About Music/Words

Music/Words is an interdisciplinary live performance series founded and directed by pianist Inna Faliks. Music/Words explores connections between poetry and music by presenting collaborations between musicians and acclaimed contemporary poets in the form of a live recital/reading. Since its inception in NYC in 2008,  Music/Words has garnered rave reviews and has been seen on the stages of Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, live, in major and alternative venues, on radio and in collaboration with the Poetry Foundation. Music/Words has developed an on-going dialogue between poets and musicians, and has featured some of the country’s most important poets, such as Mark Levine, Jesse Ball, and Vera Pavlova. The emphasis of Music/Words is on living poets, with music from all eras—from beloved standard repertoire to world premieres, alternating poems with music.

Music/Words invites the audience to be moved by free associations, interplay of moods and genres and different mediums. Concert pianist Inna Faliks often found herself reading poetry before going out on stage to play a concert. Having grown up on a diet of Russian poetry, the pianist studied and wrote poetry for years before deciding to incorporate live poetry into her performances though Music/Words. She and renowned poet Jesse Ball performed in the first Music/Words, in 2008, when he read from his Parables and Lies narrative poems series, between movements of the Brahms f minor sonata performed by Faliks.

Since then, Music/Words has developed an on-going dialogue between poets and musicians, and has featured some of the country’s most important poets, such as Mark Levine and Deborah Landau, and musicians such as cellist Wendy Warner, composer Clarice Assad, violinist Sharan Leventhal. Now in its fourth season, Music/Words has been seen in Le Poisson Rouge, Cornelia Street Cafe, Chicago’s Pianoforte Series and on WFMT classical radio in a yearly series of broadcasts. Music/Words emphasis is on living poets, with music that ranges from pre-Baroque to new. In past years, the series was awarded a Fund for Creative Communities grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.


More information about Music/Words’ collaboration with the Poetry Foundation found at the following links: 2017 Season , 2014 Season , 2012 Season

Review from Sequenza 21.

Preview article from Sequenza 21.

Review of Music/Words from Lucid Culture.

  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