WELCOME

“Ilona is a true music lover… a musical warrior working in the trenches to create new avenues for fan and artist to come together. Ilona has earned respect and admiration for her work in the New York music scene to create a new kind of intimate artist/fan concert experience. We share a common vision with Ilona in her desire to bring artists and fans closer. We salute Ilona Oltuski… a true piano lover dedicated to making a difference Bravo!”

 

Richard WatermanReal Piano Music.com

“…music has long been trickling out of traditional concert halls and into cooler, more contemporary watering holes. Hosted by the music blog GetClassical, this concert series hits a sweet spot in the art-filled Rose Bar {and other newly initiated concert venues] with a feel that’s downtown Manhattan by way of 19th century Paris salon…its variety show atmosphere is known to draw audience members to the stage. And quite a variety show it can lead to, given that {some of} the last installment’s couches were filled with musicians ranging from arty Juilliard students to Carnegie darling Evgeny Kissin.”

Harper’s BazaarHot List, June 2013

CULTURAL JOURNALIST
ILONA OLTUSKI AND GETCLASSICAL PROJECTS

Born in Berlin and growing up in Frankfurt, Germany, Ilona was always interested in the creative fields of dance, music and the arts. Studying Art History at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and piano at the Hoch’sche Conservatory, founded by Clara Schumann, culture and its historic and current correlation with society were at the core of her investigative efforts for the Historic Museum and the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt. Her dissertation on the Bezalel School in Jerusalem, was published as the first publication of its kind on Jewish Art, as part of the University’s press series. After moving to New York with her husband, Ilona continued to pursue the piano, her favorite instrument, and in doing so met and befriended many pianists ranging from various levels of amateur to professional players. Through conversations with these musicians, Ilona – a passionate amateur herself – made her reentry into the writing world by sharing her experiences, quest, and lust for piano playing with the public, and composed her first articles on blogcritics.org . (Since 2008) Soon thereafter, Ilona started her English blog ‘GetClassical’ and her German blog, ‘Wohltemperiert aus New York,’ and began writing for Naxos Deutschland, and various online publications including Classical Post, as well as the contemporary outfit Sequenza21. Ilona has also written for Listen Magazine, Jűdische Allgemeine Zeitung and for the German PianoNews Magazine; her article on pianist Inon Barnatan was published in a collection of articles in Staccato Verlag’s “Gespräche mit Pianisten” in 2017. Her blog was selected “as blog of the month” by Gramophone. Her article on the Taubman Technique was featured as a special guest post on Jessica Duchen’s famed London based blog site and her many profiles of artists reside on their respective sites.

Building alliances with international performers and talent agencies alike, GetClassical has further become synonymous with artist collaborations in salon-style concerts, with the intent to create a new audience base and fans for the young performers. Recognizing early on the magnetism of varied spaces for the classical genre, GetClassical has produced concert events in NYC since May 2012, with programmed and some surprise guest artists. Varied locations included events at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar, India House, Opera America, Yamaha,  Louis Meisel Gallery, Le Poisson Rouge as well as a monthly classical music series at Zinc Bar. Many of them broadcast by WWFM, the classical radio station. Recently events at Union Arts Center in Sparkill , the German Consulate General, Klavierhaus and St.John’s in the Village and its Revelation Gallery were added.

Since 2018, Ilona was also chosen as a member of the jury at different piano competitions, the Piano School of New York City, the Tsai Performance Center Concerto Competition at Boston University, the Philadelphia based Young Pianists’ Academy and the George Gershwin International Competition.

 

GetClassical is honored to have formed a partnership with the Vendome Prize at the Verbier Festival.

 

 

 

 

Finding GetClassical among the venerable Artistic Partners of the Vendome Prize is an outstanding and humbling endorsement and we are delighted to seek out opportunities for the chosen artists of the Vendome Prize, who would like to come to New York City and start building an audience base. Beyond a concert opportunity, GetClassical will aim to connect international guest artists within a social framework of colleagues, peers and industry leaders.

Since 2019, GetClassical embarks on a new passion project with GetClassical In School, bringing charismatic performing artists into the classroom and new audiences into the concert hall. To build on the momentum in the classroom, collaborations with concert series like Frank Salomon’s People’s Symphony Concerts, the Aspect Chamber Music Series, Eurasia Festival and our own concert series at St. John’s in the Village, will invite school kids – previously visited by our artists, to a full concert.

Inspired by the German “Rhapsody in School,” GetClassical in School was invited to host its Benefit event this November at the German Consulate General, with the international concert pianist and Rubinstein Competition winner Ching-Yun Hu.

16 Years old Ambassador for GIS, pianist Adam Jackson and Concert Pianist Ching-Yun Hu visit the Rabbi A. Schneier Park East Day School (Photo Credit: Overtone Productions LLC)

We started with single visits to Public Schools in the Bronx and currently cater selected performing artists to our two school residencies, one at a private (Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School) and one at a public school (Stuyvesant High School) in NYC and we are reaching out to new schools in the NYC metropolitan area.

(photo: Violinist Irene Abrigo and pianist Albert Cano Smit visit Stuyvesant High School)

 

For schools that do not feature a piano, we formed a partnership with KLAVIERHAUS, letting our fantastic pianists shine in an intimate environment, among its great instruments.

Here with master pianist and educator Pavel Nersessian for the Middle School class trip of the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School .

GetClassical is a LLC in partnership with THE FIELD’s fiscal sponsorship for its related fund raising activities, offering Tax Deduction to interested sponsors.  All Activities for the new initiative GetClassical In School are non-for profit through this fiscal sponsorship. We count on your tax deductible support  –  please use the linked “The Field” button.

Please scroll down to the GIS section to read more about GetClassical In School and our Artistic and Pedagogical Advisory that includes NYC Performing Arts Education Advocate Rachel Shapiro, the Director of the Irving S.Gilmore International Keyboard and Awards, Pierre Van Der Westhuizen, and Conductor, Music Director and Distinguished Professor of Music, Gerard Schwarz, former concert master of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Glenn Dicterow, as well as the iconic pianist and pedagogue, mentor of superstar pianists and former Director of the Curtis Institute of Music, Gary Graffman.

NEWS

Finding GetClassical among the venerable Artistic Partners of the Vendome Prize is an outstanding honor and we are delighted to seek out opportunities for the chosen artists of the Vendome Prize, who would like to come to New York City...
GetClassical In School is excited about the collaboration with Frank Salomon, Manager of Peoples’ Symphony Concerts, which will invite our school children, visited by extraordinary talent in the classroom, to their world class concerts. This is a unique opportunity to...
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With a surge in concert offerings in the city that never sleeps, convoyed by less media coverage, audiences’ informed choices of which artist to follow and what performance to attend, are limited. GetClassical Recommends on Facebook seeks to fill that gap and help to spread the word and access (with discounted tickets) in support of new talent and concert series’ programs that are geared to live up to high expectations.

BLOG

SAVVY NEW YORK PIANOPHILES THIS SEASON WERE PRIVY TO TWO ELECTRIFYING ENCOUNTERS WITH THE KIEV-BORN PIANIST VADYM KHOLODENKO, HERALDED CHAMPION OF THE 2013 VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION. A STUDENT OF VERA GORNOSTAYEVA, THE LEGENDARY PIANIST AT THE MOSCOW TCHAIKOVSKY...
Old time favorites and some new, made it into yesterday’s orchestral assemblage coined Glenn Dicterow with Pegasus. (All photo credits: Envogue Photography) Led by Pegasus: The Orchestra’s founder and managing director, pianist, composer and conductor Karén Hakobyan, the excellent reverberation...

Get Classical in School

Many students are not exposed to the great classical music that is part of our heritage.

We believe passionately in this music and want to share our love of it with the next generation.

We bring charismatic, professional instrumentalists and singers, who are accomplished musicians and experienced educators to your school.

Through sharing our wonderful music, we teach collaboration, cultural history, and a taste of foreign languages, addressing the inherent elements of performing: mutual respect, self-confidence and emotional expressiveness.

We make classical music both educational and fun.

Ilona Oltuski/GetClassical and the initiative GetCassical In School is a sponsored artist with The Performance Zone Inc (dba The Field), a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization serving the performing arts community.

Contributions to The Field earmarked for Ilona Oltuski / Get Classical are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about The Field, or for our national charities registration, contact: The Field, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 906 New York, NY 10038, phone: 212-691-6969.

SHOUT OUTS FOR GETCLASSICAL IN SCHOOL

"We in the Emerson String Quartet applaud the mission of GetClassical In School to bring great music to both public and private schools throughout the New York metropolitan area. Classical music has a well-proven beneficial effect on young people's intellectual, emotional and social development. In an era when arts education in public schools has undergone frequent budget cuts, and when the classical arts have a hard time competing with the massive commercial reach of popular culture, it's more important than...

- Emerson String QuartetString Quartet, Educators

“Never before has it been more important to our society to reinstate music and art back into our primary educational system. GetClassical In School fills the void that our government has failed to offer our next generation. Music is as essential as the air we breathe: It is what makes us human.”

- Glenn DicterowViolinist, Educator, Former Concert Master New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Pedagogical Advisory Board GetClassical In School

I salute Ilona’s initiative to introduce GetClassical In School, bringing classical music into the classroom. Sparking enthusiasm through personal encounters with charismatic performers will serve the next generation, bringing the joy of music into their lives.

- Evgeny KissinPianist

It gives me a great pleasure to support GetClassical in School. More than ever the world needs programs dedicated to development of arts and music in schools. Arts education process is universally recognized as one of the most valuable to children of all ages. I wish Ilona and GetClassical much success in this new and important endeavor.

- Philippe QuintViolinist

As a composer and manager at Naxos of America, I applaud Ilona Oltuski and her efforts to bring classical music to the genre’s future audience. Music education is central to what we do each and every day, and many arts organizations pay only a glancing acknowledgement of its importance. New York may boast a lot of wonderful things, but age-appropriate learning modules for the enjoyment of classical music – how it works, who are its practitioners – are largely missing...

- Sean HickeyComposer, Senior Vice-President, NAXOS OF AMERICA, INC.

“For me, being an artist has always been, above all, about communication. Ilona’s initiative to introduce GetClassical In School is a fantastic way to bring artists exactly where they ought to be; directly in the classroom exchanging ideas with future generations. I look forward to participating in GetClassical In School whenever possible!”

- Alisa WeilersteinCellist

“Music, more than any other art form, has the capacity to endow all of us, and especially young people, with the ability to transcend any challenges of present circumstance to conceive of – and ultimately attain – the brightest, happiest, most beautiful future of our dreams. I am honored to take part in GetClassical In School’s vital mission to foster inspiration that can broaden children’s horizons and propel them to achieve their full potential.” Yours with excitement, Jonathan DePeri

- Jonathan DePeriFounder and Artistic Director of Gotham Arts, Leadership Committee Member GetClassical In School

It is my pleasure to endorse Ilona Oltuski 's important initiative GetClassical In School. During my many years as an educator of young talent, I have seen firsthand how terrific it is to inspire youth to build a lifetime with music. With best wishes for continued success for you and GetClassical In School.

- Gary GraffmanPianist, Pedagogue, Pedagogical Advisory Board for GetClassical In School

Dear Ilona, I wish you great success with your new project GetClassical In School and I am very happy to be included as an artistic advisor.

- Gerard SchwarzConductor, Educator, Artistic Advisory Board GetClassical In School

"I wholeheartedly support GetClassical In School's efforts as critical in our national drive to inspire the next generation of music lovers and enthusiasts. Childhood is an age of exploration and wonder, and I can't think of a better way to develop a child's curiosity than a hands-on approach such as this. Bravo, and I look forward to seeing this wonderful initiative develop!"

- Pierre Van Der WesthuizenDirector of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Awards, Artistic Advisory Board GetClassical In School

What is GetClassical all about?

ARTISTS’ SHOUT OUTS

Ilona Oltuski has devoted herself tirelessly to broadening the audience for classical music by presenting exciting concerts in intimate, innovative New York venues. Her GetClassical series has featured established sought-after artists as well as emerging new talents. A prolific writer, she has spotlighted both prominent artists as well as anticipated stars of tomorrow in interesting interviews on her blog. llona's impeccable taste, comprehensive knowledge of music and strong contacts within the industry, has ensured success in her many endeavors. She...

- Edna LandauWriter, Consulting Educator, Artist Management

Among the best writers and interviewers proudly stands Ilona Oltuski and her GetClassical blog. She quickly gets to the point of an interview with her musical background and inquisitive mind. At the same time she offers a special and unique angle to any article she writes. Being interviewed by her is always a comfortable and inspiring process.

- Lucille Chung and Alessio BaxPianists

My manager and I loved your article and thought it was one of the best we have ever read. It's on my website now.

- Yuja WangPianist

I have had the great pleasure to see first hand the remarkable work Ilona does; presenting concerts, interviewing artists and writing about music. Her musical knowledge is extensive and her charm and brilliance are always apparent in her writing on musical subjects and her interaction with artists. She is very special in so many ways, but it is especially gratifying to have a real music lover producing concerts and reporting on music.

- Gerard SchwarzConductor, Educator, Producer

Dear Ilona, Thank you for making time for the interview. It was absolutely a joy to dive with you into my artistic journey and to feel so welcomed by your warmth, knowledge and personality. What I thought would be another 'casual' interview became a two hours fun and friendly discussion that magically - by you - brought out all I had to say and more, thank you, Amit

- Amit Peled, cellist

I had an engaging, wide-ranging conversation with Ilona that touched on many important and interesting topics, often overlooked in interview. Her perceptive questions are informed by her unique insight, knowledge and understanding. All of this came across beautifully written, in the wonderful, interesting profile she wrote. A big Thank You to GetClassical!

- Nicolas Namoradzepianist, composer, transcriber

"It was such a pleasure talking to Ilona and having an interview that was as exhaustive and intelligent as it was readable and entertainingly written. Music journalism is becoming a rare art and it's nice to know it is in good hands."

- Inon BarnatanPianist

When I first became aware of Ilona Oltuski’s GetClassical series, I wondered if perhaps here was a kindred spirit. Now, as a frequent reader of her discerning journalism and a follower of her concerts, I am truly impressed with her devotion to musicians, her intelligent and informed writing, and her infectious enthusiasm. She is not only an ally in the arts, but also a role model.

- Natasha ChernyNatasha Cherny Founder and Co-President, The Drozdoff Society Producer, Impromptu! Classical Music Recital Series
  • Special memory with these guys who stole my heart 🎶💕
  • Coming up in January 20/20 Panel to be announced ! New Yorkers will have the chance to hear the extraordinary talent, Daumants Liepins, Latvian pianist and this year’s winner of the Vendome Prize at the Verbier Festival, life in performance and interview with Zsolt Bognar. The esteemed pianist and host of “Living the classical life” will lead a panel discussion at Opéra America with the artist and a panel of some leading forces of the music industry tba. Tickets for this Getclassical event must be reserved online due to limited space .
  • Had the great pleasure to sit down for an interview with the amazing pianist Vadym Kholodenko after his latest performance in NYC at #franksalomonassociates #peoplessymphonyconcerts #jeromerose #ikif #published on #classicalpost #piano🎹 #vancliburninternationalpianocompetition #getclassical
  • We are thrilled to share the news that Glenn Dicterow, with whom I conducted one of my first interviews in NYC for GetClassical, has joined our initiative's pedagogical advisory board. The revered and beloved former concert master of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra says:“Never before has it been more important to our society to reinstate music and art back into our primary educational system. GetClassical In School fills the void that our government has failed to offer our next generation. Music is as essential as the air we breathe we. It is what makes us human.”
  • GetClassical In School Initiative Benefit Concert at the German Consulate General with award winning concert pianist #Ching-Yun Hu
  • GetClassical In School had kids on a school trip today at Klavierhaus. Concert pianist and educator Pavel Nersessian showed them the marvels of the beautiful pianis in the showroom
  • Looking through some of my work from some years ago I came across my article “virtuosity matters ,” about the amazing #EvgenyKisssin, portrayed by the wonderful #RomanRabinovich
  • Benefit Gala For GetClassical In School
Vadym Kholodenko

SAVVY NEW YORK PIANOPHILES THIS SEASON WERE PRIVY TO TWO ELECTRIFYING ENCOUNTERS WITH THE KIEV-BORN PIANIST VADYM KHOLODENKO, HERALDED CHAMPION OF THE 2013 VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION. A STUDENT OF VERA GORNOSTAYEVA, THE LEGENDARY PIANIST AT THE MOSCOW TCHAIKOVSKY CONSERVATORY AND MENTOR TO SOME GENERATIONS OF EXCEPTIONAL TALENT LIKE IVO POGORELICH, KHOLODENKO POSSESSES A DISTINCT SOPHISTICATION, EPITOMIZED BY INDIVIDUALISTIC REVERBERATION, AND PALPABLE ON THE STAGE. HE PERFORMED AT JEROME ROSE’S INTERNATIONAL KEYBOARD INSTITUTE & FESTIVAL IN JULY, AND LAST WEEK AT FRANK SALOMON’S PEOPLE’S SYMPHONY CONCERTS SERIES. HIGHLY FOCUSED ON STAGE, KHOLODENKO MESMERIZES LISTENERS WITH A SEDUCTIVE, SEEMINGLY ENDLESS ARRAY OF COLOR AND REFINED SPARKLE OF FILIGREE TEXTURES, FASHIONED WITH AN ALWAYS BRILLIANT TECHNIQUE AND—AT TIMES—SUBDUED VIRTUOSITY.

Previously published on Classical Post

In our personal conversation, Kholodenko, a thoughtful raconteur, recalls the events leading up to his success on the international competition platform and relates some fascinating insights about his thoughts on performance in general, including his particular objectives. Kholodenko has recently settled down in Luxembourg, where he resides with his wife, violinist Alena Baeva. The couple was married this August and appears in duo recitals as often as Kholodenko’s busy performance schedule allows; he now travels to international engagements about seventy-five percent of the time.

Kholodenko describes his participation at the 2004 Maria Callas Competition in Athens as one of the decisive moments in his musical life, when faith opens new doors and changes reality. During this competition, which is open to singers and pianists, alternating, every two years, Kholodenko was enrolled at the Kiev Central Music School, which he describes the institution as a counterpart to the famed Central Music School in Moscow. During his participation in the competition, he seemingly impressed Gornostayeva, who was then president of the Callas’ jury. “It was really a life-changing event for me and resulted in her inviting me to study with her in Moscow,” he says. With the title “People’s Artist of Russia,” the professor of piano and chair of the piano division of the Moscow Conservatory had celebrity status within Russia’s music world and advanced the legacy of Russian pianism internationally. Kholodenko’s talent garnered additional admiration, performances, and a stipend arranged through violinist Yuri Bashmet, who since 2002 had served as artistic director and principal conductor of the New Russia State Symphony Orchestra; Bashmet’s generosity allowed Kholodenko to stay in Moscow and continue studies at the Moscow Conservatory under Gornostayeva.

Winning gold in the 2010 Sendai Piano Competition in Japan, and the following year at the International Schubert Competition in Dortmund, prepared Kholodenko to enter the Van Cliburn International Piano competition, perhaps one of the most rigorous and widely visible showcases for pianists. His decisive win that secured recording and performance opportunities over the next years removed the necessity of partaking in future competitions. Gornostayeva, who was famous for training her students well for the “rigors of a pianist’s life,” passed away in Moscow in 2015, aware of the success bestowed upon her protégé, who following his Van Cliburn 2013 award, was appointed the first ever “Artist in Partnership” with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.*

Looking back, Kholodenko internalized his impressions, formed during some of the preparation process for piano competitions. He fondly points out that some of the unusual program choices in Dortmund, for example, were mind opening for him. “During the competition’s four rounds, it had the most original repertoire, which gave me a lot to think about,” he says, helping him consider “who I am and how I would like to spend my time as a pianist.”

It may have happened here, that his unique sensibilities for Scarlatti, amply showcased during his recent performance, was established. “We were to perform a rarified program of almost forgotten Scarlatti sonatas, and dedicated to Schubert, the competition wanted different arrangements of a movement of a piece by Schubert…these were highly unusual repertoire choices and it made me think a lot about my growing interest for pieces off the beaten path,” he explains.

He gives a lot of thought to the programs he forges for a concert performance. “They become a bit like trail posts, in a sense,” he feels, “as a pianist, I have a clear direction of what I would like to achieve in a program. But then how I feel when I play on stage, that varies. There are a lot of reactive feelings involved, some doubts are unavoidable, like: ‘I would have done this particular phrase differently, made another choice here…’ But these thoughts come and go, of course. One has an image with accents, a road map to follow, but what’s mind blowing to me is the mechanical aspect versus the transcendental, the magic, and when that happens, it’s very real. I think more so than a dazzling ‘out of body experience,’ it comes from listening yourself, being at once connected with the audience. Having the means to translate properly what’s in our minds and hands to the audience is what unites us, and I am observing its essential truth—listening and instinctively feeling understood,” he shares.

Kholodenko’s first love remains Rachmaninoff; “I can never resist Rachmaninoff, I really love his music, his style, his recordings, but Rachmaninoff really played his own music a little more dryly than how we hear his work often performed by others,” he says. “Building on to the old school of piano—referring to the Golden Age and its romantic, grand gestures of absolutely subjective means of emotionally expression—it allowed us to bring in more abstraction,” he says. “Like Glenn Gould, we can bring something more three-dimensional into play, like an edgy sculpture versus the melded paint of an oil painting.”

Perhaps it is explorations like these where his fascination with Scriabin was born, a composer, as he says, he was really struck with upon discovery. “Scriabin speaks to you from the first note,” he says. “I first approached the cycle of 24 Preludes, then the whole program,” featured on his recording, which brought him some critical acclaim and the 2018 Diapason d’Or. While Kholodenko has been commended deservedly “absorbing melodic shading [and] glittering passage work” (Philadelphia Inquirer), critic Jed Distler coined this recording, a “low-voltage” approach. “In the Fifth [sonata], incidentally, Kholodenko perversely holds the final note down with the pedal for about 20 seconds instead of releasing it quickly. The disquieting mosquito that Scriabin depicts, and Vladimir Horowitz so pointedly characterizes in the Op. 42 No. 3 Etude emerges here like a stingless honeybee…Granted, Kholodenko often fares well with the smaller, lyrical Preludes, such as in his lovingly flickering performance of Op. 16 No. 2, or in the gorgeous way that he projects Op. 16 No. 3’s long arching phrases across the footlights. And there’s no question that Kholodenko controls his instrument to the point where nothing gets in the way between intention and execution. But this is essentially low-voltage Scriabin” (Classics Today).

Interestingly, Kholodenko mentions his thoughts about his interpretation, and in respect to the much-argued release of that final note, he says: “This recording coincided with [the beginning of my] exploration of the new Fazzioli, F 308. The Scriabin recording in Italy was my first experiment with this amazing instrument, and it impacted the recording and my approach to performing his music. The Fazzioli is slightly bigger than a Steinway D and has one additional pedal, which enables a particularly nuanced and wide range of color. It’s absolutely wild to have such an additional level of control, but one has to get used to utilizing it, an additional foot might have come in handy. Reminding me of how technical advancements have always impacted the sound production on the instrument, just like when the sound produced with the use of the knee pedals in the old Hammer Claviers changed when foot pedals were invented, there was this feeling of a ‘historic’ incident, generating these amazing overtones. Incidentally, as there is no particular instruction when the pedal has to be released, I kept Scriabin’s final note of the Fifth sonata, going until the last of those overtones succumbed to silence.”

It becomes very clear that Kholodenko has thought hard and long about certain artistic choices, which resound like a blueprint in performance. Some of them are triggered by his “historically-informed interest,” which influences his philosophy of sound production. I do not feel they are lacking emotional capacity, which often comes through in his powerful and exalting or tenderly imbued, lacy interpretations. At the same time, his choices adjust according to his wishes, expressed with perfect control at the keyboard to balance the modern apex of the instrument and its millions of colors with a sound he imagines would be appropriate for the intimate setting of Beethoven’s period instruments, all the while giving the sounds their own lilt and compounded texture. “Given all our possibilities of the modern piano, it’s no wonder we do at times feel ‘naked,’ and back to bare bones in repertoire like Mozart, or Scarlatti,” he mentions, for which of course he has developed a sublime sensibility. Backstage, after his last New York City performance, he was told in an unofficial ravishing review: “Your Scarlatti truly sounded like Scarlatti!”

Personally, I felt this peculiar dualism of restraint in his performance—painting with a big brush the most lavishly organized works, and a more powerful emotional release in the more strictly organized, classical ones. The experience recalls Horowitz, whose approach to this paradigm was, famously, “one should play Mozart like Chopin and Chopin like Mozart. “

Kholodenko’s first recording for Harmonia Mundi was released in November 2013, featuring Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Petrouchka and the complete Liszt Transcendental Études, which Audiophile Audition deemed “pure gold.” A disc of the Grieg Piano Concerto and Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya was released in summer 2015, and the complete Prokofiev concerti with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 2016 and 2017. For Arthaus, he recorded Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 5 with the Mariinsky Theatre conducted by Valery Gergiev, released on DVD.

Following his Scriabin release in 2018, Hamonia Mundi continues their collaboration with Kholodenko. His solo discs of works by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev have been recorded and are awaiting publication. A magnificent amount of pianism is expected from his also already recorded disc that will feature a selection of late 19th and early 20th century Godowsky transcriptions—fiendishly difficult variants of Chopin’s works, many conceived for the left hand alone, with varying degrees of harmonic and contrapuntal additions (Godowsky made fifty in all) will be paired with the original Chopin pieces that inspired these transcriptions.

New Yorkers were already able to admire the particular elegance of Kholodenko’s Godowsky, channeling to absolute perfection the leading melody between tossed off, often one-handed keyboard-spanning whirlwinds of note clusters and glistening runs. “The Godowsky-Chopin project will give an interesting glimpse and a perspective into the composer’s and transcriber’s stylistic differences, and particular variances of both composers. I am hoping to reveal a unique view of a comparison of their differences, shedding new light on both,” Kholodenko says.

He continues to explore lesser established repertoire, whether paired with the renowned, or as a promoter of new works, most notably music written by his friend, Alexy Kurbatov. With his fellow pianist, Ukrainian-born Andrey Gugnin, Bachauer Artists Competition Gold Medal winner (2014), Kholodenko formed iDuo to promote four hands piano literature, with recordings released on Delos Records.

* Well-known in Russia, Gornostayeva gained international fame only recently when she began to give master classes internationally. The six-volume series entitled “Discovering a Legend,” produced on the LP Classics label, co-founded and produced by one her late laureates, pianist Vassily Primakov, showcases live performances from throughout her career. The album was so popular with Chicago radio audiences that the radio station, WFMT, altered its programming to play all six volumes on the day of her funeral, January 22, 2015.

Old time favorites and some new, made it into yesterday’s orchestral assemblage coined Glenn Dicterow with Pegasus.

(All photo credits: Envogue Photography)

Led by Pegasus: The Orchestra’s founder and managing director, pianist, composer and conductor Karén Hakobyan, the excellent reverberation of the 19-count strong group of string instrumentalists, this evening’s troupe for Pegasus: The Orchestra, made a compelling case for their mission – international soloists acting as an ensemble – for an enthusiastic audience filling Merkin Hall.

A recent composition by Hakobyan, titled Contempo: Bach Recombinant, pierced with frequent intermitting divisi and solo sections, was conceived with this mission in mind. *
The appearance of Glenn Dicterow, eminent violinist and previous concert master of the New York Philharmonic during an all-time record of 34 years there, gave New Yorkers (including this one) that have missed his beloved presence – a fixture at the big hall next door – extra reason to cheer.

 

Together with the elegant interpreter and the orchestra’s concert master, Eiko Kano, Dicterow gave a moving account of the majestic Bach Concerto for 2 Violins, in D minor.
The second part of the program, appropriate for the spirit of the season an uplifting account of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C major, Op.48. Hakobyan’s engaging leadership was palpable, driving fast tempi throughout.

*find further descriptions in the program notes by pianist Reed Tetzloff

Stay tuned for exciting news about Pegasus: The Orchestra’s upcoming performances including all five of Rachmaninov’ Concerti, with 5 international pianists in May, at Alice Tully Hall.

Read my article about the founding of Pegasus: The Orchestra and their residency at Mana Contemporary
https://www.getclassical.org/pegasus-the-orchestra-cultura…/