Anastasia Rizikov Captures Hearts in Binghamton, NY

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Anastasia Rizikov Captures Hearts in Binghamton, NY

Post by Lance » Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:48 pm

Classical Pianists of the Future
Lance G. Hill and Alvin H. Williams III, Co-Executive Directors
Anastasia Rizikov, 9-year-old concert pianist
Two Recitals:
Saturday, November 15, 2008 [all Chopin]
Sunday, November 16, 2008 [varied composer program]
Tri-Cities Opera Center, Binghamton, New York

The local newspaper called her a "pint-sized pianist," but if we are talking great technique and incredible musical sensitivity and expression in a nine-year-old prodigious young pianist, Anastasia Rizikov would compare more to the size of a gallon.

Saturday's recital featured Anastasia Rizikov at the beautiful high-polished ebony Bechstein concert grand piano in an all-Chopin program consisting of two Mazurkas, two Preludes, two Waltzes, and the Fantaisie-Impromptu. After the intermission, we were treated to soprano Judy Berry's performance of the Balatella from Leoncavallo's Pagliacci and a popular song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," accompanied by pianist John Isenberg. Anastasia Rizikov returned to the piano to continue her all-Chopin program of two Nocturnes and concluded with four Etudes, ending the encore group with the brilliant Etude in C Minor, Op. 25/12, which brought the house down. She generously gave three encores: Ponce's Intermezzo, Prokofiev's "Harp" Prelude, and Moszkowski's Etude No. 11 in A-flat Major.

What is remarkable about such a young talent is how these tiny fingers can negotiate—with great skill and confidence—the demands of this repertoire, all from memory. Technique is one thing, but when it is melded with artistic sensitivity in such a young artist, it becomes all the more enthralling. Anastasia's natural talent has been carefully guided by her maternal grandmother, Maia Spis, a piano teacher at the Nadia Music School in Toronto, Anastasia's only teacher. The prodigy's rendering of the Fantaisie-Impromptu was imbued with the refinement of a much older and cultured pianist.

At the more composer-diversified program given on Sunday, we discovered many people who heard Anastasia a day before returned because they could not believe what they heard, not to mention how emotionally touched they were by the young pianist. We saw tears of joy in the audience (I had them as well). The Sunday afternoon performance included Bach's Prelude and Fugue in B Minor from the WTC, Book II/24, the Sonata No. 48 in C Major of Haydn (complete), two Caprices by Anton Arensky, and two Etudes by Moritz Moszkowski. Again, soprano Judy Berry opened the second half of the program with the Jewel Song from Gounod's Faust to a most appreciative audience.

The second half of Anastasia's Sunday recital commenced with Rachmaninoff's Etude-Tableaux in C# Minor, Op. 33/8, Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum from Debussy's Children's Corner suite, two Pieces by Manuel Ponce, an Intermezzo and the Scherzino Mexicano, a piano transcription of Flight of the Bumble-Bee from Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Prokofiev's Prelude in C Major ("Harp"), and Mykola Lysenko's Impromptu.

Once again, as each composition unfolded, one could observe the natural feeling Anastasia Rizikov conveyed in all the various styles presented. You can ascertain by everything shown here that the young pianist has diversification in her repertoire. Both performances were performed with no music. The tone she elicited from the Bechstein was enormous where necessary but never ugly, always singing and fluid. At the opposite side of the sound spectrum, she could play very lightly and fluidly creating a warm sound. At times, she would nearly have to stand slightly at the keyboard in order to express the power demanded in some pieces.

Away from the piano, Anastasia Rizikov is full of glee, loves to tease, and enjoys all those around her. In every sense, aside from her pianistic prowess, she is a normal young lady. I cannot imagine a young lady at nine years old being more loved and appreciated than the Binghamton, New York audience displayed at these recitals.

It was a special event, indeed, for the Greater Binghamton, New York area. Keep your eyes and ears on the watch for this wonderful young pianist! •
Lance G. Hill

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]


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Re: Anastasia Rizikov Captures Hearts in Binghamton, NY

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:23 pm

It sounds like you had a very successful evening, Lance, and her material was not exactly easy stuff to play, I was very impressed that she chose the Haydn Sonata and Arensky Caprices, the Haydn is one of my favourite pieces..and it's great that she got such a glowing review in the Local Paper...more power to her... :D
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Re: Anastasia Rizikov Captures Hearts in Binghamton, NY

Post by TopoGigio » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:34 pm

Shze is szo aristocr'tic...ImageImpozing!

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