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World-class pianist to open Lawrence County Concert Series Saturday

Oct. 06, 2011 @ 03:43 PM

 IRONTON  —  A performance by world-class pianist Illya Filshtinskiy opens the 2011-12 Lawrence County Concert Series on Saturday, Oct. 8 in the Ohio University Southern Riffe Center Mains Rotunda.

Along with his international stature as a concert pianist, Illya also has local ties. His parents are Elena Filshtinska-Burwell and David Burwell, originally of Ironton. He is the grandson of Carolyn Burwell of Ironton.  The concert is set for 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 and $5 seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased at the door or e-mail

  Filshtinskiy is a 24-year-old Ukrainian-born pianist who has performed as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He made his orchestral debut at age 15 playing the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. His most recent orchestral performance of Rachmaninov's Second Concerto with conductor Peter Stafford Wilson (July 2010),was broadcasted on the WOSU public radio station.

 He made his New York debut in 2002 after winning Grand Prize in the 2002 World Piano Competition. As a result, he was invited to perform at New York's Wail Carnegie Hall and the United Nations Headquarters. Since then he has performed in many important venues in New York including Symphony Space, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall, Borden Auditorium, and Paul Hall.

"Filshtinskiy demonstrates and impressive command of technique and an even more impressive command of interpretation.  He is willing to hold out a moment, to suspend listeners in time almost to the point of uneasiness, in order to make a musical point.  He is also willing to overwhelm a small space with sound, and to suddenly switch gears for a delicate, melodic passage." - The Columbus Dispatch; regarding his solo concert in Columbus, Ohio.

In 2009, Filshtinskiy performed in the Chi Mei Museum of the Chi Mei Cultural Foundation, Taiwan. In 2008, Filshtinskiy was invited to perform in a contemporary music tour of Turkey, "East Meets West".  He has performed in innovative settings and major concert venues throughout Turkey including Istanbul, Antalya, and Ismir, among others.  The tour included numerous television and radio appearances. He was featured on PBS's documentary "Beyond the Practice Room", as well as participating in an interview on Ohio's NBC station.

Filshtinskiy was a participant of numerous summer music festivals where he performed solo and chamber music recitals. Some of these festivals include the Music Academy of the West, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and the International Holland Music Sessions.  As part of the Holland festival, he performed solo recitals in many cities in Holland, including Alkmaar, and Leeuwander. In response to his performance in Leeuwander, Filshtinskiy was applauded by the newspaper reviewer for "present[ing] his Chopin with profundity and understanding.  The courage of this pianist was demonstrated by his extroverted and priceless interpretation of Bolcom's 'The Serpent's Kiss'." - Leeuwander Courant.

Filshtinskiy holds a Bachelors Diploma from the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Susan Rose and Vladimir Horowitz Scholarships.   At Juilliard, his teachers were Julian Martin and Jerome Lowenthal. He completed his Master's Degree at the Manhattan School of Music, where  he studied with Arkady Aronov, and had a Manhattan School of Music Scholarship. In 2004, he was named a Davidson Fellow, and was awarded  a generous fellowship by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development in recognition of his outstanding achievement in piano performance.. Filshtinskiy frequently performs with violinist Katha Zinn, together they have formed a group called "Subito.”