“Adventurous and passionate” (The New Yorker) Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most exciting, committed, communicative and poetic artists of her generation. Faliks has made a name for herself through her commanding performances of standard piano repertoire, as well genre-bending, interdisciplinary projects, and inquisitive work with contemporary composers. After her acclaimed teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Faliks is currently Professor of Piano and Head of Piano at UCLA. Critics call her “a concert pianist of the highest order” (Chicago WTTW), praise her “courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection” (General-Anzeiger Bonn), “remarkable insight” (Audiophile Audition) “poetry and panoramic vision” (Washington Post), “riveting passion, playfulness” (Baltimore Sun) and “signature blend of lithe grace and raw power” (Lucid Culture). Her October 2014 all-Beethoven CD release on MSR classics drew rave reviews: the disc’s preview on on WTTW called Faliks “High priestess of the piano, pianist of the highest order, as dramatic and subtle as a great stage actor.” Her previous, critically acclaimed CD on MSR Classics, Sound of Verse, was released in 2009, featuring music of Boris Pasternak, Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Her discography also includes a recital recording for the Yamaha Disklavier library. Recording projects in the works include a Brahms sonatas CD, Chopin solo and cello sonatas recording with cellist Wendy Warner, as well as Polonaise-Fantaisie: Story of a Pianist – a recital of encores for piano combined with essays written by Faliks, to be released on the Delos label. A musical memoir, titled Weight in the Fingertips, will be published in 2023 by Globe Pequot.
Ms. Faliks’s distinguished career has taken her to thousands of recitals and concerti throughout the US, Asia, and Europe. Highlights of the recent seasons include a 2016 tour of China, with appearances in all the major halls such as Beijing Center for Performing Arts, Shanghai Oriental Arts Theater and Tianjin Grand Theater, as well as her acclaimed debuts at the Festival Internacional de Piano in Mexico, in the Fazioli Series in Italy and in Israel’s Tel Aviv Museum, at Portland Piano Festival and with the Pacifica Chamber Players, a collaboration with the famed dance troupe Bodytraffic, and Jacaranda in Los Angeles. Recent return engagements include Newport Festival, Bargemusic and Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, Broad Stage Santa Monica, a tour of Canada, Salle Cortot in Paris, Beethoven 4th with Minnesota Sinfonia, and at Peninsula Festival , where she played the 1st and 3rd Prokofiev Concerti in the same half of the program with Victor Yampolsky, conductor. She is regularly engaged as a concerto soloist nation-wide; other concerti in the recent seasons include Rachmaninoff 2nd concerto with Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Greensboro Symphony, Rachmaninoff 2nd with Vallejo Symphony, Gershwin Project with Daniel Meyer and the Erie Symphony, and Clara Schumann at Wintergreen Festival, Beethoven 3rd with Evanston Symphony.
She has been featured on WQXR, WNYC, WFMT and many international television broadcasts, and has performed in major venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and in many important festivals such as Verbier, Portland International, Music in the Mountains, Brevard, Taos, International Keyboard Festival at Mannes, Bargemusic, and Chautauqua. She recently co-starred with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol in “Admission – One Shilling” ,a play for pianist and actor about the life of Dame Myra Hess, the great British pianist. She has played concerti under the batons of many conductors including Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart, Edward Polochick, Daniel Meyer, Victor Yampolsky, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Neal Stulberg, and many others. Her chamber music partnerships include work with Gilbert Kalish, Ron Leonard, Fred Sherry, Ilya Kaler, Colin Carr, Wendy Warner, Clive Greensmith, Antonio Lysy, and others.
Faliks is the founder and curator of the of the Manhattan Arts Council award winning poetry-music series Music/Words, creating performances in collaboration with distinguished poets – www.musicwordsnyc.com . This poetry-music series goes into its 8th NYC season, and has been described as “surreal, impactful, and relevant” (Lucid Culture). Her long standing relationship with WFMT radio has led to yearly broadcasts of Music/Words, which she produces. Music/Words has also been seen in Pianoforte Chicago in collaboration with Poetry Foundation, at Royce Hall at UCLA, with the best-selling Russian poet Vera Pavlova, and in venues such as Le Poisson Rouge, NYC, Brooklyn Public Library, and Distinguished Artists Series in Santa Cruz, CA.
An artist of rare versatility, Faliks’ is equally at home with standard repertoire, rare and new music. Constantly in dialogue with today’s composers, she is currently working on Reimagine: Ravel and Beethoven project, where composers such as Richard Danielpour, Timo Andres, Paola Prestini, Billy Childs, and others are writing works for her in response to Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, which she has recorded and performed to international acclaim, and Beethoven’s Bagatelles opus 126. Last season, she had premiered Godai for Speaking Pianist, by Clarice Assad, written for her and her Music/Words series. She had given the NY, LA and Chicago premieres of 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg, variations by acclaimed contemporary composers on Bach’s Aria. Ms. Faliks performed and recorded the unknown piano works of Russian poet Boris Pasternak, presenting his music at lecture recitals in conjunction with the University of Chicago. At the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies, she gave the North American premiere of Ilya Levinson’s Shtetle Suite and the world premiere of Ljova’s Sirota for piano and historical recording, written for her. She went on to create a one-woman show, performing at Baruch Performance Center’s “Solo in the City – Jewish Women, Jewish Stars” Festival in NYC, and at the Ebell of Los Angeles, where she gave the premiere of “Polonaise-Fantasie, Story of a Pianist”, an autobiographical monologue for pianist and actress. Furthermore, she recently began a collaboration with WordTheater, featuring today’s leading screen actors in literary readings.
She was the winner of many prestigious competitions, including the Hilton Head International Competitions and the coveted International Pro Musicis Award 2005. As Professor of Piano at UCLA, she is in demand as Artist Teacher, and is frequently invited to judge competition and give masterclasses in major conservatories and universities. Her own past teachers included Leon Fleisher, Boris Petrushansky, Gilbert Kalish, Ann Schein, and Emilio del Rosario.
Inna Faliks is a Yamaha Artist. www.innafaliks.com