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Katya Grineva, Pianist, Brings Her "Classical Holiday" Program to Carnegie Hall
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Katya Grineva, Pianist, Brings Her "Classical Holiday" Program to Carnegie Hall

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Katya Grineva, Pianist
Classical Holiday

Dedicated to Robert Mawson

Carnegie Hall
Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage

Press: April Thibeault

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 27, 2014

Prelude in B minor by Bach/Siloti
Medley of Carols Arr. by Byron Duckwall
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach/Myra Hess
Dedication by Schumann-Liszt
Boat on the Ocean by Ravel
Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2 by Beethoven
Ave Maria by Gounod/Bizet
Silent Night Variations Arr. by Byron Duckwall
“March” from Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky
“Sugar Plum Fairy’s Dance” from Nutcracker Suite
Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 by Chopin
Fantasie-Impromptu, Op. 66 by Chopin
Clair de Lune by Debussy
L’isle Joyeuse by Debussy

Once again Katya Grineva brought her gracious talent to Carnegie Hall’s main stage, this time for a Classical Holiday. Stern Auditorium was packed with families and children, thanks to The Generoso Pope Foundation and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Tajikistan to the United Nations. Ms. Grineva, as in years past, included pieces related to Water, which is the theme of the International Decade of Action “Water for Life”. In Tajikistan, there are a thousand lakes, glaciers, waterfalls, and rapid rivers, and the country is researching ways to build freshwater protection. For this concert, scheduled between Christmas and New Year’s, Ms. Grineva collaborated with Byron Duckwall, a cellist, conductor, producer, and arranger, for an arrangement of a medley of traditional Christmas Carols, as well as a new arrangement of the Carol, “Silent Night”, in various forms and rhythms.

The opening Bach/Siloti Prelude in B minor was calming and echoing, played with chords of quietude, much like a lullaby. Ms. Grineva has class and charisma that draw her audience into her music. Mr. Duckwall’s arrangement of the traditional English, Irish, and American Carols exuded the chords of an organ with solemn reverence and Holiday flourishes. “The Wexford Carol” and “The Coventry Carol” were especially intriguing. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring was performed with warmth and seamless fluidity, while Dedication, by Schumann and Liszt was evocative of the theme of water, with tonal motion like a flowing river. Ravel’s Boat On the Ocean included tiny, rapid trills, like sunlight dancing on foam, an impressionistic piece. The Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, in three movements, was lush and impassioned.

After intermission, the attentive Ms. Grineva, who always smiles at her audience, between piano pieces, returned with the ever popular Ave Maria. It was played with romanticism and yearning, in increasing volume and drama. Mr. Duckwall’s Silent Night Variations followed, played like short sonatas, with varying harmonies, in three or four rounds of the renowned theme. Two musical passages of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite were interestingly interpreted with strong chords, accompanying the original dance theme. Most of us would have heard this music in the ballet genre, so Ms. Grineva’s solo piano variation was fascinating, played for listening and imagining those high-kicking, toy soldiers and twirling Sugar Plum Fairy.

The pair of Chopin works imbued elegance, poignancy, and mastery, both worthy of hearing on multiple occasions, for their rich textures. The first of the pair of Debussy works was languid, with pauses for reflection, while the second possessed an echoing theme of bucolic breeziness. The encore, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, arranged by Mr. Duckwall, was composed by Walter Kent and originally recorded by Bing Crosby. The audience loved it. Kudos to Katya Grineva.

Katya Grineva Holiday Concert
Courtesy of Katya Grineva

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at