Blog Archives

Concert: Music/Words series, Mark Levine and Inna Faliks, Pianoforte Foundation, May 1

Mark Levine, a member of the Permanent Faculty in Poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of Debt (1993), Enola Gay (2000) and The Wilds (2006), will appear with pianist Inna Faliks on Sunday, May 1 at 3:00, in a series called Music/Words at the Pianoforte Foundation, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Studio 825.  Faliks will play works by Schubert, Beethoven, and a piece written for her by contemporary composer Ljva Zhurbin, and Levine will read from a new work, Rue Dementia.

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Concert: Chopin and Liszt, Katsura Tanikawa (Piano), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert, Chicago Cultural Center, April 6

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 12:15 pm

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert

Katsura Tanikawa, Piano

Toccata in E minor, BWV 914 (8’)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

“My Joys” from 6 Chants Polonais (4’)
Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)
Arr. Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)

Transcendental Etude No. 9 in A-flat Major, “Ricordanza” (11’)
Franz Liszt

Estampes (15’)
I.   Pagodes
II.  Soirée dans Grenade
III. Jardins sous la Pluie
Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)

Hailed by many critics as a vibrant and thoughtful musician, pianist Katsura Tanikawa has been the recipient of more than 20 first prizes in national and international competitions. Ms. Tanikawa has been featured with numerous orchestras in the US and abroad, including featured performances with the Frankfurt State Symphony in Germany, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra in Moscow, Russia, the Philharmonia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Sound Symphony Orchestra in New York, among many others.

Ms. Tanikawa has presented numerous solo piano recitals, including performances at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. D.C., Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall in New York, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Caramoor Performer’s Showcase Series in New York, Villa Bertramka in Prague, Czech Republic, and major concert halls in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, Japan.

Ms. Tanikawa is also an avid chamber musician, and her collaborations with other musicians have taken her to many cities in the US, Europe and Asia. Ms. Tanikawa has collaborated in chamber music performances with the members of the Vienna Philharmonic Wind Ensemble in 2006, as well as with the members of the Czech Philharmonic during the 2007 Dvorak Festival in Japan. Critics praised her performance with the ensemble “… Tanikawa’s playing was filled with exuberance, and she sang her music with deep emotion and beauty.” She has also collaborated in chamber music performances with violinist Itzhak Perlman for the Perlman Summer Music benefit concert in New York City.

In 2008, Ms. Tanikawa recorded a solo piano album of all Liszt’s music titled Katsura Tanikawa plays Franz Liszt. Previously in 2005, Ms Tanikawa released a CD under the label Art Union titled Beethoven Complete Works for Cello and Piano with renowned Viennese cellist and former cellist of the Vienna Philharmonic, Adalbert Skocic. The Beethoven Sonata album was designated as  “Most Recommended Chamber Music CD” by Record Geijitsu Music publication in Japan.

Ms. Tanikawa received her Bachelor of Music in Piano at The Juilliard School in New York City under the instruction of Yoheved Kaplinsky. She pursued her academic interests at Columbia University, culminating in a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. Ms. Tanikawa received her Master of Music degree at Yale School of Music studying under Boris Berman.

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Concert: Chopic and Prokofiev, Dror Biran (Piano), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert, Chicago Cultural Center, April 14


Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 12:15 pm

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert

Dror Biran, Piano

Two Preludes from Book I (6’)
Danseuses de Delphes
Les Collines d’Ana Capri
Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)

Ballade No. 4, Op. 58 in F minor (11’)
Frédéric Chopin (1810 – 1849)

Sonata No.7, Op.83 in B-flat Major  (18’)
I.   Allegro inquieto
II.  Andante coloroso
III. Precipitato
Sergei Prokofiev (1891 – 1953)

Dror Biran is one of Israel’s most admired and gifted pianists. His playing has been described in Die Beeld as “powerful, but also beautifully sensitive”. The Plain Dealer added “his fortissimos crashed and roared, but next to them came pianissimos that whispered seductively…he has technique to burn and uses it effectively…”   His superb tonal control combined with interesting phrasing and voicing has won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences.

Born in Israel, Mr. Biran is a top prize winner of several national and international piano competitions. He is a graduate of the Givataim Conservatory where he studied with Mrs. Lili Dorfman and of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel-Aviv University where he studied with Prof. Arie Vardi. He won top prizes at the M.K Ciurlionis International Piano Competition (1995), and the Cleveland International Piano Competition (1997) where he also received a special prize for the best performance of works by Chopin. Other honors include first prize at the “Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition” in Zaragoza, Spain (1998), and the Rafi Goralnik prize for pianists, in the Aviv Competition 2000.  He has been a recipient of multiple scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for distinguished musicians.

Mr. Biran has performed widely as a soloist with major orchestras including the Lithuanian Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic. He has played under the batons of Etinger, Rodan, Gueller, Gacia Asensio, Lane and others. His concert tours have taken him to Eastern and Western Europe, Israel and South Africa.

As a chamber musician Mr. Biran has appeared on a regular basis with different music ensembles such as the Carmel and Aviv String Quartets, and with members of the Cleveland Orchestra. His concerts have been broadcast by WCLV, WQXR, WUOL, The Voice of Music – Israel, and Classic FM South Africa, among others. He can be heard on the JMC (Jerusalem Music Centre) labels featuring ballades by Brahms and Chopin.

Mr. Biran received his Doctoral degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Mr. Paul Schenly and Dr. Daniel Shapiro. He taught at Youngstown State University and Case Western Reserve University.  Currently, he holds a piano professor position at the University of Louisville’s School of Music. His future engagements include chamber and solo concerts in the United States, Europe and Israel.

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Valse Sentimentale, Tchaikovsky, Clara-Jumi Kang (Violin) and Georgy Tchaidze (Piano), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert, Chicago Cultural Center, April 20

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 12:15 pm

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert

Clara-Jumi Kang, Violin
Georgy Tchaidze, Piano

Sonatensatz (Scherzo) (5’)
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)musi

Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Op. 78 in G Major (29’)
I.   Vivace ma non troppo
II.  Adagio
III. Allegro molto moderato
Johannes Brahms

Valse Sentimentale, Op. 51, No. 6 (3’)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)

Clara-Jumi Kang, a German of Korean origin, was born in Mannheim in 1987.  Last September, she captured the Gold Medal of the 2010 Indianapolis International Violin Competition, winning five additional special prizes and the use of the 1683 Ex-Gingold Stradivari for four years.  As a result of her triumph in Indianapolis, she has multiple concert engage-ments across North America, including her Carnegie Hall debut in the Spring of 2012.

Clara started violin and piano lessons at age three and entered the Mannheim Musikhochschule at four, studying with Valerie Gradov.  At five, she gave her debut with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. She auditioned for the Juilliard School at age 7 and was accepted on full scholarship to study with renowned pedagogue Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang. Her numerous competition prizes include First Prize at the 2010 Sendai International Violin Competition, Second Prize at the 2009 Hannover International Violin Competition, and First Prize at the 2009 Seoul International Violin Competition.

Clara recorded her first CD at age 9 on the Teldec label performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto with her siblings. She has just completed her studies with Nam Yun Kim in Korea at the Korean National University of Arts where she was accepted as one of the youngest college students. Clara now lives in Munich.

Georgy Tchaidze, First Laureate of Canada’s Honens International Piano Competition (2009), is a native of St Petersburg, Russia. He began music studies at age seven and received a degree from the Moscow State Conservatory where he studied with Sergey Dorensky. He now studies with Klaus Hellwig at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Tchaidze has performed across Russia in recital and in performance with chamber ensembles. His Honens win allowed him to bring his artistry beyond Russia for performances throughout Europe and North America. In 2010, he performed for The International Holland Music Sessions, made a ten-city German recital tour, and gave the premiere of a new work for piano and orchestra by Canadian composer Jeffrey Ryan, commissioned especially with him in mind.

Also in 2010, Tchaidze was honored to perform for the Governor General of Canada at the invitation of The Glenn Gould Foundation, and made his debut recording on the Honens label while in residence at The Banff Centre. In 2011, Tchaidze will be soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Pinchas Zukerman. He joins Clara-Jumi Kang, Gold Medalist of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and the Cecilia String Quartet, Winner of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, for two special touring projects in 2012.


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Concert: Bartók, Inesa Sinkevych (Piano), Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert, Chicago Cultural Center, April 27

Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 12:15 pm

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert

Inesa Sinkevych, Piano

Sonata in A-flat major, Hob. XVI/46 (12’)
I.   Allegro moderato
II.  Adagio
III. Finale: Presto
Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)

Kinderszenen, Op. 15 (13’)
Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856)

Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20 (12’)
Béla Bartók (1881 – 1945)

Ukrainian-born Inesa Sinkevych has established herself as one of the leading pianists of her generation. Critics have praised her “very personal sound and rich cantabile” (Ritmo, Spain) and her “intense, structurally sophisticated and thrilling playing” (General-Anzeiger, Germany). She has performed in many countries as recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist, in venues such as the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Purcell  Room at the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Minnesota Symphony Hall, the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, the Hong Kong City Hall and the Great Hall of the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon.

She has performed as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic, the Minnesota Symphony,  the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, the Gran Canaria Philharmonic of Spain, the Porto Symphony of Portugal, and the Tenerife Symphony of the Canary Islands, among others. She has also been featured in numerous international summer festivals in France, mainland Spain and the Canary Islands.

Ms. Sinkevych was a prize winner at the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Israel, the Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona (First Prize), the Vianna da Motta and the Porto international competitions in Portugal, the Cidade del Ferrol, Spanish Composers Competition and the Premio Jaén (First Prize) in Spain, the Casagrande International Competition in Italy, the Panama International Competition and the YAMAHA Piano-e-Competition in Minnesota, U.S.A.

Ms. Sinkevych began her piano studies at the Kharkov Conservatory in her native country with Victor Makarov, later studying with  Alexander Volkov at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv.  In Israel she was awarded a scholarship by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation which enabled her to continue her studies with Solomon Mikowsky in the United States, first at the Chicago College of Performing Arts (MM degree), and later at the Manhattan School of Music, where she is currently completing her DMA degree.

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Concert: Cello Sonatas, Nichols Hall, Evanston, May 7


Combining legendary training and artistry from Russia and America, cellist and MIC faculty member Wendy Warner and pianist Irina Nuzova perform at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston on Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.

The program includes:
· Cello Sonata No. 2 in A M inor, Op. 81 by Nikolai Miaskovsky
· Cello Sonata by André Previn
· Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 in D Major, Op. 58 by Felix Mendelssohn

About WarnerNuzova
Both accomplished musicians in their own right, world-renowned American cellist Wendy Warner and eminent Russian pianist Irina Nuzova, have earned critical acclaim for their riveting performances as the duo WarnerNuzova. The two performers’ contrasting cultures and traditions are at the core of the energy and insight of their interpretations. Warner and Nuzova first came together in 2005 with a mission to perform and record the canonical works for cello and piano from the past and present, as well as commissioning unique arrangements and new music. Equal prominence of the instruments is a key consideration in the musicians’ choice of repertoire. Additionally, as homage to their respective backgrounds, the women favor Russian and American repertoire, exploring the commonalities and ‘dissonances’ between the two cultural heritages. WarnerNuzova released its first joint recording, Russian Music for Cello & Piano, in August 2010 on the Cedille Records label.

About the Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago (MIC) believes that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit; therefore, our mission is to provide the foundation for lifelong engagement with music. As one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation, MIC’s musical excellence is built on the strength of our distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services. Founded in 1931, MIC is one of the oldest community music schools in Illinois. MIC is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each year, our world-class music teachers and arts therapists provide the highest quality arts education to more than 5,000 students of all ability levels, from birth to 100 years of age at campuses in Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, and Winnetka. MIC also offers lessons and programs at Steinway of Chicago stores in Northbrook and Downers Grove and early childhood and community engagement programs throughout the Chicago area and the North Shore. MIC’s Nichols Concert Hall education/performance center, located in downtown Evanston, reaches approximately 14,000 people each year. MIC community engagement and partnership programs reach an additional 6,500 Chicago Public School students annually.

MIC offers lessons, classes, and programs through four distinct areas: Community School, The Academy, Creative Arts Therapy (Institute for Therapy through the Arts), and Nichols Concert Hall.

Tickets for WarnerNuzova on Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. at MIC’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students, available at or 847.905.1500 ext. 108.

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Concert: Three movements from Petrushka and more, Chicago Cultural Center, January 26

Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 12:15 pm

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert

Roman Rabinovich, Piano

Two Sonatas in d minor and c minor (5’)
Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757)

Ballade No. 3 Op. 47 (7′)
Frederic Chopin (1810 – 1849)

Six Piano Pieces Op. 19 (6’)
Arnold Schoenberg (1872 – 1951)

Three Movements from Petrushka (3’)
Russian Dance
Petrushka’s Room
The Shrovetide Fair; Mardi Gras
Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1951)

Twenty-four year old Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich was praised for the “vivacity and virtuosity” and “the impeccable clarity of execution” and has performed throughout Europe and USA in such prestigious venues as Leipzig’s Gewandhaus and London’s Wigmore Hall, Carnegie’s Weill Hall and the Metropolitan Museum, as well as the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Salle Cortot in Paris and Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

He is a winner of the top prize at the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, 1st prizes at the Animato and the Arjil Piano Competitions in Paris, as well as the “Vendome Virtuosi” prize.

At age 10 he made his Israel Philharmonic debut under the baton of Zubin Mehta and since then performed with IPO and Maestro Mehta again in 1999 and 2003. He performed as a soloist with most Israeli orchestras, Buffalo Philharmonic, Dohnányi Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony, Delaware Symphony, and other orchestras.

In spring 2010 Roman was invited by Miriam Fried to join her at the Steans Institute’s Ravinia Tour, playing in Boston’s Gardner Museum, Ravinia’s Bennet-Gordon Hall, Stamford’s Treetops series and New York’s Merkin Hall. In 2009 TV channel “Mezzo” recorded his recital and since then it has been frequently broadcast in more than 30 countries in Europe and Asia. In May 2008 Roman replaced Murray Perahia in a recital at the Mann Auditorium in Tel-Aviv.

He has participated in international festivals such as the Lucerne Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Davos Festival, Verbie Academy in Switzerland, and the Israel Festival. He has been featured on radio and TV on numerous occasions in Europe and the United States.

Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Roman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1994, where he studied with Arie Vardi. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Seymour Lipkin and got his Masters Degree at the Juilliard School where he studied with Robert McDonald.

Roman also excels as a gifted artist, and has won prizes as a painter. For more info visit

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