Vladimir Felstman in Free Recital

09/07/2004

Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck

The annual Rachel S. Thaler Concert Pianist Series at Ithaca College will bring renowned pianist Vladimir Feltsman to campus for a free recital on Friday, September 10.

Featuring J. S. Bach's first and second keyboard partitas and Modest Moussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, the concert will begin at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music.

Established in 1991 in honor of a talented pianist and longtime College supporter, the Rachel S. Thaler Concert Pianist Series has brought to the College such world-class virtuosos as Awadagin Pratt, Yefim Bronfman, Gilbert Kalish, and Garrick Ohlsson.

A regular guest soloist with every leading orchestra in the United States, Feltsman plays at the world's most prestigious concert series and music festivals. In addition to his Ithaca appearance, Feltsman will give recitals this season in Tokyo, Atlanta, San Juan, and Aspen and perform with the San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, and New World Symphonies.

Born in Moscow in 1952, Feltsman debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic at age 11. In 1971, Feltsman won the Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long International Piano Competition in Paris; this was followed by intensive touring throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe, and Japan.

In 1979, because of his growing discontent with the official Soviet ideology and rigid governmental control of the arts, Feltsman made his intention to emigrate from the Soviet Union clear by applying for an exit visa. In response, he was immediately banned from performing in public. After eight years of struggle and virtual artistic exile, he was finally granted permission to leave the Soviet Union. Upon his arrival in the United States in 1987, Feltsman was warmly greeted at the White House, where he performed his first concert in North America. That same year, his debut at Carnegie Hall established him as a major pianist on the American scene.

Sharing the great tradition of piano playing has become increasingly important to Feltsman, who holds the Distinguished Chair of Professor of Piano at the State University of New York College at New Paltz and teaches at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He is the founder and artistic director of the International Festival-Institute Piano Summer at New Paltz, a comprehensive month-long training program for advanced piano students which offers a unique, multifaceted approach to all aspects of piano performance and attracts musicians from all over the world. In addition to his Ford Hall performance, Feltsman will be offering a master class for students in the School of Music.

Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck

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