Corona Fridays 5th episode

This episode of my weekly Spring 2020 concerts from my home features many of the poets I have worked with over the years.

This one features a reading of work the founding poet of Music/Words – Jesse Ball.

Program is Beethoven Fantasie op 77, Corigliano Fantasia on an Ostinato and Paganini-Liszt La Campanella.


Inna Faliks Elevates Classical Piano With Prose

Check out 27east‘s new profile of Inna Faliks and Music/Words:

A classical pianist’s work is often very lonely, Inna Faliks says. It is not nearly as social as string orchestras, or even quartets, nor as open to variation without wearing the label of “avant-garde” for an audience that is succinctly niche.

Yet when the Ukrainian-born musician began melding her art with spoken word by both well-known and up-and-coming poets, she created her own form of expression that is not only original but also approachable.

Ms. Faliks calls it “Music/Words”—and she is the “Speaking Pianist,” as well as a professor and a mother.

“I don’t think so much about tradition anymore. I think of myself as a powerful pianist,” explains Ms. Faliks, who will return to the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill on Friday to play a concert, as part of the Salon Series. “I don’t have any borders. There is nothing that I look at and say, ‘That’s too difficult.’”

Read the full article here!

New Dates Announced with Poets Ellen Bass, Clarice Assad, Sophie Cabot Black, and Jesse Ball!

In addition to this month’s world premiere of Polonaise Fantasie at The Ebell of Los Angeles, I’m pleased to announce additional dates and information for Music/Words this season!

On February 22, Inna Faliks will perform with Poet-Laureate Ellen Bass at the Cabrillo College Distinguished Artist Series. The performance will be held at 4:00pm at Peace United Church in Santa Cruz, CA. Tickets can be purchased at

On March 20, Faliks will perform the World Premiere of “Godai,” an original composition by Clarice Assad with poems by Steve Schroeder at Bargemusic (New York City’s “floating concert hall”) located just off Fulton Ferry Landing near the Brooklyn Bridge. Tickets can be purchased here.

On March 22, Music/Words will remain in Brooklyn for a special engagement at the Brooklyn Public Library‘s Classical Interlude Series, featuring poet Sophie Cabot Black. Admission is free!

Finally, on May 29, Music/Words will come to Chicago for a collaboration with the Poetry Foundation at PianoForte, featuring poet Jesse Ball.

See you at the show(s)!

Polonaise Fantasie: Story of a Pianist

Coming to The Ebell of Los Angeles on January 25!

Polonaise Fantasie: Story of a Pianist
by Inna Faliks
Directed by Cameron Watson

Internationally renowned pianist Inna Faliks tells her own story through a unique blending of music and words. Her acclaimed interpretations of Bach, Mozart and Chopin, as well as new compositions including her own, illuminate her dramatic story. Interwoven with the music, actress Rebecca Mozo reads the monologue of Faliks’ life: as a young girl in the 1980s she came to the U.S. from Odessa, Ukraine with her parents to escape oppression and pursue her dream of becoming a concert pianist.

Rebecca Mozo headshot
Rebecca Mozo
Inna Faliksphotosmall
Inna Faliks






The Ebell of Los Angeles
Saturday, January 25 @ 5:00pm
To purchase tickets online, please visit

Music/Words 2014-15 Season

After last year’s exciting Music/Words season, with performances in NYC, Chicago and LA, excellent reviews and collaborations, 2014-15 has much in store. This is a season of innovations for Music/Words, including newly composed works, recordings, and theater, as well as collaborations with already established and favorite partners, such as the Poetry Foundation, the Brooklyn Public Library, WFMT, and UCLA.

For the first time, the Music/Words season includes special commissions by brilliant composers – the Brazilian phenom Clarice Assad, and UCLA’s own David Utzinger. In these works, both composers have had the liberty to create using not only musical language but poetry or words of their choice. I cannot wait to share the phenomenal results with my audiences. They may include movement, scatting, prepared piano, singing and/or recitation, in addition to playing.

In January 2015, the PLAYdate series at the historic Ebell of Los Angeles will present a theater piece based on the Music/Words concept,  a monologue devised in collaboration with  producer Cynthia Comsky from my musical memoirs, alternating with piano works, including the music of Mozart and Chopin, my own compositions and works of renowned Israeli composer Jan Freidlin. The performance will be recorded live by Yarlung Records, in a first recording of its kind.

Please stay tuned for dates and more information about this awesome season!

Inna Faliks,
Music/Words Artistic Director and Founder

Rave review for Music/Words performance in Chicago

By Dorothy Andries for the Glenview Announcements, Chicago Sun-Times

Sometimes a concert is so graceful and so unusual that it must be mentioned. Such was the program “Music/Words” the evening of Saturday May 2 in the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston.

Pianist Inna Faliks performed three works by Beethoven, interspersed by three sets of poems by German poets Goethe and Schiller, read by Peter van de Graaff. Faliks has a national career and was featured in MIC’s fourth annual Distinguished Alumni Concert because at one point she studied with the late Emilio del Rosario, one of the community music school’s outstanding teachers.

Van de Graaff is a bass-baritone, who sings with numerous area groups and has performed internationally. He is also a long-time announcer on radio station WFMT, and it was for his speaking voice that he was engaged for this enterprise.

The evening opened with three poems by Goethe. There’s nothing like a good radio voice and van de Graaff has one of the best. He presented the poems with clarity and precision and, when appropriate, decidedly cheerful animation.

Who can object to an all-Beethoven program? Faliks eagerly embraced the challenge of that monumental composer. She opened with his Polonaise in C, which begins with crashing chords, but includes delicate moments. She handled everything deftly, displaying speed and her formidable technique throughout.

Her second number was Beethoven’s Fantasia, Op. 77, a free flowing fire-and-ice composition. It seemed an ideal match with her temperament.

Van de Graaff demonstrated his dramatic abilities in the poems by Schiller. Especially memorable was “The Breeze,” in which his voice dropped to a whisper as the words tell of sleep. The well-chosen finale was “Elysium,” which bespoke eternal rest and joy.

Faliks concluded the night with Sonata No. 32, giving the work a nimble, graceful performance, showing off her dexterity, as well as her dynamic reach.

She is associate professor of piano at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music. The Music/Words, now in its sixth season in New York City, is her own creation. The MIC concert was so carefully crafted and delightfully done that it resembled a salon experience.

This imaginative event lasted just over an hour, but was as satisfying, actually even more so, than a program twice its length.

More programs of the Music Institute of Chicago at

  1. La Campanella, Paganini - Liszt Inna Faliks 4:53
  2. Rzewski "The People United Shall Never Be Defeated" (excerpt, improvised cadenza) Inna Faliks 8:36
  3. Beethoven Eroica Variations Inna Faliks 9:59
  4. Gershwin: Prelude 3 in E-flat Minor Inna Faliks 1:25
  5. Mozart Piano Concerto #20 - II Inna Faliks with Chamber Orchestra of St. Matthews 10:27
  6. Gaspard de la Nuit (1908) : Scarbo - Ravel Inna Faliks 9:07
  7. Sirota by Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin Inna Faliks 7:45