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Renowned Russian pianists perform

August 3, 2012

Russian pianists Valery Kuleshov and Yakov Kasman, whose performances and recordings have received critical acclaim, will perform at CSU on August 6 and 10 respectively. Kasman will perform a duo-piano concert with his 16-year-old daughter Aleksandra, a winner of piano competitions herself.

Acclaimed pianist Valery Kuleshov is known for accomplishing the difficult work of writing out by hand, note by note, the great master Vladimir Horowitz's ten unpublished piano transcriptions by listening to LP recordings.Russian silver medalists to perform

Acclaimed, international pianists teaching master classes at the Summer Keyboard Institute at Colorado State University will appear in concerts on Monday, August 6 and Friday, August 10 at the Griffin Concert Hall, University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington Street.

The concerts are free and open to the public.

Virtuoso of the romantic piano

On Monday, August 6 at 7:30 p.m., Valery Kuleshov will play a spectacular program of rarely heard masterpieces including the orchestral Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, a group of Rachmaninov songs arranged by Earl Wild, a series of Etudes and Preludes by Scriabin, and the monumental Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky.

Kuleshov, dubbed the "Russian virtuoso of the romantic piano," was born in Chelyabinsk, Russia and entered the Central Musical School of the Moscow Conservatory at the age of seven. At the age of nine, he made his concert debut with a symphony orchestra in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.  

In a critical review of Valery Kuleshov's performances, The New York Times wrote: "He has everything: the fingers to negotiate the virtuoso repertory, the musicality and imagination to make the most familiar music sound fresh and compelling."

Kuleshov's performing art is based on the best Russian piano traditions. One can find in his playing emotional sincerity, rich colors, brilliant virtuosity, profound understanding of composer's styles, and freshness of interpretation. In 1997, President Boris Yeltsin awarded him the rare distinction, "Honored Artist of the Russian Federation."

Yakov Kasman's debut in America as Silver Medalist in the tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was the culmination of several competition triumphs and tours in Europe and the Middle East.Valery Kuleshov is a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Silver Medalist.

Among best classical recordings

On Friday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m., Yakov Kasman and his talented 16-year-old daughter, Aleksandra Kasman, will perform a duo-piano concert. Aleksandra has placed in several piano competitions herself, winning a silver medal at the Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev, Ukraine.

The Kasmans will perform works by Schubert, Medtner, and the orchestral Symphonic Dances for Two Pianos by Sergei Rachmaninov.

Yakov Kasman was born in the city of Orel near Moscow and began his piano studies at the age of five.  A graduate and postgraduate of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, he went on to teach piano at the Music College of the Conservatory.  He is now a professor of piano and artist-in-residence at the University of Alabama.  

Kasman has fifteen studio CD recordings on the Calliope label. International Piano Quarterly selected his CD, Pictures at an Exhibition, as one of the 14 best classical piano recordings over the past 75 years. Kasman is a Van Cliburn Silver Medalist.


Tickets are available at the UCA ticket office, online, or by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787). Tickets will also be available at the door. Tickets are $25/adult and $15/student.

Yakov Kasman and his daughter, Aleksandra. At a recent concert the two performed, by memory, 'Carnival of the Animals,' on two pianos.

Daily passes for the full schedule of SKI/Colorado masterclasses, recitals, and concerts may also be purchased for $100/day.

Summer Keyboard Institute

Guest artists and CSU faculty at the Summer Keyboard Institute include:

  • Yakov Kasman and Valery Kuleshov, Russian silver medalists from the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
  • Hsing-Au Hsu, a silver medalist from the William Kapell International Piano Competition
  • Therese Fahy, a senior piano professor from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland
  • Dong-Seom Lee from Dong-Eui University in Busan, Korea

Additional guests and CSU faculty include Lei Weng, Bonnie Jacobi, Jeremy Dittus, Theresa Bogard, and Janet Landreth. "To have this many gifted pianists on our campus in one week is simply phenomenal,” said Landreth.

International Keyboard Odyssiad and Festival

The theme for the odyssiad and festival is, "A Journey to the Performance of a Lifetime.”

The odyssiad and festival take place simultaneously with SKI/Colorado. Unique in its vision, format, and global outreach, IKOF the is the only competition of its kind, attracting gifted and talented pianists from around the world and providing winners with travel opportunities, scholarships, and performances at IKOF events in other countries. The inaugural event, being launched by CSU Professor and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies Janet Landreth, Ph.D., takes place August 4–11.

The events provide the public a rare opportunity to hear performances by international professional pianists, alongside final rounds of dynamic competition and concluding with a winners' concert.

Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603