The Tutunov Series at the Oregon Center for the Arts will reboot on the evening of Feb. 2 with an all-Russian program. The performance will include works by Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, and Rachmaninoff, as well as by the lesser-known Russian composer Nikolai Medtner. The performance will be given by Nikita Fitenko & Katerina Zaitseva, a luminary Washington D.C.-based piano duo.
Dr. Fitenko is currently associate professor of piano at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, he is a world-renowned concert pianist who has performed solo and with orchestras in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. His principal teachers have included Roman Lebedev, Igor Lebedev, and Joseph Banowetz. He is one of only five pianists over the last 50 years to have received the prestigious "Citation for Excellence" from his alma mater, the St. Petersberg State Conservatory. He is the founder and artistic director of the Louisiana International Piano Competition.
Ms. Zaitseva received her M.M. in Piano Performance from Southern Methodist University, a B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Texas, and a diploma in music through the Moscow State Conservatory. She has performed variously in the United States, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Portugal, South Korea, Japan and Russia, as well as for King Juan Carlos II of Spain. She has won numerous awards for piano, including the Von Mickwitz Prize, and currently teaches at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.
Fitenko and Zaitseva have performed together in duo at numurous global venues, including at the Moscow State Conservatory Hall, the Madeira Music Festival in Portugal, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Yamaha Hall in New York City, The Tokyo Piano Duo Series, the Nancyphonies Music Festival in Paris, and at Berkeley University, among others. Their critically acclaimed CD featuring works for piano duo by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms has been released internationally under the "Classical Records" label.
Following the premier concert of the series will be a performance by Sergio Marchegiani and Marco Schiavo in late March, after which Tutunov will feature a series finale with Peter Serkin towards the end of April. Marchegiani and Schiavo have played together worldwide since 2006, and have studied under such preeminent artists as Ilonka Deckers Küszler, Alexander Lonquich, Bruno Canino, Franco Scala, Aldo Ciccolini and Sergei Dorenski. The two have performed with the Berliner Symphony, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, New York Symphonic Orchestra, Mexico State Symphony Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Madrid Chamber Orchestra, among others. They record under the DECCA label.
Mr. Serkin is an American-born pianist and son of Rudolf Serkin. He began studying professionally at the age of 11 in Philadelphia, and began his concert career the following year at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. He has since performed at myriad global venues and premiers, collaborating with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under James Levine for the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen's Piano Concerto No. 4 in Boston in 2005. Serkin has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall in Chicago and New York's 92nd Street Y, and currently teaches at the Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York's Hudson River Valley.
The Tutunov Piano Series opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at the Oregon Center for the Arts, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd. in Ashland. Tickets can be purchased online at http://oca.sou.edu/events/category/tutunov-piano-series or at the door.
—Ashland resident Jeffrey Gillespie is a Daily Tidings columnist, arts reviewer and freelance writer. Email him at email@example.com.