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Quills & Queues: Tutunov series begins Tuesday

Alexander Tutunov will launch the 2018-2019 edition of his Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University-based piano series on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the SOU Music Recital Hall, 450 South Mountain Ave. in Ashland, with a concert by luminary French-born international pianist Lise de la Salle.

Ms. de la Salle began her career at 16 years old with a prodigious recording of an album of music featuring Bach and Liszt, drawing strong reviews from international classical music magazines and going on to make additional recordings of Liszt, Prokofiev and Shostakovich for the Paris-based independent recording label, Naïve Records. She debuted under the baton of Fabio Luisi at the London Philharmonic and has played with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and further afield with symphonic ensembles in Munich, Tokyo, Baltimore, Detroit and Quebec.

On Nov. 2, the series will continue with a performance by Jerome Rose, one of the most preeminent Romanticists in American music. He is considered among the most electrifying musicians in the world when it comes to playing Liszt, and has been awarded the Grand Prix du Disque from the Liszt Society of Budapest. The Ministry of Culture of Hungary conferred on him the Franz Liszt Medal. In addition, he has recorded the complete Chopin Sonatas for Sony, which was re-released in 2017 under the Medici label. He debuted some 60 years ago with the San Francisco Philharmonic and has since performed and given master classes at many prominent venues worldwide. He studied with Rudolf Serkin at the Julliard School in Manhattan.

Feb. 15 will bring us “Tutunov and Friends,” and one month later on March 15, Andrei Andreev and Artem Kuznetsov will take the stage. Andree, a Kyrgyzstan-born performer who moved to Russia to study piano at the age of 15, is a graduate of the College of Arts in Saratov, and moved to Oregon in 2015 to complete his masters in piano performance at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. From 2011 until his move to the United States, he was an orchestra soloist in the Saratov State Philharmonic Orchestra. Kuznetsov is also Russian-born, and has been a top award winner at the San Jose International Piano Competition, the Crescendo Music Awards Competition, the Wideman International Piano Competition, the Dallas International Piano Competition and others. He has studied in Russia and is completing his Master’s of Music degree at Rice University under Jon Kimura Parker.

Garrick Ohlsson will be in Ashland to perform in the series on April 16. Ohlsson is a a world-renowned Chopin performer — the first and only American to win first prize in the Chopin International Piano Competition when he performed there in 1970. He is considered to have one of the largest repertoires currently in performance, with some 80 concertos at his fingertips. Mr. Ollson has also won a Grammy Award.

The final performance of the series will be ushered in during the spring of 2019, with Ivona Kaminska and Christopher Bowlby taking the stage on May 10. Polish-born Dr. Kaminska is artistic director at the Chopin Academy of Music in Issaquah, Washington, and directs the Seattle International Piano Competition and Festival. Dr. Bowlby, her husband, is program director at the Academy and an accomplished music theorist, who has also taught in Russia and Canada and has performed at Carnegie Hall.

For more information and ticketing for the Tutunov Piano Series 2018-2019, please visit oca.sou.edu/event/tutunov-piano-package-2018 or call the Oregon Center for the Arts at 541-552-6348.

Ashland resident Jeffrey Gillespie is a Tidings columnist, arts reviewer and freelance writer. Email him at gillespie.jeffrey@gmail.com.

Lise de la Salle