Silenced – Orsolya Korcsolán’s engaging Deutsche Grammophon release of works by Sándor Kuti

A child of holocaust survivors, Hungarian born violinist Orsolya Korcsolán had always felt a deep connection to her roots, linking her Jewish heritage closely with her personal and musical identity. Crossing paths with some of classical music’s past and present iconic figures inspired a prolific career in music that now spans from performing and recording artist to cultural ambassador and pedagogue. While still a violin student at Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy, Orsolya attended –...
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Nikita Mndoyants – Pianist, Transcriber, Composer shines in powerful US debuts

At EURASIA FESTIVAL, which launched in the fall of 2017, immediately representing an important NYC performance podium with viable space at the National Opera Center, young Mndoyants’ recital was presented among the series’ strong concentration on Russian artists, many of whom are former colleagues of the festival’s co-founder, pianist Aza Sydykov, from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Presenting artists such as those from the former Soviet regions and showcasing their broad heritage and the...
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Robert Kapilow – Making Music Accessible

With humor and animated enthusiasm, Robert Kapilow creates a unique platform, inviting music lovers to deepen their journey of musical discovery. In each of his ‘What Makes It Great’ concert experiences, he divides a classical masterwork into its individual components, analyzing its stylistic intent, rhythm and harmonic structure to reveal underlying key elements that the composer applied. On this quest for a musical blueprint, Kapilow and his performers dismantle the piece’s expressive effects without...
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Passage from Russia to America – Pianist, composer and transcriber Vyacheslav Gryaznov delights in musical storytelling

A version of this article was published on BlogCritics (Nov.31,2017) Currently enrolled in the Artist Diploma program at Yale University, Slava, as he is called by his friends, speaks freely about the experiences that brought him to America from his native Russia. Dissatisfied with the trend in Russian politics toward entangling career with ideology, Slava was keen to follow his fascination with the “land of the free,” and search for new opportunities. Many of...
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Pegasus: The Orchestra – Cultural Incubator of Community

Pegasus, the winged divine stallion of Greek mythology, friend of the muses bringing lighting and thunder from Olympus to the people, perfectly embodies the orchestra’s broad aspirations: “As musicians and artists we dream of achieving new heights and letting our imagination take flight,” says Pegasus founder, pianist and composer Karén Hakobyan: “We as humans have always dreamt of defying gravity. Music does just that – it gives us wings.” Hakobyan passionately embraces his new...
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Jewish identity in music – pianist Elisaveta Blumina explores Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s oeuvre, and her own heritage in the process

Multilingual, with a vivid personality and eyes that bare her soul, the prodigal pianist born in St. Petersburg (Leningrad at the time), has built her career as performance and recording artist in Germany and beyond, and serves as artistic director of the Hamburg Chamber Music Festival since 2012. (Photo Credit: Frances Marshall) When it comes to new discovery, Blumina’s creativity as curator and performer unite, combining skilled professionalism with passionate investigation and expression. In a...
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Collected Counsel – Steven Isserlis revisits Schumann’s Advice to Young Musicians

Steven Isserlis meets the pearls of wisdom in Robert Schumann’s Advice to Young Musicians, originally meant to accompany the master’s renowned 1848 piano suite, Album for the Young, with directness and allure. Isserlis relates guidance from his vast experience as a performer, educator and writer/broadcaster, which, while closely based on Schumann’s precious aphorisms, adds his own didactic playfulness. His revised suggestions and bonus chapter, which outline his personal interpretations on Schumann’s original work in...
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Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust – shtetl buoyancy re-invented

Soulful violist and composer/arranger Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin was featured in Ljova and the Kontraband’s Sunday afternoon concert at Brooklyn’s new home for the all-inclusive new music scene, National Sawdust. Going by ‘Ljova,’ the kindred version of his traditional Russian-Hebrew name, Lev, the artist and his Kontraband filled the room, which had been arranged cabaret-style, with tuneful energy. Folksy tango tunes with virtuosic viola passages next to Yiddish folk songs performed with great gusto by...
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Bridging Music and Poetry – Mohammed Fairouz and David Handler at Le Poisson Rouge

photos and article by Ilona Oltuski – GetClassical.org   The newly launched series, Return to Language, which seeks to imaginatively blend text and music into an amalgamate of artistic substance, provided a perfect opportunity for a special presentation featuring Le Poisson Rouge’s own David Handler and American-Arab composer Mohammed Fairouz. Fairouz’s January 2015 release of Follow, Poet on Deutsche Grammophon marks the artist’s debut on the yellow power label – excellent timing for a...
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The joyous spirit of sound – cellist Ani Aznavoorian

I know the price of Silence When on the threshold of sound, It congeals in the contour of emptiness Blends with the beating heart.    (Part of the poem “Insomnia” – by Lera Auerbach) Painting by Lera Auerbach Cellist Ani Aznavoorian and pianist/composer, all around artistically creative tour de force, Lera Auerbach were roommates during their mutual years at Julliard. Perhaps it is this personal familiarity that connects two exceptional musicians, or perhaps it is...
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