Over the last decade, Gabriel Kahane has quietly established himself as one of the leading exponents of American song, grafting a deep interest in character and narrative to a keen sense of harmony and rhythm. On the heels of his major label debut, The Ambassador, hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums,” Kahane now celebrates the release of his fifth LP, The Fiction Issue, an album comprising three chamber works performed by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, with vocal participations by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and Kahane himself.
Kahane has collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including Sufjan Stevens, Blake Mills, and Chris Thile, front man of Punch Brothers, for whom Kahane opened forty concerts in the United States last year. In addition to a tour with Brooklyn Rider in support of The Fiction Issue, this season finds Kahane returning to Carnegie Hall for a duo recital with pianist/composer Timo Andres. In March, Kahane will make his European debut with concerts at Kings Place in London, the Paris Philharmonic, and the Finnish National Theater in Helsinki, among others.
As a composer increasingly known to mine his songs for material in larger-scale works, Kahane has been commissioned by, among others, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured in the spring of 2013, performing “Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States,” an hour-long cycle on texts from the WPA American Guide Series. He has written three works for the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial, to be performed by the Interlochen Academy Orchestra, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus, with violinist Jennifer Koh.
It is his strong classical-music background that allows him to add layering to his basically light and melancholy style.
A charismatic performer, he is equally at ease in hipster bars and Carnegie Hall.