Category Archives: Music

Valentina Lisitsa

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Photo by Michael von Aichberger

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1973, Valentina Lisitsa began playing the piano at the age of three. She enrolled at the Lysenko Music School for Gifted Children and later studied under Ludmilla Tsvierko at the Kiev Conservatory. In 1991 she won the Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition together with Alexei Kuznetsoff. The couple married the following year and moved to the USA. In 1995 Lisitsa made her New York debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. Since then, she has performed extensively around the world. Her career received a huge boost from a home-made video, shot by her husband in 2006, of Valentina playing the 24 Chopin Études, which the couple posted on YouTube. Subsequent YouTube videos expanded her following, and that’s where I first discovered her. I was dazzled by her technique and the sheer speed at which she renders concert favorites.

With more than 95 million YouTube views and over 439,000 subscribers to her channel, Lisitsa is among the most frequently viewed pianists on YouTube, using digital innovation to champion classical music and performance. Impressed by her YouTube success, the Royal Albert Hall, in an unprecedented step, opened its doors for Valentina’s London debut on June 19, 2012. In that year Valentina Lisitsa signed an exclusive agreement with Decca Classics, and her Albert Hall recital was immediately available as both CD and DVD for pre-order on the night of the concert, her first of many recordings under the label.

Lisitsa is at ease in a vast repertoire ranging from Bach and Mozart to Shostakovich and Bernstein. She has a special affinity for the music of Rachmaninov and Beethoven and continues to add to her vast repertoire each season.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Music

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Music

My offerings for Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge:

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Monday Morning Wisdom #166

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Monday Morning Wisdom #166

Your art doesn’t need to be easily defined. It needs to be impossible to forget. That happens when it looks or sounds like nothing else we’ve seen or heard. Let others try to categorize or copy it. You just create it. ~Allen Arnold

#ALP: Star Spangled Banner

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#ALP: Star Spangled Banner

Can anyone sing it well? How do you feel about standing for it? If you could write a new anthem, what would your lyrics say? Is a professional ball game a suitable venue for the national anthem, or are we just asking for trouble playing it in a sports arena?

  • Use this prompt any way you wish—for a poem, memoir, painting, short story, photograph, no limits. Enjoy!
  • If you’d like to share a blog post (G-rated, please, and sensitive to the feelings of others—anything slightly objectionable will be deleted), create a pingback or leave a link in the comments below.
  • Be sure to visit at least two other participants to see how they interpreted the prompt.
  • Tag your entry #ALP (for ARHtistic License Prompt) to help others find your work on social media.

Creative Juice #99

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Creative Juice #99

For your weekend inspiration:

#ALP: Broadway

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#ALP: Broadway

What’s your favorite musical? Hamilton? South Pacific? Lion King? Hello, Dolly? Did you ever perform in a musical? If you were to write a musical, what would the plot be? What style of music? What would the dancers’ costumes be like? Minimalist sets, or lavish scenery?

  • Use this prompt any way you wish—for a poem, memoir, painting, short story, photograph, no limits. Enjoy!
  • If you’d like to share a blog post (G-rated, please, and sensitive to the feelings of others—anything slightly objectionable will be deleted), create a pingback or leave a link in the comments below.
  • Be sure to visit at least two other participants to see how they interpreted the prompt.
  • Tag your entry #ALP (for ARHtistic License Prompt) to help others find your work on social media.

Monday Morning Wisdom #160

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Monday Morning Wisdom #160

The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.
~James Crook