World-renowned pianist Valery Kuleshov performs Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major. The GSO will also perform Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in G major. A concert or recital by Valery Kuleshov is not just a performance, it is an experience for the heart, soul, and senses. It is for his sensitive interpretations, virtuostic technique, glittering bravura, and passion for the music that he has been named the “Russian Virtuoso of the Romantic Piano”.
Community Series Sponsor: Kroger
What is so extraordinary about Valery Kuleshov?
Valery Kuleshov has accomplished the unique and incredibly difficult work of writing out by hand, note by note, the great master Vladimir Horowitz’s ten unpublished piano transcriptions by listening only to the LP recordings. After hearing the recordings of his transcriptions played by Mr. Kuleshov, Vladimir Horowitz wrote to the young musician on October 6, 1987 sharing, “I was not only delighted by your fantastic performances, but I congratulate you on your keen ear and great patience that were required to write out, note by note, the scores of these unpublished transcriptions, by listening to my recordings.”
Impressed by Mr. Kuleshov’s great talent, Vladimir Horowitz invited him to his New York apartment in 1989, a meeting that was touching and intimate. The maestro not only listened to the young virtuoso play, but also gave him most valuable advice and offered to give him consultations free of charge. Unfortunately, the great pianist’s death in November 1989 left this dream unrealized.
The Soviet Culture newspaper, Moscow, wrote of Valery Kuleshov, “The Mysterious Unrecognized Genius – A New Horowitz: ....Kuleshov — the person of a unique virtuoso gift. He has managed to revive and recreate the world of great virtuosos of the past. A deep penetration into the essence of music, and a most laborious operation over the sound are peculiar to him. His performance of Schumann’s Kreisleriana at the competition was just amazing, and this composition can be mastered only by mature musicians.” The New York Times wrote of Valery Kuleshov, “He has everything: the fingers to negotiate the virtuoso repertory, the musicality and imagination to make the most familiar music sound fresh and compelling.”
Valery Kuleshov’s performing art is based on the best Russian piano traditions. One can find in his playing emotional sincerity, rich colors, brilliant virtuosity, profound understanding of composers’ styles and freshness of interpretation. His playing has been compared to the style of Vladimir Horowitz with vast dynamic contrasts, consisting of tremendous double-fortissimos followed by sudden delicate pianissimos. Mostly he is attracted to the romantic music by Schumann, Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, and Rachmaninov. The great place in his concert programs belongs to Scriabin’s works, as well as classical and contemporary music.
At the Ninth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1993, Valery Kuleshov, in his North American debut, was awarded the Silver Medal as well as the Prize for Best Performance of the Commissioned Work, Ghost Waltzes, by American composer, Morton Gould. His performance in the final round prompted the Le Monde reviewer to exclaim, “What sound! What allure! What a musician!”
In addition to many other awards, Mr. Kuleshov was awarded the rare distinction “Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation” in 1997, by decree of the President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin.
While maintaining an international performing schedule, Valery Kuleshov serves as artist-in- residence at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. He also performs duo piano repertoire with his incredibly talented daughter, Tatiana Kuleshova.
Mr. Kuleshov has recorded nine CDs, featuring the music of Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns, Paganini, Horowitz, and even John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever.