On Saturday, October 1, 2011, Music at the Institute presented a concert Liszt Bicentennial: Ukrainian Connections. Pianist Mykola Suk performed works by Liszt and Silvestrov.
“In my experience, Suk’s readings of the B minor Sonata and Dante Sonata surpass in impact the Liszt performance of any other living pianist.”
Joseph Horowitz, Liszt and Improvisation
The Ukrainian-American pianist Mykola Suk, who gained international recognition as the winner of the First Prize and Gold Medal at the 1971 International Liszt-Bartok Competition in Budapest, has appeared to critical acclaim in performances spanning four continents. Described by the American Record Guide as “an astonishing blend of muscular power, poetry and utter control…he will prove to be one of the most formidable talents to have appeared in this country in years,” Mr. Suk has performed as soloist with numerous leading orchestras, from the Russian National Symphony under Mikhail Pletnev to the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under Roman Kofman. He has collaborated with many of the world’s outstanding conductors, including Charles Bruck, Janos Ferencik, Arvid Jansons, Stefan Turchak, James DePreist, and Carl St. Clair.
Mr. Suk’s passion for chamber music has taken him to many prestigious chamber music festivals throughout the world, among them the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (Finland), the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, the Kyiv International Music Fest, and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York. An avid performer of 20th and 21st century piano literature, Mr. Suk has premiered numerous works, especially by such noted Ukrainian composers as Valentin Silvestrov, Ivan Karabyts, and Myroslav Skoryk. Most of the works were composed for, dedicated to, or commissioned by him.
Mr. Suk’s “powerful and pearl-like playing” (Wiener Zeitung), his “immense talent of tone coloring” (Le Soleil, Quebec), his “enormous digital control” and “impressive technique” (Toronto Star), and his ability to “transform virtuosity into poetry of the mind” (Keskisuomalainen, Finland) have earned him comparisons with some of the great pianists of all time. “One soon understood why he has been compared to Richter. It appeared as if, with his playing, Mykola Suk would set the instrument on fire,” wrote the Trossinger Zeitung, and the European Piano Teacher’s Journal hailed him as “surely the most towering and volcanic talent to have come out of Russia since Anton Rubenstein.”
A native of Kyiv, Mr. Suk obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Moscow State Conservatory under Lev Vlasenko. Before coming to the United States, he served as professor of piano at the Kyiv and Moscow State Conservatories. He is currently Professor of Piano at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has recorded on the Melodiya, Russian Disc, Hungaraton, Meldac/Triton, Troppe Note/Cambria, and Music & Arts (USA) labels.
The Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Institute of America takes this opportunity to express its gratitude and appreciation to the internationally renowned pianist, Mykola Suk, for his vision and leadership of the “Music at the Institute” Concert Series for the past 18 years. Under Mykola’s directorship (1992-2010), MATI concerts brought great enjoyment to the loyal concertgoers of the series. Innovative programming, the highest level of artistry, and a passion for music, which characterize Mykola Suk’s performances, were the hallmark of his planning of the music calendar at the UIA, setting it apart as a distinct musical experience in the cultural life of New York City. We intend to carry on Mykola Suk’s vision and will continue to showcase world class performers of Ukrainian background and introduce Ukrainian music to the American audience at the Ukrainian Institute of America. The Board of Directors wishes Mykola Suk success in his new capacity of Artistic Advisor to the “Music at the Institute” Concert Series.