Pianist Inna Faliks to Perform World Premiere of Clarice Assad's Godai; Brahms Sonatas Nos. 2 & 3; at Bargemusic

Pianist Inna Faliks to Perform World Premiere of Clarice Assad's Godai; Brahms Sonatas Nos. 2 & 3; at Bargemusic

On Friday, March 20, 2015, 8 pm, BARGEMUSIC presents celebrated Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks in a recital featuring the world premiere of Clarice Assad's Godai, five movements for speaking pianist with poetry by Steven Schroeder, paired with two monumental works by Johannes Brahms, rarely heard together on one program: Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp minor, Op. 2 and Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5. Also featured on the program is Clara Schumann's Romance, Op. 21/#1, "To my friend Brahms." Tickets are $35 general admission, $30 seniors, $15 students and children under 16 accompanied by an adult, available at www.bargemusic.org/tickets.html.

Faliks also makes a second New York concert appearance on Sunday, March 22, 4 pm at the Brooklyn Public Library's Dweck Auditorium. The program, which is part of Faliks' ongoing Music/Words series, features Mozart's D minor Fantasie, Jan Freidlin's Ballade in Black and White, Liszt's La Campanella, and poems by Sophie Black read by the poet herself between selections. Music/Words is an interdisciplinary live performance series exploring connections between poetry and music, which the pianist began in 2008. Music/Words features new published and unpublished works which are read alongside performances of music old and new and connected by content, intuition, and inspiration. Admission is free, and more information is available at www.bklynlibrary.org.

Faliks, whose playing has been called "adventurous and passionate" by The New Yorker, commissioned Godai from composer Clarice Assad with a grant from Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg. For Godai, Assad collaborated with poet Steven Schroeder to create a series of five interconnected sketches with spoken sound effects and two poems based on the five elements of Japanese Buddhism: wind, fire, water, earth, and sky. Assad -- an award-winning composer who also studied voice -- says of movement 1 (Dry Bones) that it "represents expansion, freedom... hence the breath sounds. Some places are meant to feel as if there's something about to take flight." In movement 2, Absence (fire and water), an author laments a manuscript lost in a fire. The third movement, Gravity (earth), employs effects from Noh Theater, such as rattling and silences, for textural contrast. Left-hand octaves march against right-hand conversational lines to lead into movement 4 - Ascension. A whirl of repeating sixteenth note groups leads to the final movement: Azure (sky).

The improvisatory nature of Godai provides a foil to the highly structured world of the two Brahms works that follow: Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp minor, Op. 2 and Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5. The second sonata, which has a searching nature at its core can also be tempestuous -- while the third sonata, which Inna Faliks describes as "an architectural masterpiece," may be considered symphonic in scope. These two works showcase an increasingly complex sonata form as Brahms evolved it.

Other upcoming concerts for Faliks include her 10th Anniversary celebration with Pianoforte Chicago on Saturday, March 14, 2015, 7 pm, at the new PianoForte Studios hall (1335 S. Michigan Ave). The program offers Clara Schumann's Romance Op 21/# 1, Brahms Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp minor, Op. 2 and Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5. She will also appear on "Live from WFMT," Chicago's classical radio station (www.wfmt.com) on Monday, March 16, 2015, 8 pm. A frequent guest on this program, this interview and solo recital will be broadcast live on the radio and on the Internet.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most exciting, committed, communicative and poetic artists of her generation. After her acclaimed debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she performed on many of the world's great stages. Critics have praised her "signature blend of lithe grace and raw power"(Lucid Culture), "courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection" (General Anzeiger, Bonn), "poetry and panoramic vision" (Washington Post), and "riveting passion, playfulness" (Baltimore Sun). Her discography includes an all- Beethoven recording, and the Sound of Verse, which features music of Boris Pasternak, Ravel, and Rachmaninoff - both on MSR Classics. Upcoming recordings include Polonaise-Fantasie, a theater-piano piece about the story of a pianist, and her Music/Words new commissions CD.

Ms. Faliks' distinguished career has taken her to thousands of recitals and concerti in prestigious venues in the US as well as highly reviewed appearances in France, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, Estonia, Japan, Russia, and Israel. Winner of many competitions, including the ProMusicis International Award, she has been featured on radio and international television broadcasts, and has performed in Carnegie Hall's Weill Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris' Salle Cortot, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall, LA's Zipper Hall, and in festivals such as Newport Festival, Bargemusic Festival, Peninsula Festival, Verbier Festival, and more. For more information, see innafaliks.com.

Committed to innovative programming, Faliks has premiered 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg, has performed and recorded the unknown piano works of Russian poet Boris Pasternak, appeared in theatrical productions such as Admission: One Shilling with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol, has premiered new works by many contemporary composers, including Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin, Clarice Assad, Jan Freidlin, Sean Hickey, Tania Leon, and more. Ms. Faliks is the founder and curator of Music/Words, a series that pairs together live performances with readings by established contemporary poets. The series has been heard and seen in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for seven seasons, live and on radio. www.musicwordsnyc.com. Recently relocated from NYC to Los Angeles, Ms. Faliks is the Head of Piano and Associate Professor of Piano at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Versatile, sophisticated, and accomplished, Clarice Assad is a sought after symphonic composer, arranger, producer, jazz pianist, and vocalist of musical depth and ability. Her music embraces a wide variety of styles, including her own original musical concepts.

Her music has been recorded and performed by the most prominent soloists, conductors and orchestras in the world today including violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Mike Marshall, The Assad Brothers, conductors Marin Alsop, David Alan Miller and Christoph Eschenbach; Chanticleer, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo and the New Century Chamber Orchestra to name a few. Ms. Assad is the recipient of such awards as the Aaron Copland Award, several ASCAP awards, Meet The Composer's Van Lier Fellowship, the Franklin Honor Society, as well as a nomination from the Latin Grammy Foundation for best contemporary composition. She has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Fundação OSESP, the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Concordia Chamber Players, the Albany Symphony, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, PRO MUSICA Chamber Orchestra, the BRAVO! Music Festival, La Jolla Music Festival, among others. Assad has been the principal staff arranger for the New Century Chamber Orchestra since 2006.

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Clarice Assad was born into one of Brazil's most famous musical families (she is the daughter of Sergio Assad, one of today's preeminent guitarists and composers), and has performed professionally since the age of seven. Formal piano studies began with Sheila Zagury in Brazil; she then studied with Natalie Fortin in Paris and had additional instruction in Jazz and Brazilian piano under the tutelage of Leandro Braga. Clarice continued her classical piano studies in the United States with Ed Bedner (Berklee School of Music) and then Bruce Berr at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Composition mentors are Ilya Levinson, Stacy Garrop, David Rakowski, Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Daugherty, Evan Chambers and Claude Baker. Clarice studied voice with composer and singer Susan Botti and Judy Blazer. Miss Assad holds a Bachelor of Music from the Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, and a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. For more information, see clariceassad.com.