Music/Words 2014-15 Season

After last year’s exciting Music/Words season, with performances in NYC, Chicago and LA, excellent reviews and collaborations, 2014-15 has much in store. This is a season of innovations for Music/Words, including newly composed works, recordings, and theater, as well as collaborations with already established and favorite partners, such as the Poetry Foundation, the Brooklyn Public Library, WFMT, and UCLA.

For the first time, the Music/Words season includes special commissions by brilliant composers – the Brazilian phenom Clarice Assad, and UCLA’s own David Utzinger. In these works, both composers have had the liberty to create using not only musical language but poetry or words of their choice. I cannot wait to share the phenomenal results with my audiences. They may include movement, scatting, prepared piano, singing and/or recitation, in addition to playing.

In January 2015, the PLAYdate series at the historic Ebell of Los Angeles will present a theater piece based on the Music/Words concept,  a monologue devised in collaboration with  producer Cynthia Comsky from my musical memoirs, alternating with piano works, including the music of Mozart and Chopin, my own compositions and works of renowned Israeli composer Jan Freidlin. The performance will be recorded live by Yarlung Records, in a first recording of its kind.

Please stay tuned for dates and more information about this awesome season!

Inna Faliks,
Music/Words Artistic Director and Founder

Rave review for Music/Words performance in Chicago

By Dorothy Andries for the Glenview Announcements, Chicago Sun-Times

Sometimes a concert is so graceful and so unusual that it must be mentioned. Such was the program “Music/Words” the evening of Saturday May 2 in the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston.

Pianist Inna Faliks performed three works by Beethoven, interspersed by three sets of poems by German poets Goethe and Schiller, read by Peter van de Graaff. Faliks has a national career and was featured in MIC’s fourth annual Distinguished Alumni Concert because at one point she studied with the late Emilio del Rosario, one of the community music school’s outstanding teachers.

Van de Graaff is a bass-baritone, who sings with numerous area groups and has performed internationally. He is also a long-time announcer on radio station WFMT, and it was for his speaking voice that he was engaged for this enterprise.

The evening opened with three poems by Goethe. There’s nothing like a good radio voice and van de Graaff has one of the best. He presented the poems with clarity and precision and, when appropriate, decidedly cheerful animation.

Who can object to an all-Beethoven program? Faliks eagerly embraced the challenge of that monumental composer. She opened with his Polonaise in C, which begins with crashing chords, but includes delicate moments. She handled everything deftly, displaying speed and her formidable technique throughout.

Her second number was Beethoven’s Fantasia, Op. 77, a free flowing fire-and-ice composition. It seemed an ideal match with her temperament.

Van de Graaff demonstrated his dramatic abilities in the poems by Schiller. Especially memorable was “The Breeze,” in which his voice dropped to a whisper as the words tell of sleep. The well-chosen finale was “Elysium,” which bespoke eternal rest and joy.

Faliks concluded the night with Sonata No. 32, giving the work a nimble, graceful performance, showing off her dexterity, as well as her dynamic reach.

She is associate professor of piano at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music. The Music/Words, now in its sixth season in New York City, is her own creation. The MIC concert was so carefully crafted and delightfully done that it resembled a salon experience.

This imaginative event lasted just over an hour, but was as satisfying, actually even more so, than a program twice its length.

More programs of the Music Institute of Chicago at musicinst.org.

Feb 4: Premiere of Music/Words in LA

MUSIC/WORDS, the acclaimed music-poetry series (NY, Chicago and LA), invites the audience to be moved by free associations, interplay of moods, genres and different mediums in its 6th season.

Faliks-PavlovaInna Faliks, left; Vera Pavlova, right

The next Music/Words will be held in Royce Hall Rehearsal Studio, Los Angeles on February 4th, 8pm and explores Tchaikovsky and Schumann. Tchaikovsky’s Album for the Young is a cycle of simple yet profoundly beautiful pieces that poet Vera Pavlova has turned into poems. Schumann’s Davidsbundler opus 6 is one of the masterpices of Romantic piano works. A series of 18 short pieces, it invites poetric collaboration. Tonight’s performance, produced by CAP (Center for the Art of Performance), is an imagined dialogue between Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann, between poetry and music. Vera Pavlova and Inna Faliks have appeared in Music/Words together repeatedly, in NYC and in Chicago, in collaboration with the Poetry Foundation.

Celebrated pianist Inna Faliks is the founder and curator of the award-winning interdisciplinary series Music/Words, which explores the connections between poetry and music. She is joined by Vera Pavlova, one of Russia’s most important contemporary poets, whose first poetry collection in English, If There Is Something to Desire, was a bestselling title in 2010. Faliks will perform works by Chopin.

In this performance, Vera Pavlova’s passionate, sensuous poetry, with English translations, will intersect with selections of Frederic Chopin, including the Sonata # 2 in B flat minor. Music/Words has been featured in regular live broadcasts on WFMT Radio in Chicago, in collaboration with Poetry Foundation, at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, and at UCLA in Los Angeles.

The series MUSIC/WORDS was recently praised by Lucid Culture as being “surreal, impactful, and relevant” and was described as “a throwback to the Paris salons of the late 1800s.” It celebrates links between poetry and music by presenting collaborations between exciting solo performers and acclaimed contemporary poets in the form of a live recital/reading. Music/Words partnerships have included some of the most celebrated American poets.

Inna Faliks created the series in order to foster a chance for poets and musicians to work together and inspire each other, as well as to allow different audiences to come together for these musical-literary events. New published and unpublished works are read alongside performances of music old and new and connected by content, intuition, and inspiration.

According to Faliks, “I pair performers together based on their personalities and styles, and encourage them to choose the poems and music in varied ways that are strongly and intuitively connected.”

Pianist Inna Faliks has set herself apart in thousands of performances as a sincere, communicative and direct performer whose virtuosity, power and risk taking serve the depth, intelligance and poetry of her interpretations. Inna’s command of standard solo and concerto repertoire is highlighted by her love of rare and new music, and interdisciplinary and audience-involving programs and lectures. These include her award winning Music/Words, where she alternates music with readings by contemporary poets, her program of piano music of the poet Boris Pasternak (on MSR Classics Sound of Verse, which drew comparisons to Argerich and Cliburn), 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg – new variations on Bach’s Aria , music of women composers, and many other programs. She makes sure to present programs that include both beloved crowd pleasers and music that is new and challenging, creating an adventurous, moving and involving experience for the audience. She is a musical omnivore. Faliks debuted as a teenager with the Chicago Symphony and at the Gilmore Festival to rave reviews, and has been exciting and moving audiences worldwide since then. She is Associate Professor of Piano at UCLA, and her new Beethoven disc on the MSR Classics label has just been released. www.innafaliks.com

Please visit www.verapavlova.us for poet bio.

Music/Words at Brooklyn Public Library

MUSIC/WORDS, the acclaimed music-poetry series (NY, Chicago and LA), invites the audience to be moved by free associations, interplay of moods, genres and different mediums in its 6th season.

Faliks-PavlovaInna Faliks, left; Vera Pavlova, right

Brooklyn, NY – Pianist Inna Faliks, with poet Vera Pavlova, appear in Music/Words: Chopin edition on Sunday October 27th, 2013 at 4 pm at the Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY. Admission is Free. For more information, call (312) 787-7070.

Celebrated pianist Inna Faliks is the founder and curator of the award-winning interdisciplinary series Music/Words, which explores the connections between poetry and music. She is joined by Vera Pavlova, one of Russia’s most important contemporary poets, whose first poetry collection in English, If There Is Something to Desire, was a bestselling title in 2010. Faliks will perform works by Chopin.

In this performance, Vera Pavlova’s passionate, sensuous poetry, with English translations, will intersect with selections of Frederic Chopin, including the Sonata # 2 in B flat minor. Music/Words has been featured in regular live broadcasts on WFMT Radio in Chicago, in collaboration with Poetry Foundation, at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, and at UCLA in Los Angeles.

The series MUSIC/WORDS was recently praised by Lucid Culture as being “surreal, impactful, and relevant” and was described as “a throwback to the Paris salons of the late 1800s.” It celebrates links between poetry and music by presenting collaborations between exciting solo performers and acclaimed contemporary poets in the form of a live recital/reading. Music/Words partnerships have included some of the most celebrated American poets.

Inna Faliks created the series in order to foster a chance for poets and musicians to work together and inspire each other, as well as to allow different audiences to come together for these musical-literary events. New published and unpublished works are read alongside performances of music old and new and connected by content, intuition, and inspiration.

According to Faliks, “I pair performers together based on their personalities and styles, and encourage them to choose the poems and music in varied ways that are strongly and intuitively connected.”

Pianist Inna Faliks has set herself apart in thousands of performances as a sincere, communicative and direct performer whose virtuosity, power and risk taking serve the depth, intelligance and poetry of her interpretations. Inna’s command of standard solo and concerto repertoire is highlighted by her love of rare and new music, and interdisciplinary and audience-involving programs and lectures. These include her award winning Music/Words, where she alternates music with readings by contemporary poets, her program of piano music of the poet Boris Pasternak (on MSR Classics Sound of Verse, which drew comparisons to Argerich and Cliburn), 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg – new variations on Bach’s Aria , music of women composers, and many other programs. She makes sure to present programs that include both beloved crowd pleasers and music that is new and challenging, creating an adventurous, moving and involving experience for the audience. She is a musical omnivore. Faliks debuted as a teenager with the Chicago Symphony and at the Gilmore Festival to rave reviews, and has been exciting and moving audiences worldwide since then. She is Associate Professor of Piano at UCLA, and her new Beethoven disc on the MSR Classics label has just been released. www.innafaliks.com

Please visit www.verapavlova.us for poet bio.

Music/Words resumes on October 27

vera4On October 27, pianist Inna Faliks will join Russian poet Vera Pavlova for a recital of piano music and poetry at the Brooklyn Library, located at 280 Cadman Plaza W  Brooklyn, NY. For more information, please call (718) 623-7100.

Vera Pavlova was born in 1963, in Moscow. To date she has published fifteen collections of poetry in Russian, four opera librettos, and lyrics to two cantatas. Her poems have been translated into twenty-one languages. She has participated in international poetry festivals in Azerbaijan, Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uzbekistan.

Music/Words on WFMT for Poetry Month

InnaFaliks-200x300Pianist Inna Faliks appears on April 8th and 15th as part of Music/Words during National Poetry Month on 98.7 WFMT-FM Chicago.

April 8 will feature a broadcast of October 2012′s concert with Chicago’s Poetry Foundation. Faliks was joined by Valzhyna Mort, winner of Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize and the author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body, as well as Vera Pavlova, whose first poetry collection in English, If There Is Something to Desire, was a bestselling title in 2010. Works by Gubaidulina, Tchaikovsky, Lera Auerbach, Shchedrin, and Schumann were performed by Faliks.

April 15 will feature Faliks with a poet to be announced.

Called “adventurous” and “passionate” by The New Yorker, Ukrainian-born, New York City based pianist Inna Faliks (www.innafaliks.com) has established herself as one of the most passionately committed, exciting and poetic artists of her generation. After acclaimed her teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 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. She recently appeared alongside British actress Lesley Nicol (“Mrs. Patmore” from Downton Abbey) in Nigel Hess’s production of Admission: One Shilling.

ChicagoMusic.org review of Inna in ADMISSION: ONE SHILLING

‘ONE SHILLING’ LOVELY MEMORY OF IMPRESSIVE MYRA HESS

By Margaret Sutherlin; Posted on: 01/31/13 in ChicagoMusic.org

Sitting under the Tiffany glass dome in the Chicago Cultural Center on Tuesday evening, it was hard to remember we were in fact an audience in Chicago, and not at the National Gallery of London listening to pianist Myra Hess.

As a part of the 35th anniversary of the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, the International Music Foundation sponsored the U.S premiere of Admission: One Shilling.

Originally conceived and written by Hess’s great-nephew Nigel Hess, the play retells the story of the lunchtime concerts Myra Hess organized daily at the National Gallery in London during World War II. On stage as Hess’s musical voice was Inna Faliks, who grew up on the North Shore, and hit television show Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol, Hess’s historical voice.

Faliks performance was so subtlely impressive. Marked from the first moment she walked out on stage, to her final bow, her performance was so graceful and effortless. She is one of the few pianists I have known who can command such attention with her quietly powerful performance.

It was clear to me through her poised and beautiful performance that Faliks understood Dame Myra Hess well, and that the production held particularly special meaning for her. Not only because she grew up performing in the Chicago series, but because she also so deeply is attuned to and appreciates art forms that interact, evidenced by her award-winning Music/Words series that combines poetry and music.

Lesley Nicol, fondly known to many of us as Mrs. Patmore from Downton Abbey, couldn’t have been more delightful as Myra’s historical persona. Nicol’s overall warmth just entering the room and the great bits of wry humor of the play itself, were perfect to capture audience attention right away and retell not just Myra’s story from the Blitz, but London’s story too.

One of the things I most enjoyed from Nicol was her ability to simply connect so well with the music, and with Inna. Nicol’s experience from the stage (she played Rosie in the West End production of Mamma Mia, among other performances) made her a particularly good choice to connect with the production. The musical voice and the historical voice blended so seamlessly that time was easily forgotten during the performance and suddenly we’d reached the end of the war, Myra’s famous concerts, and the enchanting Admission: One Shilling.

After leaving, another writer and I were discussing how lovely the evening was, and how we wished that the performance wasn’t just for one night. The story of Myra Hess is not all that well known, but timeless and validating for the world we live in now, and I hoped more people could have encountered it. When things were falling apart at the seams, Hess knew music brought people together in a way that nothing else could. It’s a lesson that holds as much relevance in the nearly 75 years after World War II as it did then.

Original review

2013 Season Update

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The NYC season of Music/Words will pick up in the fall of 2013. Meanwhile – I am thrilled to be introducing Music/Words to the UCLA community and involving my own students!  On March 11, the students and faculty of the Slavic Studies department will read original poetry and translations, and 6 students from my studio will perform selections between the pieces. Popper Auditorium, Schoenberg Music Building, UCLA. 6 pm. 

Poetry Off the Shelf: Chicago, October 22


Inna joins poets Valzhyna Mort and Vera Pavlova in Music/Words: Poetry off the Shelf, presented by the Poetry Foundation and the PianoForte Foundation, on Monday, October 22, 7 pm at Curtiss Hall in the Fine Arts Building, 410 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL. Admission is free. For more information, call (312) 787-7070.

Celebrated pianist Inna Faliks is joined by Valzhyna Mort, winner of Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize and the author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body, as well as Vera Pavlova, whose first poetry collection in English, If There Is Something to Desire, was a bestselling title in 2010. Faliks will perform works by Gubaidulina, Tchaikovsky, Lera Auerbach, Shchedrin, and Schumann.

Co-sponsored by the PianoForte Foundation and the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute.