Welcome to GetClassical – a platform for classical music enthusiasts, offering information about today’s classical music scene through our blog posts and connecting artist and new audiences through GetClassical’s concert events.
Music Journalist and founder of GetClassical, Ilona Oltuski, (member of MCANA) is thrilled to celebrate GetClassical’s 10th season, showcasing a variety of great performances by upcoming and arrived musicians of great caliber. Some, you will have heard here first, some are household names within New York’s vibrant music scene – but all collaborations are based on close relationships with the artists and appreciation for their great, musical talent.
GetClassical continues its relationship with WWFM whose broad spectrum of listeners we would like to welcome for another exciting season of broadcasts.
GetClassical has also formed a new initiative GetClassical In School. Inspired by the widely successful German initiative Rhapsody in School, founded by renowned pianist Lars Vogt, it’s goal is to bring charismatic performers into the classroom and share an intimate perspective on performers’ life and experience. In turn, we like to find sponsors to follow up this initial contact with an actual concert experience by the artist and bring in new audiences into the concert halls through sponsored tickets. GetClassical builds a network of schools and artists to initiate such an exchange in the Tri State area and I am looking forward to work with international artists and the local administration on this exciting project.
We produce events of a great variety, performed at different venues: from cabaret star Adrienne Haan’s Carnegie Hall’s debut at Weill Recital Hall, to world renowned cellist Mischa Maisky and friends, at LePoisson Rouge. Art lovers have experienced music in their favorite environment: Soho’s art gallery Louis Meisel. We also started a piano salon series at Yamaha, Titled “Sound Visions,” we collaborated with visual artists, and also bringing photography into the mix. We are currently reaching out to fashion designers trying to bring the worlds of fashion and music together.
Our monthly series at the very intimate, downtown Jazz Club Zinc Bar, right in the heart of New York City’s downtown nightlife scene and our collaboration with Yamaha Artists Services, at their newly renovated showroom was exciting. We visited Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall with some eminent UN ambassadors and other shakers and makers, and found new venues, never before used for classical concertizing.
Our latest collaboration takes place at the Union Arts Center at Sparkill, New York, presenting art and music at a quaint location, off the beaten path.
Classical music has a great tradition, but musicians realize the importance of reaching out to a wider audience, and to create a fresh outlook and enthusiasm to classical music with new venues and collaborations.
What makes our concerts special is the actual concert experience: GetClassical creates a very personal and relaxed environment that encourages people – with a glass of wine in hand – … to celebrate talent, the way it used to be celebrated when classical compositions of the day, represented the newest talent on the block. It’s in this spirit of community building and artistic interaction; we also welcome visiting guest artists to the stage. Jazz musicians have always encouraged “jamming” together – we will extend this friendly gesture to the classical experience, adding an element of excitement and surprise. You will definitely have the opportunity to meet the artists, up close and personal – we bring the after-party to the concert.
Get Classical at India House
Film maker Hilan Warshaw’s take on one of GetClassical ‘s concert events at the beautiful historic India House in downtown NYC.
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. Since 2012, Ilona is a member of MCANA ( Music Critics Association of North America) and has 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. On January 20th/ 2020, GetClassical presents the 2019 Vendome Prize Winner Daumants Lepiens at Opera America in concert and interview and following industry roundtable:
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.
“GetClassical In School is a wonderful idea, I like the initiative very much. Its a special experience to bring live music and performers to the kids into the classroom. The energy can make for a powerful impact and inspire kids to love classical music and to find out more about it. Congratulations.”