Inna Faliks: Piano

Biography

Called “adventurous” and “passionate” by The New Yorker, Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most committed, exciting and poetic artists of her generation. Faliks recently relocated from NYC to Los Angeles, after being named the new Associate Professor of Piano at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. After her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 15, acclaimed by the Chicago Tribune, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Critics call her “a concert pianist of the highest order” (Chicago WTTW), praise her “courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection” (General Anzeiger, Bonn). Other critics laud her “remarkable insight” (Audiophile audition) “poetry and panoramic vision” (Washington Post), “riveting passion, playfulness” (Baltimore Sun) and “signature blend of lithe grace and raw power” (Lucid Culture.) Her October 2014 all-Beethoven CD release on MSR classics is drawing rave reviews: the disc’s preview on on WTTW called Faliks “High priestess of the piano, pianist of the highest order, as dramatic and subtle as a great stage actor.” Her previous, critically acclaimed CD on MSR Classics, Sound of Verse, was released in 2009, featuring music of Boris Pasternak, Rachmaninoff and Ravel.

Ms. Faliks has performed numerous recitals and concerti in prestigious venues in the US as well as in France, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, Estonia, Japan, as well as Russia. She has been featured on WQXR, WNYC, WFMT and many international television broadcasts, and has performed in major venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and in numerous important festivals such as Verbier, Brevard, Taos, Bargemusic, and Chautauqua. She has played concerti under the batons of many conductors including Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart, Edward Polochick, Daniel Meyer, Anne Harrigan, Jed Gaylin, and many others. Her chamber music partnerships include work with Ilya Kaler, Colin Carr, Wendy Warner, Nathaniel Rosen, Nina Beilina and others.

Committed to innovative programming, rarely heard and new music, as well as audience communication and education, Faliks has premiered 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg, variations by acclaimed contemporary composers, on Bach’s Aria, at LACMA, Los Angeles; she gave the New York premiere of the work at Bargemusic and the Chicago premiere on WFMT radio. Ms. Faliks performed and recorded the unknown piano works of Russian poet Boris Pasternak, presenting his music at lecture recitals in conjunction with the University of Chicago. At the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies, she presented “Three Jewish Composers – Three Centuries”, giving the North American premiere of Ilya Levinson’s Shtetle Suite and the world premiere of Lev Ljova Zhurbin’s Sirota for piano and historical recording, written for her.

She was the winner of many prestigious competitions, including the Hilton Head International Competition and the coveted International Pro Musicis Award 2005. Ms. Faliks is the founder and curator of the LMCC award winning interdisciplinary series Music/Wordswww.musicwordsnyc.com This poetry-music series goes into its 5th NYC season, and has been described as “surreal, impactful, and relevant … she played with her signature blend of lithe grace and raw power” (Lucid Culture) Her long standing relationship with WFMT radio has led to yearly broadcasts of Music/Words, which she produces.

Ms. Faliks’s teachers included Ann Schein, Leon Fleisher, Gilbert Kalish and Boris Petrushansky. This year, she joined the illustrious faculty of UCLA, Herb Albert School of Music, as Professor of Piano.

Ms. Faliks is a Yamaha Artist.

Discography
inna record Ludwig Van Beethoven 

Includes:

Polonaise in C Major, Op. 89
Eroica Variations and Fugue in E-flat, Op. 35
  Opening and Theme
  Variations Nos. 1-15
  Fugue and Finale
Fantasia in G Minor, Op. 77
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111
  I. Maestoso – Allegro con brio ed appassionato
  II. Arietta (Adagio molto semplice e cantabile)

[Purchase on MSR Records website]

“I was not familiar with Inna Faliks until now, and neither apparently is our site, but one hopes that the newfound acquaintance will be developed further. She is a remarkable Ukrainian pianist with chops to burn, a forceful technique and extremely attentive spirit to that of Beethoven. This is a fine recital in warm, resonant sound that highlights the clarity and reasonable sense of balance and voicing that Faliks brings to the instrument. With a desirable program to boot, this is an easy item to recommend.”

Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition, January 12, 2014. Read entire review here.


Sound of Verse

Includes:

Boris Pasternak (1890-1960)
  Piano Sonata in B Minor (1909)
  Preludes (1906)

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
  Gaspard de la Nuit (1908)

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
  Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 36 (Original 1913 Version)

[Purchase on MSR Records website]

“Poetry…A kind of panoramic vision.”
The Washington Post

“A delight to hear. Riveting…warmly poetic.”
The Baltimore Sun

“A keen combination of expressive acuity and textual clarity… Faliks plays [the Pasternak] with the same concentration and attention to detail that she applies to the Ravel – beautifully limned and paced… Intensely felt, her Rachmaninov abounds in poetic phrasing and finely gauged drama.”
 Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone, March 2010

“[Inna Faliks is] a first class pianist.”
 Turok’s Choice, Issue No.219, March 2010

“Inna Faliks…offer[s] the original version of the sonata. Just in case that was not enough to prove her technical mastery of the piano, she gives us a very respectable rendition of Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit. She also offers some previously unrecorded works of the Russian poet Boris Pasternak… The Pasternak is some- what interesting music … It gets a persuasive performance and is certainly worth a listen or two. She is a powerful pianist, with technique to burn… she has a wonderful variety of tone colors at all dynamic levels. Her Ravel is reminiscent of Argerich —not quite there yet, but very close. The Rachmaninoff reminds me of the early Van Cliburn recording made in Russia, with a little more boldness and a little less finesse… she has all of the traits for a major international career.”
 American Record Guide, January / February 2010

“Bearing the title ‘Sound of Verse,’ here is a CD containing a program intelligently planned, exceptionally well played, and superbly recorded… Faliks…more than proves her mettle in one of the most technically daunting pieces of piano music ever written. This disc is strongly recommended, not just for its imaginative and unusual program, but also for Faliks’s distinguished playing and for MSR’s excellent recording.”
– Jerry Dubins, Fanfare, January / February 2010


Live at Pianoforte Chicago Inc., Dec. 2004
To order this CD ($15) contact Inna Faliks.

Includes:
Chopin: Nocturne in C minor op.48/1
Schumann: Symphonic Etudes op.13
Brahms: Sonata in F minor op.5


Double CD Set – Live at Salle Cortot, Paris, Feb. 2007
To order this CD ($20)contact Inna Faliks.

CD1:
  Haydn: Sonate en re majeur, Hoboken XVI:42
  Chopin: Polonaise-Fantasie, opus 61 en la bemol majeur
  Villa Lobos: O Boisinho de Chumbo, Alma Brasileira
  Freidlin: Ballade in Black and White
  Paganini-Liszt: La Campanella

CD2:
  Corigliano: Fantasia on an Ostinato
  Beethoven: Sonate opus 111 en ut mineur
  Gluck-Sgambati: Ballet d’Orphee et Eurydice

Reviews

“Her competition in the big pieces is formidable. I find a couple of these variations rare examples of Beethoven’s musical humor — and Faliks does not miss them. Faliks captures the turbulent aspect of the first movement just right. From the stately theme to the jazzy dance elements of the middle variations to the heaven-bound trills in the upper reaches of the piano, II balances perfectly.  Rarely have performances measured up to the music as well as here.”

James Harrington, American Record Guide on her Ludvig Van Beethoven recording on MSR (full article here)

“A concert pianist of the highest order, Inna Faliks can be as dramatic or as subtle as a great stage actor.”

Marc Vitali, WTTW, Chicago Public Radio (full article here)

“A soloist in total command of her instrument … Inna Faliks’ piano playing will have you shouting bravo to the radio!”

Minnesota Public Radio (full article here)

“Firm and vibrant playing … tonal weight and great expressive flourish … a delight to hear… riveting passion and playfulness, warmly poetic.”

Phil Greenfield, Baltimore Sun

“Faliks filled Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 with fervent thrust, lyrical warmth and concentration, and extracting seductive charm and gleaming sonorities from Liszt’s La Campanella…she molded a boldly inflected performance of Beethoven.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Ukrainian-born, Inna Faliks is a pianist as brimful of ideas as she is endowed with talent. She draws a tone of deep sonority from her Yamaha piano, and one senses in her playing a technique of such reserves that she doesn’t even have to call on all of it for these works. That allows her to concentrate on matters of interpretation and communication, which, in the former case is penetrating, and in the latter, extraordinary.”

– Jerry Dubins, Fanfare (full article here)

“A fierce performance; energetic, determined, and perfect … Inna Faliks takes command of the instrument, molding it in her unique, personal style that clearly has its origins in the Russian school and is fully capable of interpreting the Polonaise op. 89 in a way that totally annihilates any accusation of frivolousness, revealing a new Beethoven.”

Clelia Delponte, Il Gazzetino Pordenone, Italy (full article here)

“In a programme-note introducing her new solo disc, “Sound of Verse” pianist Inna Faliks states that she was inspired by literature and poetry in choosing the repertoire. What’s also intriguing about the recording is Faliks’ prowess in rendering each piece with a keen combination of expressive acuity and textural clarity…Faliks, a Ukrainian-born American pianist, plays these (Pasternak) pieces with the same concentration and attention to detail that she applies to the Ravel-beautifully limned and paced – and to Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata # 2 in the original 1913 version. Intensely felt, her Rachmaninoff abounds in poetic phrasing and finely gauged drama.”

Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone Magazine (full article here)

Websites

Reviews

“A powerful pianist with technique to burn, a wonderful variety of tone colors at all dynamic levels.”

American Record Guide(click here for full review)

“Sometimes a concert is so graceful and so unusual that it must be mentioned. … [Faliks] handled everything deftly, displaying speed and her formidable technique throughout.”

Chicago Sun-Times(click here for full review)

Audio

Videos

Beethoven: Polonaise Op. 89 in D Major
Fazioli Hall Concert Series, Sacile Italy
March 19, 2014

Paganini – Lizst: La Campanella
International Keyboard Festival at Mannes, NYC
July 2012

Beethoven: Eroica Variations
International Keyboard Festival at Mannes, NYC
July 2012

Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Performance with Minnesota Sinfonia, Jay Fishman conductor
April 26 and 27, 2013

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Performance with UCLA Philharmonia
November 2016