Pianist Ching-yun Hu performed at the German Consulate General in New York back on 19 November to launch a new initiative called GetClassical In School. The initiative places high caliber artists in NYC-area schools to promote classical music and music education. Credit: Primephonic

Music in NYC: Pavel Nersessian, Piano and Katrin Bulke, Soprano in GetClassical Recital

GetClassical and the Foundation For The Revival Of Classical Culture in collaboration with St. John’s in the Village open their inaugural season with a program of Mozart, Schubert, Bellini, and Verdi performed by Pavel Nersessian, piano, and Katrin Bulke, soprano; on Sat. Sept. 21 at 7.30 pm

Pavel Nersessian, piano and Katrin Bulke, soprano
Pavel Nersessian, piano and Katrin Bulke, soprano / Image courtesy of the musicians
A very special selection of songs and arias by Mozart, Schubert, Bellini, and Verdi opens a new classical music series organized by GetClassical in School. Pavel Nersessian, a Russian piano master recognized for the lyrical breadth and elegance of style, is teaming up with a German soprano Katrin Bulke for an evening of gorgeous music. Inspired by the success of Rhapsody in School, a popular program that introduces classical music and musicians to school students in Germany, GetClassical in School aims to share the joy and spark the love of classical music amongst school children in New York City. To do that, the musicians participating in the program are visiting city classrooms bringing with them the gift of classical music to students. The initiative is supported by the Foundation For The Revival of Classical Culture, Naxos of America, Inc., among other organizations. The season-opening recital takes place at St.John’s in the Village on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 7.30 pm. Online prices: $25; At the door prices: $30             BUY TICKETS Stay in the know about future events and offers by subscribing to ARTS-NY newsletter     
Pianist Pavel Nersessian
Pianist Pavel Nersessian / Image courtesy of the musician
  Pianist Pavel Nersessian is a Russian-born master virtuoso and educator. His moving and eloquent interpretations of a wide range of repertoire have inspired audiences throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States. A student, and later on the faculty of the Moscow Conservatory, he often took over the studio of his famed mentor Prof.S.Dorensky, which included famed performers such as Nicholas Lugansky and Denis Matsuev. Nersessian has won numerous competitions, including 1st prize at the 1991 GPA Dublin International Piano Competition. As a performer with a generous personality and great intellect, Nersessian appeared in collaborative performances with Borodin and Glinka Quartet, National Symphony Orchestra in Russia, Thomas Sanderling, Ani Kavafian, and the list goes on. Thought of as a pianist’s pianist with a busy performance schedule, he holds the post as a professor for piano at Boston University, since 2013.
Soprano Katrin Bulke
Soprano Katrin Bulke / Image courtesy of the musician
Soprano Katrin Bulke is a graduate of the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg, soprano Katrin Bulke is quickly establishing herself as a powerful voice within New York’s operatic world. Only in New York since 2016, she has been part of ten different stage companies in such roles as: Rosina in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Queen Elisabeth in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Amina in Bellini’s La Sonnambula and Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto, among others. The German artist impressed critics and audiences alike with her thrilling performances at the 2017 Caruso, and 2018 Concert Festival International Competition, where she received the Grand Prix. GetClassical in School aims to inspire kids to listen, learn and make attachment to classical music. Its mission is to create encounters with music directly in the classrooms. Building on the momentum of an ongoing relationship with schools, it would like to introduce a variety of instruments and performers and to invite kids to the full-length concerts. GetClassical in School and its artists believe in the importance of bringing their passion for classical music into kids‘ lives – one note at a time. Become part of this noble initiative by attending GetClassical season-opening recital on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 at 7.30 pm.

Program

F. Schubert Impromptus #2,#3,#4 , op. 90 – Pavel Nersessian, piano F. Schubert 3 songs – Katrin Bulke, soprano, Pavel Nersessian, piano W.A. Mozart  Concert aria “Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!” (K. 418) – Katrin Bulke, soprano, Pavel Nersessian, piano
           —— V. Bellini Aria from the opera “Somnambula” “Ah, non credea mirarti” – Katrin Bulke, soprano, Pavel Nersessian, piano G. Bizet “Departure”, “A gypsy woman” from “Songs of  Rhine” – Pavel Nersessian, piano G. Verdi Violetta’s aria from the opera “Traviata” – Katrin Bulke, soprano, Pavel Nersessian, piano
  Online prices: $25; At the door prices: $30             BUY TICKETS Date: Saturday, September, 21, 2019 at 7.30 pm Venue: Saint John’s in the Village, 218 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014 Stay in the know about future events and offers by subscribing to ARTS-NY newsletter       

Concert Review: Pianist Ching-Yun Hu, Presented by GetClassical in School (NYC, 19 Nov 2019)

Published 
GetClassical in School is an ambitious new initiative to bring accomplished professional classical musicians into schools, exposing students to an art form many of them may have no other opportunity to experience. The program marked its kickoff with a concert November 19 by Taiwanese-American pianist Ching-Yun Hu, one of the first virtuosi to participate.
get classical in school
Before her concert Hu spoke warmly of her recent experience speaking to and performing for the youngsters. If she is representative of the quality of talent GetClassical in School's founder Ilona Oltuski is recruiting (see the website for the full and impressive list of artists who have declared interest), her concert augurs well for the school effort. The location, the German Consulate in New York City, corresponds to Oltuski's inspiration, an established German program called Rhapsody in School. The modest concert hall was packed as Hu opened a program that leaned toward the extravagant with a Liszt onslaught. She applied an elegant touch to the rippling pastoral ecstasies of "Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este," showing mastery of the full romantic style the busy piece demands. Two Liszt transcriptions of Schubert songs followed, including the "Erlkönig," which sounds like it requires superhuman effort: Are there more than two hands on the keyboard? The evidence of the eyes proved otherwise. Nobody was up there but Hu.
While Liszt expanded on Schubert originals, contemporary composer Jeremy Gill contracts a Bach cantata, "Wie selig sind doch die," galvanizing the music with explosive and chromatic attacks even as he transcribes the multipart original for piano. Hu's beautiful New York premiere performance verged on the epic, the spirit of Bach calling out constantly from what proved to be an expansion within a contraction.
The Gill piece was a standout in an evening of fine performances that continued with "Le festin d'Escope (Aesop's Feast)" by Charles-Valentin Alkan. Hu delivered this set of trickster's variations on a theme with gusto, taking obvious joy in its flashiness.
GETCLASSICAL

GETCLASSICAL

With an unquenchable quest for excellence in classical music performance, GetClassical has built a diverse platform connecting performers and audiences within New York City’s classical music circuit. Enthusiasm for sharing performers’ talents through critical insights, profiling the artist’s individuality in a distinctly personal style, the GetClassical Blog offers topics that center on artist portraits and relate to performers’ concerts and habitat, including an insider’s perspective on international festivals, competitions and educational survey, as well as latest developments within the music business. “We at Naxos speak regularly about creating a greater culture for classical music. In so many ways, Ilona Oltuski and her platform embodies that goal. From her founding of Get Classical, dedicated to discovering and promoting valid artists at important career stages, to her popular concert series and regular presence at notable concerts, she is what the art form both creates and desires: a voice that engages the community. While more concert presenters and media outlets have turned away, she is able to help ensure that the genre, and the wildly expressive piano, always has a place.” –           Sean Hickey, composer, Senior Vice-President, NAXOS OF AMERICA, INC 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 performer. Recognizing early on the magnetism of varied spaces for the classical genre, GetClassical has produced concert events at Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar and India House, Yamaha and Louis Meisel Gallery, Le Poisson Rouge as well as a classical music series at the Zinc Bar in Manhattan’s historical Greenwich Village. …music has long been trickling out of traditional concert halls and into cooler, more contemporary watering holes. Hosted by the music blog Get Classical, 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 that 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 Bazaar Hot List, June 2012 Tirelessly devoted to broadening the audience for classical music by presenting exciting concerts in intimate, innovative New York venues, the Get Classical series has featured established sought-after artists as well as emerging new talents.      –     Edna Landau, Writer, Consulting Educator, Artist Management Many of GetClassical performances have been broadcasted by WWFM and have helped to establish an attractive artist community, which has paved the way to embark on GetClassical latest passion project; GetClassical In School – inspired by the German model Rhapsody in School – which brings charismatic performing artists into the classroom and very new audiences into the artist’s concert performances. “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 Westhuizen, Director of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Awards, Artistic Advisory Board 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 Graffman, Pianist and Pedagogue. Former Director of the Curtis Institute of Music. Pedagogical Advisory Board for GetClassical In School. “As the founder of Rhapsody in School in Germany, I salute Ilona Oltuski’s efforts to build a similar platform, akin to our motivation, in the New York Metropolitan Area. Our charismatic performers feel compelled to convey the positive message of classical music and spark youngsters’ passion, with personal encounters in the classroom. As the founder and curator of GetClassical, Ilona Oltuski shares our vision, aiming to connect the performer with the young generation. I sincerely welcome Ilona’s initiative and hope to personally partake in some of her planned events in support of this goal, in New York.” –          Lars Vogt, pianist, conductor and founder of Rhapsody in School in Germany. Endorsed by some of today’s major influencers in the field, including eminent pedagogical authorities, GetClassical has forged important partnerships with New York concert series including Frank Salomon’s People’s Symphony Concerts, the Aspect Chamber Music Series and Eurasia Festival, disseminating its outreach to young international performers. Founded by German/Israeli/American journalist and critic Ilona Oltuski in 2008, GetClassical is curated in recognition of the importance to facilitate musicians’ inherent role as an ambassador of their nations, to foster cultural understanding. GetClassical.org

GetClassical in School

19th November 2019 @ 6:00 pm

Join the gifted pianist, 2008 Rubinstein competition winner, PYRA Festival founder and artistic director Ching-Yun Hu in concert

Inspired by the German-based Rhapsody in School initiative, GetClassical In School brings charismatic performing artists to New York classrooms. Sparking the imagination and priming young students’ ears to classical music – through an utmost personal encounter – the class is then invited to attend a concert performance by the artist.

“During my several years of participating with Rhapsody in School in Germany, I had the most meaningful encounters with young students, who were curious to learn – and hear – about my art.”  -Avi Avital (internationally rewarded mandolinist)

Ching-Yun Hu Declared a “first-class talent” and praised for her “poetic use of color and confidently expressive phrasing” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), the distinguished Taiwanese-American pianist CHING-YUN HU is recognized and acclaimed worldwide for her dazzling technique, deeply probing musicality, and directly communicative performance style.

Ching-Yun Hu’s concert career has flourished with a host of engagements on five continents after winning the top prize at the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where she was also awarded the Audience Favorite Prize. Immediately after, she was engaged for a seven-city tour across Israel and a special invitation from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on only a week’s notice. A year later, she won the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City.

The concert comprises compositions created by Isaac Albéniz, Charles-Valentin Alkan, Franz Schubert and Franz Liszt. It is featured by an onstage interview, introducing the artist and her participation with GetClassical In School, followed by a reception.

Location and time: German Consulate General Otto-Carl-Kiep Auditorium 871 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 6.00 PM Admission is free, but an RSVP is required at: get-classical

For the last several years, Ilona Olutski, founder of the Getclassical series, has been staging remarkably imaginative piano-centric concerts around town. She started at Zinc Bar and has expanded to several more sonically welcoming venues. Last night at Opera America, she put on one of her most entertaining programs yet, featuring insightful performances of Schumann and Brahms works followed by a righteously hilarious roundtable discussion which didn’t take long to reach the conclusion that piano competition in the digital age needs a complete overhaul if it’s going to have any real-world relevance. “My passion is big Romantic sonatas,” pianist Daumants Liepins – winner of the Vendome Prize at last year’s Verbier Festival in Switzerland – told the crowd. Other pianists are not so lucky to get to indulge that passion to the extent that Liepins does. His interpretations of Schumann’s Piano Sonata No.1 in F# minor and and Brahms’ Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor were insightful, as skilful as one would expect from a victorious competitor, and if they erred anywhere, it was on the side of elegance and good taste. The Schumann came across as something of a pivot point where Bach meets Rachmaninoff. Liepins’ approach to the piece’s counterpoint was steady, but not to the point of rigidity. Throughout the work, there were several striking exchange of riffs that brought to mind a young Rachmaninoff parsing the score, thinking to himself, “I can distill this to three and a half minutes,” and then cranking out his famous G Minor Prelude. Throughout the piece, Liepins distinguished himself by walking a tightrope between the severe and the lyrical, reveling in the coda’s wry triumph. His take of the Brahms had a vastly wider dynamic range, and that really saved the piece. This sonata isn’t typical, translucent (some would say facile) Brahms: there’s a persistent sense of struggle, the composer trying to get something onto the page at fortissimo volume and very seldom actually nailing it. But there is a lot of humor in it, and Liepins clearly couldn’t wait to romp through those grandiose flourishes, and a little strutting faux-pomp, with more than a bit of a smirk. Contrastingly, he really let the enigmatic low lefthand murk toward the end resonate, raising the enigmatic factor. He’s recording those pieces for Steinway today, and the matter-of-fact confidence he showed here left no doubt that he’s ready for the studio. Asked afterward if he felt that competitive playing had helped his career, he affirmed that it had driven him to sharpen his chops and then flex them. But later, after everybody else on the panel was pretty much done venting, he averred that he’d played just as well at competitions he didn’t win as at those he did, chalking up the final scores to judicial capriciousness And did those competitions ever get a thrashing. Zsolt Bognar, host of Living the Classical Life, offered a withering bit of sports play-by-play, mocking the kind of nitpicking involved. Producer Joe Patrych questioned whether competitions have any positive career impact, reminding that Vladimir Horowitz only really came into his own after returning from twelve years out of music, having been typecast for years as strictly a mile-a-minute, speed-and-proficiency guy. From the academic side, both Karlstad University’s Julia Mustonen-Dahlquist and Mannes piano department chair Pavlina Dokovska spoke to the need to open up juries to non-pianists – an idea everyone enthusiastically endorsed – and decried the conflicts of interest in judging one’s own students (that happens a lot). Composer Sean Hickey soberly reminded everyone that speed and technique are hardly the only reasons why audiences come out. There was also unanimous support for taking competitions offline: both Bognar and Liepins considered how a competitively-oriented mindset goes even further into the red when playing for an internet audience along with the judges. What wasn’t addressed was how piano has come to be taught academically, and how competitions are often simply the logical end result. There’s no limit to the cynicism that can be extrapolated from how much speed-reading and technical proficiency are emphasized over interpretive skill: Cruella DeVille is very much alive, and now a career coach. And there’s a sobering reality behind piano pedagogy as Kaplan class. One day you’re playing Stockhausen, the next day Schubert, and you have to be able to shift gears seamlessly if not with any particular attunement to content, subtext or emotional connection. As everyone seemed to agree, that’s precisely where great musicians differentiate themselves from the competition. The next concert in this year’s Getclassical series is on March 17 at 7 PM at the Revelation Gallery, 224 Waverly Pl. featuring the Ekstasis Duo – pianist Eliran Avni and cellist Natasha Farni – playing a program TBA. Cover is $20. https://lucidculture.wordpress.com/2020/01/21/daumants/?fbclid=IwAR34hmqnFmS-_WYOSCMkz1ZI_Hsozo0nuzKZkoRvuFS-vEQPRxLbYzhJ6fo

PERFORMANCE: Vendome Prize Winner To Showcase Brahms and Schumann on January 20th

Pianist Daumants Liepins, Winner of the 2019 Vendome Prize at the Verbier Festival

PIANIST DAUMANTS LIEPINS, WINNER OF THE 2019 VENDOME PRIZE AT THE VERBIER FESTIVAL, IS COMING TO OPERA AMERICA FOR A SPECIAL PROGRAM OF WORKS BY SCHUMANN AND BRAHMS ON MONDAY, JANUARY 20TH, 2020. THE VENDOME PRIZE GUIDES FUTURE PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS WHO ARE “TECHNICALLY PERFECT, MAGNETIC, ORIGINAL, AMBITIOUS, IN POSSESSION OF A LARGE REPERTOIRE AND READY TO UNDERTAKE THE CHALLENGES OF A PERFORMING CAREER.” YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS PERFORMANCE!

Daumants is one of the most promising pianists of his generation. He has established himself already as one of the core musicians in his country. He is the first prize winner of Maria Canals International Piano Competition and Nordic Piano Competition, as well as laureate of the top prizes of George Enescu, James Mottram piano competitions and Tbilisi International Piano Competition, where he also received the Special Prize for Artistry.

Besides regular solo performances in different parts of the world, Daumants has performed with several symphony orchestras, including Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony orchestra, Romanian National Symphony Orchestra, Georgian National Symphony Orchestra, Kaunas Symphony orchestra.

His future engagements among others include debut recitals in major festivals like Verbier, Riga Jurmala and Enescu festival, recordings on Steinway, Naxos and other labels, orchestra tours with tours with major Spanish orchestras and a season-opening concert with Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.

Immediately after the performance, Zsolt Bognar, host of Living the Classical Life, will interview Daumants Liepins and then preside over an Industry Roundtable Panel titled: Piano Competitions in the Digital Age. A full reception will take place after the panel concludes.

Details:

Monday, January 20, 2020 at 6:30pm Opera America

330 7th Ave., 7th Floor (at 29th Street) New York, NY 10001

There will be a champagne reception before the concert at 6:30pm and the concert will start at 6:45pm. Learn more about this event and get tickets here.

Concert Review: Pianist Ching-Yun Hu, Presented by GetClassical in School (NYC, 19 Nov 2019)

GetClassical in School is an ambitious new initiative to bring accomplished professional classical musicians into schools, exposing students to an art form many of them may have no other opportunity to experience. The program marked its kickoff with a concert November 19 by Taiwanese-American pianist Ching-Yun Hu, one of the first virtuosi to participate.
get classical in school
Before her concert Hu spoke warmly of her recent experience speaking to and performing for the youngsters. If she is representative of the quality of talent GetClassical in School’s founder Ilona Oltuski is recruiting (see the website for the full and impressive list of artists who have declared interest), her concert augurs well for the school effort. The location, the German Consulate in New York City, corresponds to Oltuski’s inspiration, an established German program called Rhapsody in School. The modest concert hall was packed as Hu opened a program that leaned toward the extravagant with a Liszt onslaught. She applied an elegant touch to the rippling pastoral ecstasies of “Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este,” showing mastery of the full romantic style the busy piece demands. Two Liszt transcriptions of Schubert songs followed, including the “Erlkönig,” which sounds like it requires superhuman effort: Are there more than two hands on the keyboard? The evidence of the eyes proved otherwise. Nobody was up there but Hu. While Liszt expanded on Schubert originals, contemporary composer Jeremy Gill contracts a Bach cantata, “Wie selig sind doch die,” galvanizing the music with explosive and chromatic attacks even as he transcribes the multipart original for piano. Hu’s beautiful New York premiere performance verged on the epic, the spirit of Bach calling out constantly from what proved to be an expansion within a contraction. The Gill piece was a standout in an evening of fine performances that continued with “Le festin d’Escope (Aesop’s Feast)” by Charles-Valentin Alkan. Hu delivered this set of trickster’s variations on a theme with gusto, taking obvious joy in its flashiness. Hu rounded out the set with Chopin’s Sonata No. 3. By that time I was not surprised to find she has a solid aesthetic feel for that composer’s colorful melodies, romantic pianistic bravado, and in-your-face key choices. (B-flat minor? Seriously?) She gave us lush color in the first movement; sparkling dexterity and a hint of fragility in the second; a transportive, beyond-lovely performance of gentle depth in the third; and rumbles and crashes of thunder brought out with joyous force in the finale. Altogether this was one of the finer Chopin performances I’ve heard in recent seasons. A brief onstage interview with Hu and Oltuski followed the concert. As the GetClassical in School website explains, the program’s “school-time experiences are not formal concerts, nor are they academic music lessons either. They are a direct experience as to how music moves you. Topics covered include: How does a musician achieve his/her/their instrumental skill? When is a performance considered successful? How can you understand the bigger context surrounding a performance choice?” Visits to schools from artists participating in GetClassical in School are free for both public and private schools, and GetClassical is seeking additional private sponsors for the program, which is currently operating in New York City and may expand to other locales. For more about GetClassical in School, and contact information if you’re a student or educator interested for your school, visit the website.

Beyond NYC: Sparkill Concert Series in Memory of a Great Artist

All Tchaikovsky program including breathtaking Piano Trio in A Minor and Concert Suite “The Nutcracker “ on Sunday December 9, 2018 at 3 pm

Vassily Primakov, Yves Dharamraj, Filip Pogády
Vassily Primakov, Yves Dharamraj, Filip Pogády / Images courtesy of the artists
Presented by Sparkill Concert Series and GetClassical, “In Memory of a Great Artist” an all Tchaikovsky program is a wonderful holiday treat for music lovers. The program features pianist Vassily Primakov, violinist Filip Pogády, cellist Yves Dharamraj, and guest artists, Oxana Mikhailoff and Asiya Korepanova. Korepanova will also display her original artwork – a collection of 18 drawings – inspired by the pieces that make up Tchaikovsky’s Op.72. While no-one can imagine Winter Holiday time without the eternal music from the Nutcracker, the rest of the program is a thought-provoking and serious compositions perfectly fitting for the concert in memory a beloved composer. The truly international group of musicians assembled for this concert is a testimony of the universal power of great music and of Tchaikovsky’s enormous contribution to this art genre.

Click here for tickets.