As we approach the 2013 holiday season, it seems like an opportune moment to reflect upon the outgoing year and look into the future events to come.
A word about some of my recent activities: the year 2013 started with a trip to Shanghai on behalf of my school to adjudicate auditions at our sister institution, Shanghai Normal University. I then participated in a variety of collaborative recitals with my colleagues, including Julia Heinen, my Clavierinet Duo partner from CSUN. We started the year with a tour of South Carolina in January (stops by the Furman University and University of South Carolina), performed two recitals at our school in February and November and one at the American Church in Paris in June, what was a cosmopolitan program entitled "Around the World in 80 Days."
We also have a new album out entitled "Latin Romance" available on iTunes:
I also had a great pleasure of performing recitals with the legendary violinist Daniel Shindarov (who is turning 89 this month without showing any signs of slowing down!), and with the fine Rumanian cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, with whom we presented a program entitled: "Russian Cello Ð the Voice of Freedom," featuring works by Miaskovsky, Prokofiev, Weinberg, and the US premiere of a suite "Echelle" by the Moscow composer Marina Tchistova. The highlight of our tour was a concert on the New York's Bargemusic series on April 12. Several trio performances with the Pacific Trio (Julia Heinen, clarinet and Bongshin Ko, cello) of works by Beethoven & Brahms, most notably in Barcelona, Spain in April, as well as with the Trio di Mare e Sole (Dr. Heinen and the cellist Ruslan Biryukov), with concerts March through October, capped my chamber music activities. I also participated in fundraisers for the Second International Los Angeles Paderewski Competition under the auspices of the Paderewski Music Society, including a performance of works by Chopin at the Colburn School's Zipper Concert Hall on March 3. Several adjudications, masterclasses and conference participation (MTNA) activities followed, as well as my teaching a three-week course at the Adamant Music School in Vermont, followed by another masterclass for "The Dawn & Dusk" Festival in New York City.
During the 2013-14 season I am embarking on a Scriabin Odyssey, the spring of 2014 being my sabbatical semester. I have launched this all-Scriabin recital series on September 28, 2013, performing a CSUN faculty recital followed by recitals at CSUS and Saddleback College in October. In the coming spring I am embarking on a tour of schools, such as by BYU, UNL, SFSU, USC (SC), NEC, among others on the university circuit, with lectures, classes and recitals. This will be followed by an all-Scriabin recital at New York's Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Moscow House of Music, as well as recitals in Budapest and other centers in April and May. In June I will be performing a recital of works by Schubert, Liszt and Schumann at the Frederick Historical Piano Collection in Ashburnham, MA, followed by a participation in the American Liszt Society Festival at James Madison University in Virginia. In July - early August I will again be on the faculty of the Adamant Music School in Vermont.
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Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) was a visionary Russian composer of the turn of the 20th century. His music encompasses a stylistic progression from his adolescent Chopinesque works to the futuristic compositions of 1910s, standing at the forefront of the early 20th century avant-garde. During his meteoric rise Scriabin's music evolved, absorbing Liszt's innovative forms, adopting Wagner's ideas of Gesamtkunstwerk, and embracing synesthesia, the association of sounds with colors (as in his groundbreaking orchestral tone poem Prometheus: the Poem of Fire), as well as spiritual mysticism. Scriabin's unique musical language reflected his philosophical ideas. Piano was Scriabin's main medium. That is where he made musical discoveries, experimenting with the harmonies and special sound effects, creating inimitable sonorities, impressions and characters. As time goes by, Scriabin's music shows no signs of aging; on the contrary, it remains relevant to this day. 2015 will mark the 100th anniversary of Scriabin's death. On the eve of this benchmark, I would like to offer an all-Scriabin piano solo program which will present a synopsis of the composer's stylistic and spiritual development through nearly three decades of creativity.