Spring News

Dear Friends,

Happy Spring!

It is with boundless excitement that I share with you the flurry of upcoming premieres and performances this spring, and look forward to a thrilling summer. Join me for concerts in Chicago, New Haven, NYC, Los Angeles, Music/Words with the Poetry Foundation, as well as the brand new Dialogues Festival at UCLA, featuring at least 20 world premieres.

These lead into great summer appearances—my return to Newport Festival, concerto with the wonderful orchestra at Music in the Mountains Festival, and my Ravinia Festival debut, which heralds an exciting 17-18 season.

degas dancers
Inna Faliks performing Music/Words at the Getty, in celebration of Degas’s Russian Dancers

April 7—Chicago, IL
12pm: WFMT Live Broadcast @ Pianoforte Chicago
6pm: Recital @ Pianoforte Chicago

April 9—New Haven, CT
3 pm: Recital @ Lyric Hall (Impromptu Classical Series)

*World Premieres by Drozdoff, plus music of Schubert, Freidlin, Takemitsu

April 11—New York, NY
7:30pm: Recital @ Hunter College, Ida Lang Hall (Impromptu Classical Series)

April 12—New York, NY
6:00pm: Recital @ Yamaha Artist Services (6@6 Series)

May 2—Los Angeles, CA
7:30pm: Inna Faliks & Friends at UCLA @ Schoenberg Hall, UCLA

*Solo and chamber music, including Shostakovich Quintet with faculty and alumni. If you missed this in March, here is your chance to hear it again!

May 27—Chicago, IL
7:00pm, Music/Words @ The Poetry Foundation

May 29—Chicago, IL
8:00pm: Live Recital Series on WFMT Chicago Classical Radio

June 1,2,3—Los Angeles, CA
7:30 pm: Dialogues Festival at UCLA @ Ostin Recording Studio

*I am thrilled to put together this festival, where at least sixteen world premieres will be unveiled! Celebrating the link between past and present, this festival explores new music composed in response to Beethoven, Ravel, Schumann, by composers such as Richard Danielpour, Timo Andres, Tamir Hendelman, Ian Krouse, Paola Prestini, and more. The Dialogues Festival also juxtaposes works by Richard Danielpour and Chopin, and presents new compositions by UCLA student composers in response to Bach’s Aria from the Goldberg Variations. Featuring: Inna Faliks (piano), David Kaplan (piano), UCLA piano students, and UCLA composition students.

I look forward to seeing you and hearing from you this spring!.

warmest regards,
Inna

Winter Newsletter

20161209_190759

Dear Friends,

Happy 2017!

The year is off to a galloping start, after the whirlwind of fall and early winter.

I returned from a tour of China’s major halls, all architectural and acoustic masterpieces, including the Beijing Center for Performing Arts, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Theater, Tianjin Grand Theater, and more (pictures below)!

I enjoyed my debut with the fantastic group Camerata Pacifica, a collaboration with Bodytraffic modern dance (described as “electrifying and energizing” by the LA Times), and right after that, a very moving experience: playing Beethoven 3rd Concerto on my home turf, with UCLA Philharmonia and Neal Stulberg. You can see the video here.

For another chance to hear this piece, come to the February 19th concert with Peninsula Symphony, and Gary Berkson, details below.

Immediately after the New Year, I completed my forthcoming 2-disc set for Delos, “Polonaise Fantasie, Story of a Pianist”, a monologue-recital of my essays, read by actress-par-excellence Rebecca Mozo, with music ranging from Bach to Chopin to Carter to Birtwistle. Look out for a 2017 release!

Here a some upcoming winter dates to share with you—please come to these if you can, and keep in touch!

January 29
Inna plays Wanderer
LACMA, Sundays Live, 6 pm – recital and livestream.
http://www.lacma.org/event/inna-faliks-4

February 19th
Beethoven 3rd, Peninsula Symphony
Gary Berkson, conductor
http://www.pensym.org/

March 4th
Music/Words at the Getty, in celebration of Degas’s Russian Dancers
http://www.getty.edu/visit/cal/events/ev_1438.html

March 19th
Dilijan Series (Lark Music Society), Zipper Hall
Schostakovich Trio and Quintet
Some of my most beloved chamber music works, with my esteemed colleagues Movses Pogossian, Antonio Lysy, and others.
More information here

May this year be filled with hope, beauty and music for you all.

Warmest,
Inna

 

20161201_180623 20161204_094043 20161204_181753

Two Breathtaking Concerts in North Carolina

Check out these rave reviews from Inna’s concert and recital at the University of North Carolina earlier this month:

“Inna Faliks’ performance was anything but routine. She had more than enough upper body strength to hold her own against the composer’s full, plush orchestration. The highlight of her performance was the wonderful intimate chamber music quality her performance of the nocturne-like second movement with its dialogue between keyboard and woodwinds. There was no want of bravura in the finale.”

CVNC, May 2016

“Faliks kept listeners in open mouth wonder with her seemingly magical keyboard wizardry. From my seat I could not see the abundance of crossed hands listeners were commenting about as they left after her repeated curtain calls. Her palette of refined color, dynamics, and tone were breathtaking.”

CVNC, May 2016

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!

Peninsula Reviews

by Richard Lynde

Inna Faliks began the “Music/Words” series in New York, and with her recent relocation as head of the Herb Alpert Piano Department at UCLA, has continued this unique and memorable practice to our state and county. In Ellen Bass, she could not have picked a better partner. Our poet said that for her this new way of thinking about music is “a conversation.” It began with her quiet reading of “Relax,” about bad things that will happen, such as fungus on tomatoes, cats run over, even a lesbian wife, all stated with a wry humor: like those to follow, what she called “talking poems” meant to be read aloud, something she is very good at. Faliks then took to the keyboard in Schedrin’s (b. 1932) “Basso Ostinato,” a blizzard of sound that was wild, fast, jazzy like Gershwin and reflective of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, a tour de force with underlying humor and perfect control.

Then Ellen Bass read again, this time, “Jazz,” about sending her poems out into the world as if a child, a modern take on our great 17th century American Ann Bradstreet’s own similar feelings. In “Waiting for Rain” she tells how the ancient philosopher Lucretius got her through the night with his idea of atoms “combining” and “recombining” amid the void. “When you return,” magically has eggs going back to shells, “letters unwrite themselves” and diamonds to coal to rotting leaves. Amazing imagery, fresh and immediate.

Next, Inna Faliks played the Mozart (1756-91) “Fantasie in D Minor K. 397,” a brief, intensely moody departure from his sonatas, which she made startling with its shifts between the opening Andante, then Adagio than a Presto played almost too fast to hear, but with perfect accuracy to end the high mini drama. Then, in “If you know,” Bass told of ticket takers touching palms with concert goers, followed by “God’s Grief” with startling images of God, Joan of Arc, Houdini – her words as magical as his magic tricks. In “God in Trouble” a beached whale decomposes, then in “Listening” she imagines having heard Keats read his “Autumn” to a friend. To “words like wine/ I listened with my spine,” both funny and profound.

Then in a brilliant stroke for both performers and audience, Faliks departed from the printed program which had Bass reading between movements of the huge Brahms (1833-97) “Sonata No. 2 in F Sharp Minor,” written and played by the composer in 1853 when he was “only” 20 and full of storm and stress along with tenderness. In the often fiendishly difficult and architecturally perfect four-movement work, played straight through and received with tumultuous applause, the noble work was the best-performed these ears have heard on this mighty Yamaha since Yevgeny Sudbin in a big Scriabin sonata almost two years ago. The Brahms began with a huge attack blaring forth the “allegro, not too fast but with energy.” The “andante with expression” was a stroll with purpose, a meditation that becomes intense and moody, alternating playfulness with severity, then lushness – typical of Brahms, and with Faliks sitting, as usual, with her face right over the keys, as expressive as the notes she was playing. The moving Scherzo was hardly a musical “joke,” but a brief lead up to the “Finale,” played with a gripping intensity, blazing keys played flat-fingered for speed like Horowitz, then a maternal tenderness like the famous Brahms “Lullaby,” coherent in all its many moods, and ending with a big bang. All gave a standing ovation.

Then Bass read three concluding poems, ending with “Reincarnation,” not returning as the “totem of a shaman,” but rather as an OYSTER! Very funny, very apt, very original, like all of her works. Faliks then concluded the intermissionless 110-minute program, which passed as if in a dream, with Liszt’s (1811-86) “La Campanella,” a glittering whimsical bon-bon that left a grateful audience with church bells ringing in our heads.

“…in a brilliant stroke for both performers and audience, Faliks… had [Ellen] Bass reading between movements of the huge Brahms (1833-97) “Sonata No. 2 in F Sharp Minor,” written and played by the composer in 1853 when he was “only” 20 and full of storm and stress along with tenderness. In the often fiendishly difficult and architecturally perfect four-movement work, played straight through and received with tumultuous applause, the noble work was the best-performed these ears have heard on this mighty Yamaha since Yevgeny Sudbin in a big Scriabin sonata almost two years ago. The Brahms began with a huge attack blaring forth the “allegro, not too fast but with energy.” The “andante with expression” was a stroll with purpose, a meditation that becomes intense and moody, alternating playfulness with severity, then lushness – typical of Brahms, and with Faliks sitting, as usual, with her face right over the keys, as expressive as the notes she was playing. The moving Scherzo was hardly a musical “joke,” but a brief lead up to the “Finale,” played with a gripping intensity, blazing keys played flat-fingered for speed like Horowitz, then a maternal tenderness like the famous Brahms “Lullaby,” coherent in all its many moods, and ending with a big bang. All gave a standing ovation.”

Full Review

Rave reviews for Inna’s recent concerts in Chicago and Tel Aviv

“Sometimes a concert is so graceful and so unusual that it must be mentioned. … [Faliks] handled everything deftly, displaying speed and her formidable technique throughout.”

– Chicago Sun-Times, read the full review here

“Simply exquisite, with many expressive and colorful phrases played by the pianist Inna Faliks… Beethoven Fantasie is worth knowing and was also performed very well by Faliks”

-Hagai Hitron, Haaretz, review of the Arensky Piano Quintet and Beethoven Fantasie. Tel Aviv Museum, May 2014

Great review of Inna’s Sacile, Italy performance

From Il Gazzetino Pordenone

Inna Faliks; A Pianist of Power and Feeling
Fazioli Concert Hall Series, Sacile, Italy, March 19, 2014

by Clelia Delponte

SACILE – A fierce performance; energetic, determined, and perfect for expressing the interior agitation of the Basso Ostinato by Rodion Schredrin, considered the successor of Shostakovich. This was the opening piece of the recent concert at the Fazioli Concert Hall. Inna Faliks takes command of the instrument, molding it in her unique, personal style that clearly has its origins in the Russian school and is fully capable of interpreting the Polonaise op. 89 (Composed during the Congress of Vienna, loved by the rulers of the period, and dedicated to Elizabeth of Russia) in a way that totally annihilates any accusation of frivolousness, revealing a new Beethoven.

The solidity of her technique and her sense of dynamics also exalt the tragedy and intensity of the “Appassionata”, so rich with its silences and arpeggios, forti, fortissimi, until she arrives at the final apotheosis. And then a seldom heard piece composed for Faliks by Lev ljova Zurbin, Sirota: two contrasting melodic ideas accompanying a historic recording, as was done in the post-war years by the avantgarde. In this case, it is a religious Jewish song, sung by the Polish singer Sirota for the Jewish New Year of 1908; a minimalist piece that Faliks imbues with interpretive intensity, making even more heart-rending the evocation of a lost time.

The pianist also moves securely through all of the varied colours of the Davidsbundlertanze, composed by Schumann, at a time when he was battling against the “bad taste and bad faith” of critics who had exalted opinions of Italian opera. Written under the alternating pseudonyms of Florestano and Eusebio, the piece was performed by Faliks with emphasis of harmonic adventure, and rich with dynamics and fantasy.

As an encore, she performed an explosive Campanella by Paganini-Liszt, and followed that with Tchaikovski’s “Barcarola”. Executed with a lulling and even timing, it showed the most delicate and moving tones.

 

Fantastic Review from American Record Guide

“In the old days of stores with a large selection of classical CDs, I browsed for hours and would have purchased this on the basis of its content alone. Here is my favorite piano sonata and my favorite set of variations, in a program with a couple of compositions I didn’t know — an unbeatable Beethoven recital. Played with strength and imagination, the performances are hard to beat. The program is perfectly ordered, opening with the lighter-weight but charming Polonaise, followed by the hefty Variations. The Fantasia is a substantial eight-minute work vaguely reminiscent of Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and offers an interesting break before one of the greatest piano works of all time, Beethoven’s final sonata.

“Faliks’s excellent first CD included Rachmaninoff Sonata 2 and Gaspard de la Nuit (MSR 1333, Jan/Feb 2010). I have seen her perform in New York on two occasions and have a non-commercial earlier recording of Sonata 32. She teaches at UCLA and performs all over the USA and also in Italy and Israel. She is a pioneer in Yahama’s newest technology that allows long distance playing and teaching piano via the Internet, video, and their Disklavier recording and reproducing pianos.

“Her competition in the big pieces is formidable. I have spent many years listening to Richter (Olympic 339, May/June 1994) and Brendel (Vox 3017, Mar/Apr 1993) play the variations, and with this new recording in my collection, I doubt that I’ll return to the old favorites as often. I find a couple of these variations rare examples of Beethoven’s musical humor — and Faliks does not miss them. I don’t have a specific favorite for the sonata, though I’ve seen Barenboim perform it twice (EMI 72912, Mar/Apr 1999). Faliks captures the turbulent aspect of the first movement just right. From the stately theme to the jazzy dance elements of the middle variations to the heaven-bound trills in the upper reaches of the piano, II balances perfectly.

“I have purchased many CDs on the basis of their content. Rarely have performances measured up to the music as well as here.” – James Harrington for American Record Guide

  1. Rzewski "The People United Shall Never Be Defeated" (excerpt, improvised cadenza) Inna Faliks 8:36
  2. Mozart Piano Concerto #20 - I Inna Faliks with Chamber Orchestra of St. Matthews 15:12
  3. Mozart Piano Concerto #20 - II Inna Faliks with Chamber Orchestra of St. Matthews 10:27
  4. Mozart Piano Concerto #20 - III Inna Faliks with Chamber Orchestra of St. Matthews 8:26