I first met internationally acclaimed pianist Inna Faliks online back in 2021 when I saw a Facebook post announcing her CD release, Reimagine: Beethoven and Ravel. The title intrigued me. As my art and music school, Pastimes for a Lifetime blogs about notable CD releases, I reached out to Ms. Faliks and was delighted when she accepted my invitation to be interviewed for the blog.
Since then I had the privilege of hearing Ms. Faliks perform live at the Jacaranda Music Concert in Solidarity with Ukraine relief fundraiser at the Robert Frost Auditorium in Culver City. We spoke afterwards and found her to be warm and genuine.
When I mentioned to Ms. Faliks about my nonprofit, The Athena Foundation for the Arts‘, and its mission to make world class musicians and their programs accessible to my community, she was onboard. Bringing her Polonaise-Fantasie – The Story of a Pianist was the perfect choice to introduce Ms. Faliks and her powerful piano prowess to our audience. The date of Sunday, June 11, 2023 was set and concert preparations began.
As part of Athena’s concert prep, we enjoy “breaking the ice”, introducing our award winning musicians to the audience with a personal interview. After her recent recitals performing her Reimagine Beethoven and Ravel at the Ravinia Festival, her Master and Margarita Project at the National Gallery in DC, and her Rachmaninoff Rhapsody at Alice Tully Hall, all while heading UCLA’s piano department for over a decade, I was able to catch up with Ms. Faliks for this brief insightful interview. I’m pleased to share it with my readers.
LRW: Your fabulous Polonaise-Fantasie – The Story of a Pianist debuted in London recently. Congratulations! Great review by Christopher Axworthy, too! I noticed the piano solos you chose for your London and the upcoming Athena performance here in North Hollywood are different from your other performances. Why these composers? Why now?
IF: Though I perform some of these pieces in other combinations, they are placed in this order, in this program, because they intricately and intimately tie with my personal story. Some of them are pieces that I lived with since a young age. Others simply fit with the narrative in a very natural and effortless manner. Some of them also come up in my long-awaited, forthcoming memoir, Weight in the Fingertips, to be published by Globe and Pequoet on October 15th.
LRW: Very nice. We look forward to hearing these wonderful pieces. Congratulations on the upcoming publication of your memoir. I’ve preordered it and encourage my readers to do the same. Can you hint at the beautiful imagery or lighting effects you’ve selected for your pieces and why they were chosen?
IF: Some of these images are from my personal archive and illustrate my childhood or my immigration or growing up in the States – they will be included in my book. Others simply fit the mood of the music. I must say that this is a beautiful idea, a game-changer for a concert series, something that truly speaks to an audience and makes the experience more memorable, special – to involve every feeling, every sense.
LRW: Wonderful. Thank you for the kind supportive words. It is our vision to merge stunning imagery with beautiful classical music for an immersive memorable experience. May I ask, have you recorded these stunning pieces, or do you have plans to do so?
IF: Yes, all of these have been recorded. Polonaise-Fantasie the Story of a Pianist is available here on the Delos label. The Beethoven Bagatelles are recorded here on the Reimagine Beethoven and Ravel disc, for Navona Records.
LRW: Thanks for the links! At the end of each interview, I always enjoy asking our guests for a favorite quote by a composer or musician that they’d like to share with our readers. May I ask what is yours?
Thank you for the inspiration, dear Inna. Beautiful timeless words. We’re excited for your concert.
To learn more about this remarkable pianist, visit her website and social media platforms:
Eager to attend? Please see below.
Sunday, June 11, 2023
Check-in: 3:15 PM
Concert: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM PDT
Church of Scn of the Valley
11455 Burbank Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91601
•This concert is hosted exclusively by The Athena Foundation for the Arts.
•It is not a church event.
•The Community Auditorium is made available for rent to nonprofits and other charitable organizations. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us. Thank you.
FREE Parking: Farmdale Avenue lot and street parking
Purchase tickets on Eventbrite here or scan the QR code at the door. Cash or Credit card payments by Zettle/Paypal also available. Questions? Please feel free to email us. Looking forward to an inspiring concert!
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