer: Self-Taught Jazz Pianist Goes 'Solo'

A jazz pianist and bandleader, Iyer is one of the most critically acclaimed musicians of the past decade. He also has a masters in physics. Here, he explains why he decided to switch to a full-time career as a jazz musician, and describes what influenced his album Solo.

Jeremy Denk: Playing Ligeti With A Dash Of Humor

The pianist's latest album features some of the most difficult etudes ever written for solo piano by the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti. "Ligeti took the piano to places it had never been before," he says, "and makes demands of the pianist and the mind that had never been made before."
Joseph Gordon-Levitt also wrote and stars in the film, about a prolific seducer and porn addict who changes his ways when Scarlett Johansson's character enters the picture. Critic David Edelstein says Don Jon is smart, with a subversive touch.
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