On Friday, September 21 at 8pm Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik, known for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), and pianist Anna Polonsky, lauded for her “dazzling virtuosity” (San Francisco Chronicle), will join forces for a recital presented by Bargemusic on its Masterworks Series (Fulton Ferry Landing).
Kutik and Polonsky will perform selections from Kutik’s ongoing project Music from the Suitcase including Stravinsky’s Divertimento from A Fairy’s Kiss and Prokofiev’s Waltz from Cinderella (arr. Fikhtengoltz); plus Schnittke’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1. They will also give the world premiere performances of two new works that are part of Kutik’s new commissioning project, Meditations on Family – Gity Razaz’s Cadenza for the Once Young and Andreia Pinto Correia’s Litania.
When Yevgeny Kutik was five years old, he and his family emigrated from the deteriorating Soviet Union to the United States with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. Although they had to leave most of their possessions behind and fit everything else into just two suitcases, Kutik’s mother, a violin teacher, filled one of the suitcases with sheet music from the family’s collection, believing that their music was a significant part of their family’s musical history. Years later, Kutik began to explore the music from the suitcase and was enthralled with the pieces he discovered. He recorded a selection of this music on his critically acclaimed 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart and was featured on NPR's All Things Considered and in The New York Times.
He says, “As I continued to explore this music, they began to organize themselves into a distinct array of moods and themes, suffused with the character of Russian folklore, fantasy, and poetry...The pieces on this album carry with them a simplicity and directness, and with this immediacy, a striking beauty...It reminds me of what we went through and how far we have come.”
As an extension of Music from the Suitcase, Kutik has now commissioned a diverse group of today’s leading composers for his new project dedicated to building a living archive devoted to family and memory called Meditations on Family: A New Collection of Music for Violin. The composers are translating a personal family photo into a short musical miniature for violin and various ensemble. Featured composers include Joseph Schwantner, Andreia Pinto Correia, Gity Razaz, Timo Andres, Chris Cerrone, Kinan Azmeh, Gregory Vajda, and Paola Prestini.
The new works by Correia and Razaz will be performed for the first time at Bargemusic, and will also be part of Kutik’s April 2019 debut at the Kennedy Center presented by Washington Performing Arts. Kutik will be recording each of the new pieces for weekly digital release online as singles, starting in fall 2018.
Passionate about his heritage and its influence on his artistry, Kutik is an advocate for the Jewish Federations of North America, and regularly speaks and performs across the United States to both raise awareness and promote the assistance of refugees from around the world. Learn more about Kutik on his website.
Anna Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She has performed chamber music at festivals such as Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Music@Menlo, Cartagena, Bard, and Caramoor, as well as at Bargemusic in New York City. Polonsky has given concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall’s Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two during 2002-2004. In 2006 she took a part in the European Broadcasting Union's project to record and broadcast all of Mozart's keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007 she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to inaugurate the Emerson Quartet’s Perspectives Series. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.
Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of the renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her Master's Degree from the Juilliard School. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College, and in the summer at the Marlboro and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals.
Highlights of Polonsky’s 2017-2018 season included performances in China with Yo-Yo Ma, and at Carnegie Hall with Peter Serkin. Beginning in 2019, she will perform as part of a trio with clarinetist David Shifrin and cellist Peter Wiley. Anna Polonsky is a Steinway Artist. Learn more about Polonsky on her website.
Moored in Brooklyn just under the Brooklyn Bridge, Bargemusic presents great music year-round. Walk across the gangplank of a renovated coffee barge into a “wonderfully intimate wood-paneled room with thrilling views of lower Manhattan and excellent acoustics.” Learn more on the Bargemusic website.