Culture Spot LA reviews Inna’s February 2019 performance at Jacaranda Music in Santa Monica of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony in a piano four-hands arrangement, together with pianist Daniel Schlosberg:
“…a decidedly pianistic performance, with beautifully executed trills, judicious pedaling and richly shaded textures. If not supplanting the orchestral original, Zemlinsky’s version as played by Faliks and Schlosberg was a valuable opportunity to peer beneath the symphony’s instrumental garb and hear the symphony’s fascinating inner workings…”
Myrna Petlicki of The Chicago Tribune highlights Inna’s upcoming Chicago premiere of Polonaise Fantaisie: The Story of a Pianist at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Hall:
“Acclaimed pianist Inna Faliks says presenting her “Polonaise Fantaisie: The Story of a Pianist” at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Hall in Evanston feels like a homecoming.
“It’s absolutely the most perfect place to do it,” Faliks said. “So much of the show is about the Music Institute.'”
Read the full article here.
Catherine Yang of The Epoch Times previews Inna’s performance of Polonaise Fantaisie: Story of a Pianist at Symphony Space:
“Music is meant to be a living thing, according to pianist Inna Faliks. It is the musician’s role to breathe life into the notes on the page, and every time the music is given life, it is a different being.
…Polonaise Fantaisie: Story of a Pianist has been performed across the country and on radio for eight seasons. On Oct. 13, at Symphony Space in New York, Faliks will present a piano recital interspersed with autobiographical monologues to tell the moving tale of how she became the artist she is today.”
Read the full article here.
Inna’s guest appearance last weekend with the Miami Symphony Orchestra drew a rave review from the South Florida Classical Review. Here’s what Lawrence Budmen wrote:
An associate professor of piano at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Faliks is a well traveled soloist who will hopefully schedule more stops in South Florida. On Sunday she proved to be an interesting and musically imaginative artist. From the opening bars of the Schumann concerto, Faliks bent the musical line, coloring her phrases with subtle rubato. She brought plenty of power to the keyboard-spanning runs and octaves. Her pearly tone and poetic bent suggested a more Chopinesque approach.
In the second movement Intermezzo, Faliks’ winning combination of whimsy and heart-on-sleeve fervor turned the short opening figures into a burst of pianistic song. The Allegro vivace finale was replete with bold syncopations but Faliks’ elegant and impulsive shaping of thematic lines was always cleanly articulated. Her lighter approach to the score was musically engrossing and refreshing. Marturet and the orchestra provided full bodied support with the deep tone of the cellos in the secondary subject of the Intermezzo movement particularly distinguished.
A standing ovation brought Faliks back for Liszt’s La Campanella as an encore. She deftly traced the melodic curves of the familiar theme and drew a bell-like sound.
Read the full review here: “Pianist Inna Faliks reinvigorates a Schumann standby”
Inna’s new recording, Polonaise-Fantaisie: The Story of a Pianist, was recently reviewed in American Record Guide! James Harrington calls the recording “poignant, humorous, and perceptive…a complete picture of the wide range of repertoire [Faliks] excels at.”
Read the full review here.
See below for an excerpt from Susana Alcantar of The Daily Bruin’s recent Q&A with Inna, detailing the pianist’s experience with Frederic Rzewski’s protest piece “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!”:
DB: Could you explain the context of “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!”
IF: As all great pieces of music, “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” is a lifetime kind of piece, a work that stays and evolves with an artist for many, many years. I find it to be a piece that is at once incredibly, mathematically and masterfully structured, and improvisatory in scope, expression and flair.
Read the full article here.
Reviews from Inna’s recent performances at the Ravinia Festival, with Camerata Pacifica, and at the Newport Festival:
“With Faliks in the lead, the prickly Scherzo and huge, dramatic Finale fully reflected Mahler’s mighty voice. Faliks is a poetic pianist, unafraid to linger over a short pause or craft a melodic fragment to explode and fade with blinding speed. But especially in the transcription’s fast-paced final movements she never lost the singing-through line so crucial to navigating Mahler’s often chaotic universe. The Scherzo’s staccato, martial rhythms could be crisply stern but also piquant and witty. Its lyrical moments glowed, thanks to Falik’s pliant, flexible melody lines.”
—Classical Voice North America, September 2017
“…it was Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks who blew the other two pianists out of the water with her enthralling account of Opus 111, the last of the three sonatas and one of Beethoven’s most stunning creations, as he ends a lifetime of sonatas with a few shimmering scale passages and a hushed C Major chord.
“This amazing score was clearly in her DNA, as Faliks charged into the brooding introduction when we all thought she was adjusting the piano bench. And from there she had the audience hanging on every note.
…this was one of the most moving performance I’ve ever heard of Opus 111, a work whose stormy opening gives way to a great hymn to humanity.”
—Providence Journal (Newport Music Festival), July 2017
“Huang and Aznavoorian returned after intermission with pianist Inna Faliks for a triumphant rendering of Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67.
For the Camerata players to evoke emotion while excavating Shostakovich’s sharper vocabulary of musical images, figures, and gestures was remarkable. . Faliks’ mash-up of sensitivity and pure fury brought a heightened relevance to this rarely performed, beautifully complex stunner. A simplyenthralling performance!
Prokofiev Flute Sonata… The emotion came from Faliks, whose expressive, spirited, curious interactions brought life to even the conventional accompaniment patterns of the four-movement piece.”
—Stage and Cinema, September 2017
Here are two lovely preview articles from some of last month’s engagements!
First, a personal essay I wrote about my new recording, “Polonaise-Fantasie, Story of a Pianist,” for the Newport Music Festival:
I know that I am the artist that I am now, partially thanks to growing up in the Odessa of the past – seven people in a three-room apartment, surrounded by books, music, ideas and friends (one of whom is Misha. You will meet him in the story. He is my husband and the father of my two children).
Recording this story, and this music, is the most personal project I have ever done.
Second, here’s a nice article on my appearance at the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango:
The Ukranian-born pianist has played in our festival before, so she knows the territory and the drill. If you want a sneak peek, there will be an open rehearsal from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Festival Tent. You can also see and hear Faliks play a number of different works on YouTube. Calm, elegant and self-possessed, she’s a marvelous musician whom critics have described as playing with “grace and raw power.”
Faliks has had a distinguished concert and recording career. She’s also professor of piano and head of keyboard studies at the UCLA Department of Music, which frees her to concertize at summer festivals all over the world, including ours.