Song & Stage

Ukrainian Pianist Inna Faliks Performs Musical Memoir at Parrish

Faliks recounts her childhood in Odessa amid the Ukraine-Russian conflict.

The Parrish Art Museum’s Salon Series concert program featuring world-class artists performing in an intimate, casual setting, will present pianist Inna Faliks’s Polonaise-fantasie: The Story of a Pianist—a unique program of words and music this Friday, May 11 at 6 p.m.

Between performances of music by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and modern Russian composers that played an integral role in her life, Faliks will read from her memoir recounting a childhood in Odessa amid the Ukraine-Russian conflict, and her immigration to the United States. A critically-acclaimed pianist and head of the piano department at UCLA, Faliks dedicates the program to “anyone who has ever left a place in search of a better life.”

Each spoken excerpt alternates with a masterpiece of the piano repertoire that is closely connected to her life story. The program addresses her personal experiences with anti-Semitism, bullying, immigration and adjusting in a new country—as well as her seminal early influences and evolution as an artist.

“I knew I was a musician long before I knew I was Jewish, Ukrainian or Soviet,” Faliks says.

“In this extraordinary program, audience members will not only be dazzled by Inna Faliks’s consummate musicianship, but deeply moved by her triumph in surmounting personal, social and political challenges through the transformative power of music,” Parrish Director Terrie Sultan explains. “This program is one of many that reflects the museum’s commitment to addressing important issues in our own and the greater community through the artist’s voice, along with Story Circle, Ai Wei Wei’s film Human Flow, and Cameroonian artist Barthelemy Toguo’s Platform project.”

The program begins with the dramatic modern piece, Basso Ostinato (2000), the best-known work for solo piano by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin, followed by J.S. Bach’s lyrical and meditative Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor. Faliks returns to the Russian composers with Ballade in Black and White, a work composed expressly for her in 2006 by Jan Freidlin. She continues with Mozart’s popular Fantasy in D minor, and short pieces by Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt.

Following a brief intermission, Faliks plays the complete Bagatelles (Op. 126) by Ludwig van Beethoven—“character pieces” meant to evoke specific moods, moments, and ideas.

Guests may purchase wine, beer and light fare at the Golden Pear café at the Parrish, open before the concert and during intermission.

Learn more and get tickets by calling the Parrish Art Museum (279 Montauk Highway) in Water Mill at 631-283-2118 or visiting parrishart.org.

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