Safe Space with Jonathan Biss and Adam Haslett

Monday, January 9 , 2012 at 7:00pm

Join classical pianist Jonathan Biss, “a virtuoso and poetic pianist of the first order” (_Chicago Sun-Times_), and novelist Adam Haslett (_Union Atlantic, You Are Not a Stranger Here_, a finalist for the National Book Award and for the Pulitzer Prize) for the debut of a new Housing Works Bookstore Cafe series, Safe Space: a chance for classical music and literature fans to get a taste of each others’ worlds. There will be a musical performance, a reading, and an open conversation about the intersection of music and literature.

New York City is a playground of culture, but we often end up stuck in the familiar; hopping from reading to reading, going to shows at one venue. There’s whole other worlds out there of inspiring art, but how does one know where to begin? Opera and concert ticket prices can be prohibitively high for a rookie, and there’s dozens of readings every night throughout the city. Safe Space aims to provide an answer: an intimate, personal evening with a classical musician in conversation with a hand-picked author, on music, literature, influence, the artistic life, and how we’re going to get a grand piano inside the bookstore. It’s a chance for classical fans to see musicians in a new setting and perhaps become acquainted with a new favorite writer; and for literary types to sample classical music in a familiar, low-impact setting and to see writers in a unique context.

In addition to the inaugural event on January 9, there will be two more Safe Space events this spring; we are finalizing details for an event February 13, 2012, with pianist Jeremy Denk, as well as a third in April with violist Nadia Sirota.

Adam Haslett is the author of the national best-selling novel Union Atlantic and the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here, which was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. In 2011 he was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center and is the recipient of a PEN/Malamud Award. His work has been translated into eighteen languages. He lives in New York City.

Pianist Jonathan Biss is widely regarded for his artistry and deeply felt interpretations, winning international recognition for his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances and for his award-winning recordings. This year, Jonathan began a nine-year project of recording all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas. The first CD of the project will be released by Onyx Classics on January 9, the day of this event. Music and writing have also recently intersected in his own life with the release of a “Kindle Single” he authored called Beethoven’s Shadow now available at

Tickets guarantee admission but not seating, which will be on a first-come first-served basis.
All ticket sales go to benefit Housing Works in our mission to fight AIDS and homelessness.

Online ticket sales are now closed. Tickets will be available at the door starting at 6:30PM.

Bookstore Cafe

126 Crosby Street New York, NY 10012

Map | Directions

Hours: Mon–Fri: 9 AM–9 PM, Sat–Sun: 10 AM–5 PM


The first 3 members who send an email to each get a FREE pair of standing-room tickets.

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