Before she knew she was Ukranian, Soviet, or Jewish, Inna Faliks knew she was a musician. Growing up in the city of Odessa, the piano became her best friend, and she explored the brilliant, intricate puzzles of Bach’s music and learned to compose under her mother’s watchful eye. At ten, Faliks and her parents moved to Chicago as part of the tide of Jewish refugees who fled the USSR for the West in the 1980s. During the months-long immigration process, she would silently practice on kitchen tables while imagining a full set of piano keys beneath her fingertips. In Weight in the Fingertips, Faliks gives a globe-trotting account of her upbringing as a child prodigy in a Soviet state, the perils of immigration, the struggle of assimilating as an American, years of training with teachers, and her slow and steady rise in the world of classical music. With a warm and playful style, she helps non-musicians understand the experience of becoming a world-renowned concert pianist. The places she grew up, the books she read, the poems she memorized as a child all connect to her sound at the piano, and the way she hears and shapes a musical phrase illuminate classical music and elite performance. She also explores how a person’s humanity makes their art honest and their voice unique, and how the life-long challenge of retaining that voice is fueled by a balance between being a great musician and being a human being. Throughout, Faliks provides powerful insights into the role of music in a world of conflict, change, and hope for a better tomorrow.
• Inna Faliks’ book, the musical memoir Weight in the Fingertips, will be published in 2023 by Globe Pequot.
• Inna was recently profiled in a Cleveland Classical feature by Jarrett Hoffman titled “The Story of a Pianist” —Ukrainian-born Inna Faliks on her monologue-recital & her home country”. You can read the article by clicking here.
• More performances on the horizon! Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming dates.
• On Sunday, January 16 at 8 pm EST, Inna Falik’s performance of Pursuit by Billy Childs will be featured on Modern Notebook on WSMR-FM. Tune in online here.
• Jed Distler devoted an hour-long episode of his award-winning radio program, Between the Keys to Inna Faliks, including an in-depth interview. The program aired on WWFM radio on January 11 and 12, and is available on demand at this link.
• Also on WWFM, Inna Faliks’s extensive, two-part interview with WWFM’s Cadenza host David Osenberg is available on-demand. Listen to Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
The nationally broadcast radio program Performance Today aired my live performance of “Pursuit” by Billy Childs, for Jacaranda. The episode is called “A potpourri of styles”. The episode aired on over 200 radio stations across the United States, and will be available for on-demand listening here through December 26.
The CBC’s website describes Pietropaolo’s program as: “The ‘best of the best’ live classical music — that’s the heart and soul of In Concert. Gorgeous chamber works, the world’s finest orchestras, and intimate recitals featuring some of Canada’s best young musicians on the brink of stardom. You’ll hear a carefully curated blend of classical hits along with new brand new discoveries presented with passion and rare insight by Paolo Pietropaolo.”
Thank-you again, Paolo, for your kind appraisal!
For an archive of the episode’s playlist, click here.
Inna Faliks breaks new ground with REIMAGINE: BEETHOVEN & RAVEL – 9 WORLD PREMIERES released June 11, 2021 on Navona Records, an homage to Beethoven and Ravel which manages to do the impossible: be breathtakingly innovative while remaining respectful to the source material.
Nine contemporary composers, including Richard Danielpour, Paola Prestini, Billy Childs, and Timo Andres, were commissioned to craft responses to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Bagatelles, op. 126 (incidentally, the master’s favorite) as well as Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. The results are exhilarating, not least owing to Faliks’s stunningly precise and sensitive pianistic interpretation: the Ukrainian-born American pianist ties together Classical, Romantic and modern pieces with disarming nonchalance and rock-solid technical skill. Defying the challenge of uniting three centuries of musical styles and social commentary, as well as producing an album during a global pandemic with the help of Yamaha’s Disklavier technology, REIMAGINE proudly raises a monument not only to the genius of Beethoven and Ravel, but also to the perseverance and verve of some of today’s most exciting and important composers. Billy Childs’ track, “Pursuit”, was be released as a single on May 28th.