Blazing Virtuosity and Breathtaking Symphonic Sound on MULTIPLE Pianos performed by FOUR Elegant and Entertaining Pianists!
Imagine a combination of Real Housewives of Chicago, combined with Marvin Hamlisch’s A Chorus Line, combine with a PBS Special of the world’s greatest symphonic piano music, performed on Multiple Pianos, by FOUR distinguished Virtuoso Female Pianists, interwoven with the True Stories of being a professional FEMALE PIANIST in the 21st Century!
Each a soloist and distinguished musician in their own right, Susan, Irina, Svetlana, and Elena, have combined forces to bring to you a program that is brilliantly virtuosic, powerful, sexy, elegant, artistic- an intimate portrait of their individual and collective stories of the their successes, their failures, their hopes and dreams and their vision for the future of Classical Music in the 21st Century.
Featuring newly-commissioned and specially arranged works by some of this country's foremost composers Grammy-nominated composer Ilya Levinson, Elbio Barilari, and Margarita Zelenaia, plus the world’s most famous music by Beethoven, Bernstein, Strauss, Rossini, Verdi, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Piazolla, Gershwin, Cole Porter and The Beatles, and you can begin to imagine the sensational concert-event you will witness and be a part of.
Pianissimo! was first formed in December 2014, and recently appeared in several venues for Make Music Chicago and made their acclaimed Chicago Debut in September 2015 and were recently broadcast on CKWR- Canada's First Public Radio Station, and Price Rubin Radio One. Their Live Chicago Concert Debut CD won them two Silver Medals for Outstanding Achievement in the prestigious 2016 Global Music Awards. Their season includes performances in libraries, schools, and retirement homes with special programs geared towards youth and seniors. As soloists and duo pianists, the four women have appeared in major concert halls and on TV and radio around the world, recorded numerous CD's, and won numerous awards and honors, as well as accolades and rave reviews from major publications for their outstanding performances and programming. The Pianissimo! ensemble's mission as a four piano ensemble is to present entertaining and education programs of Classical music on two and four pianos. Offering both traditional symphonic and piano repertoire, contemporary music for multiple pianos/pianists, as well as cross-over repertoire from Jazz and Broadway genres, the ensemble aims to appeal to audiences of all ages who enjoy good music accompanied by charming, witty and informative commentary on the music.
ABOUT THE PIANISTS: (In Alphabetical Order)
Svetlana Belsky- Critically acclaimed as "a passionate pianist and scholar", Dr. Svetlana Belsky is an in-demand recitalist and chamber pianist, noted for her remarkable rapport with audiences and stylistic versatility. She has appeared in the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and throughout the United States. Her performance credits include Carnegie Recital Hall, Kiev Philharmonic Hall, Dame Myra Hess Series, Music in the Loft, countless university concert series, live recitals on Chicago's WFMT and New York's WQXR, and guest appearances with the University of Chicago Symphony, Southern Illinois Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the Tutti Orchestra. Her latest recording of the solo version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (on the Centaur label) has been heard on numerous radio stations around the world. Belsky is Winner of The American Prize in Piano for 2019, for her Rite of Spring CD.
Elena Doubovitskaya- A native of Russia, Dr. Elena Doubovitskaya has established herself as a solo and collaborative musician after moving to the United States in 1998. In 2002, she performed her debut recital in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall as part of the Artists International series, followed by a number of solo and chamber music recitals in the New York metropolitan area. Dr. Doubovitskaya's accomplishments include prizes and awards from Artists International Presentations, the Seattle International Piano Competition and the IBLA Grand Prize Competition (Italy). Dr. Doubovitskaya was awarded fellowships, and scholarships at the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the Hot Springs Music Festival and the Sewannee Music Festival.
Irina Feoktistova- Irina Feoktistova graduated from St. Petersburg Conservatoire, Russia. She has performed in the major halls of St. Petersburg, Russia, and toured Europe and the United States as a soloist, duo pianist, and accompanist. Since immigrating to the USA in 1998, Feoktistova has also worked as an Assistant Conductor and Russian Diction Coach at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and on the faculties and staff of Northwestern and North Park Universities. She released her first solo CD, Poems and Fairy Tales, featuring works by Medtner and Scriabin, on MSR Classics in 2007, and is a prize winner of the IBLA Grand Prize Competition and the Kawaii Recording Competition for Solo Piano.
Susan Merdinger- Performances by Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger, have been hailed as “Tender and impassioned” by the Glasgow Herald and “Breathtaking” by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Ivy-league and conservatory trained in the USA and Europe, Merdinger enjoys an international career as a soloist, duo pianist and chamber musician and is a Visiting Artist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Among her many honors, Merdinger is a Two-time First Prize Winner of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition ( Solo and Duo), the Artists International Young Musicians Competition and the Dewar’s Young Artist Award in Music. Most recently Merdinger was awarded Two Gold Medals in the Global Music Awards for her French Fantasy (2014) and American Melting Pot (2020) CDs, which have been aired on radio stations in Europe, Canada and the USA. She was also awarded "Honored Artist of The American Prize" in 2020.