Violinist Yevgeny Kutik and Pianist Anna Polonsky
Presented by Bargemusic’s Masterworks Series
Music from the Suitcase + Meditations on Family
Featuring world premieres by Gity Razaz and Andreia Pinto Correia
Friday, September 21, 2018 at 8pm
Bargemusic | Fulton Ferry Landing | Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $40 ($35 Senior, $20 Student) at www.bargemusic.org
“Kutik delivers…with a blend of polished dexterity and genteel, old-world charm” – WQXR
New York, NY — On Friday, September 21, 2018 at 8pm Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik, known for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), and pianist Anna Polonsky, lauded for her “dazzling virtuosity” (San Francisco Chronicle), will join forces for a recital presented by Bargemusic on its Masterworks Series (Fulton Ferry Landing). Kutik and Polonsky will perform selections from Kutik’s ongoing project Music from the Suitcase including Stravinsky’s Divertimento from A Fairy’s Kiss and Prokofiev’s Waltz from Cinderella (arr. Fikhtengoltz); plus Schnittke’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1. They will also give the world premiere performances of two new works that are part of Kutik’s new commissioning project, Meditations on Family – Gity Razaz’s Cadenza for the Once Young and Andreia Pinto Correia’s Litania.
When Yevgeny Kutik was five years old, he and his family emigrated from the deteriorating Soviet Union to the United States with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. Although they had to leave most of their possessions behind and fit everything else into just two suitcases, Kutik’s mother, a violin teacher, filled one of the suitcases with sheet music from the family’s collection, believing that their music was a significant part of their family’s musical history. Years later, Kutik began to explore the music from the suitcase and was enthralled with the pieces he discovered. He recorded a selection of this music on his critically acclaimed 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in The New York Times.
He says, “As I continued to explore this music, they began to organize themselves into a distinct array of moods and themes, suffused with the character of Russian folklore, fantasy, and poetry…The pieces on this album carry with them a simplicity and directness, and with this immediacy, a striking beauty…It reminds me of what we went through and how far we have come.”
As an extension of Music from the Suitcase, Kutik has now commissioned a diverse group of today’s leading composers for his new project dedicated to building a living archive devoted to family and memory called Meditations on Family: A New Collection of Music for Violin. The composers are translating a personal family photo into a short musical miniature for violin and various ensemble. Featured composers include Joseph Schwantner, Andreia Pinto Correia, Gity Razaz, Timo Andres, Chris Cerrone, Kinan Azmeh, Gregory Vajda, and Paola Prestini.
The new works by Correia and Razaz will be performed for the first time at Bargemusic, and will also be part of Kutik’s April 2019 debut at the Kennedy Center presented by Washington Performing Arts. Kutik will be recording each of the new pieces for weekly digital release online as singles, starting in fall 2018.
About Yevgeny Kutik: With a “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik has captivated audiences worldwide with an old-world sound that communicates a modern intellect. Praised for his technical precision and virtuosity, he is also lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works as well as rarely heard and newly composed repertoire.
A native of Minsk, Belarus, Yevgeny Kutik immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five. In addition to Music from the Suitcase his discography includes his 2012 debut album, Sounds of Defiance, also on the Marquis label, which features the music of Achron, Pärt, Schnittke, and Shostakovich. Kutik released his third solo album, Words Fail, to critical acclaim on Marquis Classics in October 2016. The album uses Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words as a starting point to expand upon the idea that music surpasses traditional language in its expressive capabilities, and includes two new commissions on the theme by Timo Andres and Michael Gandolfi.
In April 2019, Kutik will make his debut at the Kennedy Center, presented by Washington Performing Arts. Additional performances in his 2018-19 season include appearances with the Dayton Philharmonic, La Crosse Symphony, Duluth Superior Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Redwoods, Verde Valley Sinfonietta, the Cape Town Philharmonic in South Africa, and recitals at the Honest Brook Music Festival, Bargemusic, and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Deeply committed to fostering creative relationships with living composers in addition to performing music from the standard repertoire, Yevgeny Kutik has been involved in commissioning and premiering several new works. As an extension of Music from the Suitcase, Yevgeny has commissioned a diverse group of today’s leading composers to form his new project, Meditations on Family: A New Collection of Music for Violin. The composers will translate a personal family photo into a short musical miniature for violin and various ensemble. Featured composers include Joseph Schwantner, Andreia Pinto Correia, Gity Razaz, Timo Andres, Chris Cerrone, Kinan Azmeh, Gregory Vajda, and Paola Prestini. Recent highlights include the world premieres of Timo Andres’ Words Fail at The Phillips Collection, Michael Gandolfi’s Arioso Doloroso/Estatico at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, Ron Ford’s concerto Versus with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and Sheila Silver’s Six Beads on a String, as well as the New York premiere of George Tsontakis’ Violin Concerto No. 2 at the 92nd Street Y. He has also been involved in the performances of new and rarely played works by Kati Agócs, Joseph Schwantner, Nico Muhly, and Donald Martino.
Passionate about his heritage and its influence on his artistry, Kutik is an advocate for the Jewish Federations of North America, the organization that assisted his family in coming to the United States, and regularly speaks and performs across the United States to both raise awareness and promote the assistance of refugees from around the world.
Yevgeny Kutik made his major orchestral debut in 2003 with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the First Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. Yevgeny Kutik began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and went on to study with Zinaida Gilels, Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory and currently resides in Boston. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella.
About Anna Polonsky: Anna Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She has performed chamber music at festivals such as Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, [email protected], Cartagena, Bard, and Caramoor, as well as at Bargemusic in New York City. Polonsky has given concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall’s Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two during 2002-2004. In 2006 she took a part in the European Broadcasting Union’s project to record and broadcast all of Mozart’s keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007 she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to inaugurate the Emerson Quartet’s Perspectives Series. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.
Anna Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of the renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College, and in the summer at the Marlboro and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals.
Highlights of Polonsky’s 2017-2018 season included performances in China with Yo-Yo Ma, and at Carnegie Hall with Peter Serkin. Beginning in 2019, she will perform as part of a trio with clarinetist David Shifrin and cellist Peter Wiley. Anna Polonsky is a Steinway Artist.
# # #