Russian Nefertiti: Zlata Chochieva in Recital


The Steinway Society the Bay Area inaugurated its 2018-19 season on Saturday, September 15, with a fine recital by Russian piano virtuoso Zlata Chochieva, who performed music by Bach, Rachmaninov, Chopin, and Liszt. Appearing in a silver, svelte gown, Ms. Chochieva might have resembled a sleek, modern incarnation of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, in the classic pose with her hair slicked back, except this deity of the keyboard holds her wrists low and exerts magical, athletic presence on the music she surveys. A combination of potent textures and poetic temperament ensued, inflamed her appreciative audience to demand one encore, a breathless, scintillating rendition of Chopin’s Etude Op. 10, No. 5 in G-flat Major, the “Black Keys.”    Read full story

Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era

Halida Dinova performs on the “Aptos Keyboard Series @ St. Johns”

Pianist Halida Dinova has been a familiar presence both in the Santa Cruz area and on the Monterey Peninsula in several solo recitals during the past ten years. Thus, it was no surprise that enough of her fans showed up to hear her perform on Sunday afternoon at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos so that the presenters ran out of printed programs.

Tatar born Russian pianist Halida Dinova studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with legendary pianist Anatol Ugorski and at the Kazan State Conservatory with Natalia Fomina (a student of the famed Heinrich Neuhaus). Ms. Dinova also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she received her Artist Diploma. She is the prize winner of three International Piano Competitions. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Piano, Romantic Era

Vienna Transfigured

The “City of my Dreams,” Vienna, provided the spectacular venue for the last of the [email protected] concert series, 2018, Saturday, August 4 at the Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton. Music by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, and Schoenberg found vibrant, uplifting realization by ensembles thoroughly engaged in style and temperament, concluding the program not so much by frantic applause, but by that thoughtful, mesmerized quiet that followed the long-held, evaporating chords from Schoenberg’s 1899 sextet after the poem by Richard Dehmel. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Classical Era, Romantic Era

Pianist Dang Thai Son opens Chopin Festival in Miami


On Sunday evening, June 24th, Dang Thai Son, winner of the 1980 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, played an interesting recital in Miami to open a Chopin Festival organized by Kevin Kenner, winner of the 1990 Chopin Competition. For many years Dang Thai son had not been allowed to play in the United States because he was born in Hanoi, Vietnam. His program consisted of works by Schubert, Chopin, Paderewski, and Liszt. Opening with Schubert’s Allegretto in C minor, D.915 and the 12 German Dances, D.790, Dang Thai Son’s soft pianissimos and pedaling were magical. His wonderful sonority, pedaling, and remarkable fingers were also evident in the three Chopin Mazurkas, although his approach to the Barcarolle did not make me forget Moiseiwitsch, Rubinstein or Horowitz.

After intermission, his approach to five Paderewski miniatures was again often magical. The concluding Reminiscences of Bellini’s Norma by Liszt brought the audience to its feet but did not erase the indelible memory of Ivan Davis’s incomparable performances of the Norma Paraphrase in which brilliant virtuosity was coupled with a unique understanding and affection for Italian opera that was without peer. The encore, the slow movement from Schubert’s late Sonata, D. 958, was again conveyed with beautiful, soft sonority.


Archived in these categories: Piano, Romantic Era

Alexey Trushechkin Recital in Aptos

It was a highly enthusiastic audience that turned out Sunday afternoon, June 24, to hear Russian pianist Alexey Trushechkin perform a recital presented jointly by Joseph Sekon and the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Aptos. Twenty-eight-year-old Trushechkin, a product of the Moscow Conservatory and presently a graduate student at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, has all the attributes we would expect from a Russian-trained virtuoso. He has a masterful technique that knows no limitations, an expressive style that shapes phrases with elegant conviction, and a genuinely sympathetic feeling for a wide variety of romantic and 20th-century repertoire.  Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Piano, Romantic Era