November 11, 2003

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Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY — The indelible bond forged between master teacher and aspiring musician has for years intrigued the public through movies, personal letters and books.   The strength of that relationship will be evident in the latest “Eastman in New York” concert to benefit the Eastman School of Music’s Unrestricted Scholarship Fund: a collaboration between Ukrainian-American violin virtuoso and Eastman Professor Oleh Krysa and six of his Eastman students at Carnegie’s Weill Hall (154 West 57 th Street) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 6 .   A prominent student himself of the great violinist and teacher David Oistrakh, Krysa’s Eastern European roots will be displayed in force through a variety of works — many with personal connections — including an American and a world premiere performance.  

In organizing this most original concert, Krysa tried to match his students’ personalities to the music with which he is so familiar.   Krysa worked at length with each of his students, who hail from Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Bulgaria, and Kazakhstan, and who range from sophomores to master’s students, plus a 2002 graduate.   All of them already have impressive performing credentials, both in their own countries and abroad.   Accompanists will be JiEun Han, an Eastman doctoral student, and Tatiana Tchekina, Krysa’s Moscow-born musical partner and wife, and assistant professor of chamber music and accompanying at Eastman.   Tchekina studied at the Moscow Conservatory and taught at the Kiev Conservatory and the Moscow Gnesin Institute.   She has made almost two dozen recordings, and has performed throughout the world with Mr. Krysa.

The American premiere of one of Russian composer Reinhold Gliere’s last compositions, the brilliant one-movement Concert Allegro (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra) will be performed by master’s student Ju-Hyun Lee.   The work was completed and orchestrated by Gliere’s pupil, famous Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshinsky.   Undergraduate Ko Taniguchi performs Ukrainian Triptych (1972) by Yevhen Stankovych, one of Ukraine’s leading living composers. The American premiere of this work was given by Mr. Krysa.   Eastman junior Chen-Han Tsai performs the 1967 Partita for Solo Violin by Vytautas Barkauskas — a work which cleverly fuses twelve-tone style with the Baroque-style partita — and a violin and piano arrangement of Dimitri Shostakovich’s Two Preludes, op. 34, Nos. 17 and 5 .   Master’s student and prizewinner of several international competitions, Ainur Zabenova closes the concert’s first half with the “Vardar” Rhapsody (1922) by distinguished Bulgarian composer, Pancho Vladigerov, a work that often was performed by David Oistrakh and many other renowned violinists of the time.  

The concert’s second half features sophomore Grace Lee pairing two Polish composers: Witold Lutoslawski’s Subito (1992) and Aleksander Zarzycki’s brilliant Mazurka (1884).   Ms. Lee and Ko Taniguchi play off of one another in the virtuosic Two Etude-Caprices for Two Violins, op. 18, Nos. 2 and 4 by Henryk Wieniawski.   The pieces were written in 1863 when the composer lived in St. Petersburg and worked at the Russian court as a successor to Vieuxtemps.

After hearing a recent work by Eastman doctoral student and Moscow native Vera Ivanova, Mr. Krysa asked her to compose a piece for him and Tchekina as a world premiere for this concert.   The result is Fantasy-Toccata, a vigorous interplay between two contrasting instruments acting as dancers onstage. The exchange of short tunes was inspired by traditional Russian hand-made patchwork, in which small patches of different fabric create a larger mosaic-like cloth.   Ivanova recently received an honorable mention at the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Awards.

Closing the concert will be Mr. Krysa and his former graduate student Jassen Todorov in Prokofiev’s 1932 Sonata for Two Violins, Op. 56.   In 1999, Todorov made his New York recital debut at Weill Hall, and has won numerous competitions.   After receiving his master’s degree in 2002 from Eastman, he was appointed assistant professor at San Francisco State University.  

A distinguished soloist, chamber musician and teacher, Oleh Krysa made his American debut in 1971 at Carnegie Hall.   The New York Times called it “a performance to make a violinist’s reputation, had he come without one.”   Krysa received first prize in the 1962 Paganini Competition and was a major prizewinner in the Wieniawski, Tchaikowsky, and Montreal International Violin Competitions.   Prior to his Eastman appointment in 1993, he held positions at the Kiev and Moscow Conservatories, and the Manhattan School of Music.   A champion of contemporary music, Krysa regularly appears in concerts throughout the world.

Tickets for this “Eastman in New York” concert are $30 ($20 students/seniors).   Call the Carnegie Hall box office at 212-247-7800, or visit www.carnegiehall.org.


Note to editors :   Oleh Krysa and his students are available for interviews.