Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks will join St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s, under the director of Dwayne S. Milburn, at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 24.
Called the “high priestess of piano” by Chicago PBS Station WTTW, Faliks has performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Salle Cortot in Paris, and Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. She has presented concerts at the Ravinia Festival, National Gallery of Art, Wallis Annenberg Center and in tours of China, Mexico and Israel.
A past winner of many prestigious competitions, Faliks is currently Professor of Piano and Head of Piano at UCLA. She is in demand as Artist Teacher and is frequently invited to judge competitions and give masterclasses at major conservatories and universities.
At this concert, she will play Beethoven’s lyrical Fourth Piano Concerto, which was composed in 1808 and its premiere was the last concert Beethoven would conduct.
The concerto is both eloquent and spirited. The understated opening, with the pianist playing a simple melody accompanied by sustained chords gives way to a work full of virtuosic flair and dance-like rhythms.
Also on the program is Frederick Delius’ “Two Pieces for Small Orchestra,” which was written in 1911-1912 as two delicate miniature tone-poems.
One reviewer wrote that On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring was composed in 1912, Summer Night on the River in the previous year. Delius wrote to his wife: ‘The public seemed to like the first piece [Cuckoo] best, although I like the second one best’.
Summer Night on the River is in some respects Delius’s most advanced orchestral work and might even have been inspired by Debussy, of whose Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune Delius had recently received a piano-roll. The chromatic harmony evokes perfectly the calm and peace implied by the title and one can visualise the moonlight glinting on the water and hear the nocturnal insects.
Also on the program is Percy Grainger’s folksongs from the British Isles that are staples of the literature for wind ensembles. Written as a birthday present for his mother, the composition, Molly on the Shore, is an arrangement of two contrasting Irish reels.
The concert will be held at St. Matthew’s Church, 1031 Bienveneda Ave. Tickets are $35 or Music Guild Season pass. Season passes for remaining 2022 – 2023 concerts are available for as little as $75. Visit: MusicGuildOnline.org or call (310) 573-7422.