The Kosciuszko Foundation is thrilled to welcome internationally acclaimed pianists Rafal Lewandowski and Alexander Peskanov in solo and duet performance for four hands. The recital will feature works by Barber, Debussy, Tchaikovsky as well as contemporary pianists and composers: Alicia Jonas and Alexander Peskanov. A special guest performance will be presented by Derek Lee Ragin, countertenor. Wine reception will follow the concert.
Friday, December 8, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
The Kosciuszko Foundation: 15 E 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
SOLO PERFORMANCE BY RAFAL LEWANDOWSKI: Alicia Jonas - Suite No. 3
1. Waltz Sentymentalne
DUET PERFORMANCE FOR FOUR HANDS: RAFAL LEWANDOWSKI AND ALEXANDER PESKANOV
Claude Debussy – Petite Suite
Samuel Barber – Souvenirs Ballet Suite Op. 28
3. Pas de deux
Alexander Peskanov – Sinfonietta
Alicia Jonas – Concert Paraphrase on T. Albinoni's ''Adagio'' in G-minor
P. Tchaikovsky – Nutcracker, Suite Op. 71 a
1. Overture in Miniature
3. Dance of Sugar-Plum Fairy
4. Russian Dance (Trepak)
5. Arabian Dance
6. Chinese Dance
7. Dance of the Flutes
8. Waltz of the Flowers
Guest performance by Derek Lee Ragin, countertenor: The Ballad of Befana (Christmas Corol) music: Alicia Jonas, lyrics: Phyllis Meg; Rafal Lewandowski, piano
Tickets: $15 - $30
RAFAL LEWANDOWSKI (pianist) combines in his playing the Polish and French piano traditions. He has performed on concert stages across Europe (France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Denmark, Austria), and frequently plays in the USA. Rafal Lewandowski graduated from the Academy of Music in Gdansk, Poland. In 1995 he won a scholarship to attend a master-class in Weimar under the direction of the world-famous French pianist Bernard Ringeissen and continued his work with the eminent musician during a two year period in Paris. He unanimously received the First Prize of Rueil Malmaison Chamber Music Competition. He made his New York debut as a soloist performing with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra in the Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center. He appears at many festivals in Europe such as "Rencontres Internationales Frederic Chopin a Nohant," Summer Music Festival in Lancut, Fermata Music Festival, and in the USA: Connecticut Virtuosi Opus Magnum, Bergemusic Master Series "Here and Now". On the occasion of the Year of Chopin proclaimed by UNESCO Rafael Lewandowski performed in the French Senate (Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris) and he toured in Europe with Chopin solo and chamber music programs. In his concert repertoire, besides the famous piano compositions, musical rarities are given an important place such as Rossini, Anton Rubinstein, compositions by Lili and Nadia Boulanger, as well as contemporary piano music by Alicia Jonas and Jonathan Dawe (composed for the artist with personal dedication). Rafael Lewandowski has made recordings for TV France3, TV Mezzo, Polish Radio & TV. He devotes much time to chamber music and collaborates with renowned instrumentalists, singers and conductors.
Rafal Lewandowski on CD recordings
Chopin – The Sonatas, Selected works (Soliton Records)
Chopin Recital (Clarion, Soliton Records)
Mozart – The piano concertos KV 466, 595 (Concertino)
Nadia Boulanger, Lili Boulanger – Clairieres dans le ciel (Acte Prealable)
Astor Piazzola – The Seasons (Soliton Records)
Antoni Rutkowski – Sonata (Acte prealable)
Alicia Jonas – Suites no. 2, 3, 4, Sonatas, no. 2, 3.
ALEXANDER PESKANOV - "This brilliant pianist can create incredible excitement and knows how to please a crowd," reported The Washington Post when reviewing Alexander Peskanov's Kennedy Center performance of Rachmaninoff's Third Concerto. Mr. Peskanov's American debut as orchestral soloist came with the National Symphony under Rostropovich, and he has since appeared internationally with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, SABC Symphony Orchestra, Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and the Honk Kong Philharmonic, as well as in the United States with the Baltimore, St. Louis, Houston, Utah, Richmond and Pacific Symphonies.
In recent seasons, Alexander Peskanov, ciritcally acclaimed as a "distinctive soloist" by New Yorker Magazine, has made concert appearances in Russia, Poland and the US, including the Leonid Kogan and Elizabeth Gilels Festival at the Moscow Conservatory and the Sopot International Music Festival, in a performance of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concert with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic. He also appeared at the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk and Bargemusic in New York, performing an all Chopin recital.
Mr. Peskanov has performed at the Wolf Trap, Aspen, Grant Park, Newport, Seattle, Vancouver, Monterrey, Sarasota and Flagstaff festivals, and in coast-to-coast recitals including a piano recital at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center as part of the series, "Russian Splendor," the prestigious Van Cliburn Foundation Series in Ft. Worth, Texas, and the Gina Bachauer Piano Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among the illustrious musicians with whom he has collaborated are Maurice Andre, Jean-Pierere Rampal and Yo-Yo Ma.
Alexander Peskanov is also a successful composer of classical works, including piano solos, piano concertos and chamber music. He has written twelve concertos for young pianists, two of them, Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Strings (Hal Leonard) and Spring Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (Alfred Music) have been selected by the National Federation of Music Clubs for 2016-2020. More than 50 contestants have participated in the prestigious 2015 Brown Piano Concerto Competition in Maryland performing his Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Strings. Recently, Peskanov's concertos have also received International recognition and have been premiered in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa, including the premiere of his Concert No. 2 (Ukrainian Concerto) in Mexico at the Zacatecas International Music Festival. Three of Peskanov concertos (No. 1, 6 & 10) have been broadcasted and performed by the young soloists and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra on Estonian National Radio. New releases included several piano trios, written for Six Hands and "Spring Concerto" for Piano and Orchestra, published in 2015 by Alfred Miusic.
His recordings include a CD of his own piano compositions entitled "Spirits of the Wind – Peskanov Plays Peskanov" which has been featured in a satellite broadcast on National Public Radio stations. Other recordings include music by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt and Scott Joplin. He has recorded for Naxos Record's American Classics series and Musical Heritage Society.
Mr. Peskanov graduated from the Stoliarsky School of Music in Odessa, Ukraine, and received his Masters and Bachelor degrees at the Juilliard School in New York. He is also the author of the series of six books entitled: "The Russian Technical Regimen for the Piano," published by the Willis Music. MORE
DEREK LEE RAGIN is regarded as one of the foremost countertenors of our day. In great demand as a master of Baroque vocal style, he is also an inspired interpreter of contemporary music. His performances of such diverse repertoire are characterized by an unusual warmth and expressivity, and he has received unanimous accolades from critics and audiences throughout the world.
With a swiftly moving career, he made a series of highly acclaimed debuts, notably at the Metropolitan Opera in Handel's Giulio Cesare ; in recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1991, and at the Salzburg Festival in Gluck's Orfeo with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra in 1990. He made his London recital debut at Wigmore Hall in 1984, and was immediately re-engaged for the following year.
Mr. Ragin's discography includes Italian lute songs, Handel cantatas, and a disc of spirituals entitled Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit, all for Channel Classics. He recorded the role of Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice for Philips Classical, the title roles in Handel's Tamerlano and Teseo for Erato, and the role of Poro in the world premiere recording of Johan Adolf Hasse's Cleofide on the Capriccio label. With the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Shaw, Mr. Ragin performed and recorded Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and the world premiere of the composer's Missa Brevis. The recording subsequently won a 1995 Grammy Award, and his recording of Giulio Cesare with Concerto Köln received a Gramophone Award in 1992.
Among Mr. Ragin's other awards are first place winner in the Purcell-Britten Prize for Concert Singers in England, and First Prize at the 35th International Music Competition in Munich. He also lent his voice to Farinelli, a film about the famed 18th century castrato which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film in 1995. The soundtrack won the Golden Record award the following year in Cannes.
ALICIA JONAS is an experienced music educator, pianist and composer. She is a Graduate from the Warsaw Conservatory of Music, and was trained at The Juilliard School and Mannes School of Music in New York City. Alicia Jonas has lectured, performed and published internationally. She has participated as a judge in various auditions and contests. Ms. Jonas actively contributes to EPTA Piano Journal and has been recognized for her innovative training method by many distinguished musicians from respected institutions. She is also a certified Steinway Educational Partner.
Alicia is over 8 years acting as Chairperson for the New York State Music Teachers, Inc; over 2 years acting as Chairperson for Piano Congress, 20th Century and Beyond; over 10 years arranging piano music for Warner Brothers; author of multiple acclaimed musical teaching books; founder of the "Con Moto" Music School and Studios in Brooklyn and New York; lectured internationally in various musical subjects… Alicia has also written Life At The Zoo four four hands, and Piano Magic, both published in Japan. She has also published many best sellers, such as Children Studying Music.
Alicia has been commissioned to compose piano music for four hands from the Piano Duet Class at the Juilliard School of Music and is the recipient of multiple Quality Performance Awards for Superior Teaching by the Queens College Cultural Heritage Competitions. Students of Alicia Jonas have achieved many accomplishments such as performing at Carnegie Hall and other well known venues in New York City, as well as receiving scholarships to well renowned music schools such as New York University and the University of Chicago School of Music.
Alicia's patented invention Alicia's Music Blocks are an innovative tool that facilitates the teaching and learning of music theory, composition, and rhythm – and Alicia's book Musical Towers is a new approach to learning musical values and gives students a more thorough understanding while building a solid musical foundation.