Celebrating An Iconic Musician – Cliburn

An iconic musical genius is being celebrated locally this spring.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Park University’s International Center for Music, founder of the ICM Stanislav Ioudenitch, his protégé and rising star Behzod Abduraimov, along with the Park Piano Trio, will perform a special Van Cliburn Tribute Concert April 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

This performance is significant for many reasons. It’s the debut concert for the ICM at the Kauffman Center, though Abduraimov – who also adds 2009 winner of the London International Piano Competition to his accomplishments – has performed in the facility twice in the past two years with the Kansas City Symphony.

But more than that, it’s a special concert for Ioudenitch, who was gold medalist of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and knew Cliburn personally.

This concert will be a touching homage to Cliburn, a treasured American pianist who passed away in late February 2013. Cliburn rocked the world of music, transcended politics and tore down cultural barriers when he competed at the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 at the height of the Cold War. While the Russians were sure one of their own would come away victorious, American Cliburn placed first.

Ioudenitch said this unprecedented event is not only important to him, it’s important to the entire world.

“Van was truly a ‘Citizen of the Planet,’ whose music transcended political and cultural boundaries,” said Ioudenitch. “We remember him as not only our spiritual brother, but also as a kind and generous mentor. I loved him, like so many who were privileged to know him.”

ICM Director Ingrid Stölzel noted that Cliburn truly helped change the political landscape.

“You have the power through the arts to change – it goes beyond politics,” Stölzel said.

The program will include Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos,” Peter Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Trio in A Minor” and a premiere of a work written by Stölzel for Ioudenitch in memory of Cliburn, “In the Midst for Solo Piano.”

It took Stölzel about 5 months, diligently working nights and weekends, to compose the piece.

Part of the mission of the International Center for Music is to pass along musical traditions to the next generation. Stölzel and Ioudenitch are both proud to be part of that process.

And they add that this Tribute Concert is the perfect opportunity for people of all ages to experience classical music – even if they have never before.

“There’s something about that great energy being shared,” Stölzel said.

With a great renaissance of the arts in full swing in Kansas City right now, Stölzel said this performance is perfect for the climate.

“This town is ready to have more performing arts,” she said. “The momentum is exciting.”

This is not Ioudenitch’s only concert featuring Van Cliburn. He will also be playing in London Feb. 18 and in Moscow (on the same stage where Cliburn performed in 1958) Feb. 24.

But he’s especially excited to perform in Kansas City at the Kauffman Center.

“We are playing at home, it feels special to perform at home,” Ioudenitch said. “You always want to do your best for your friends and family.”

The Van Cliburn Tribute Concert is Friday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m., in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, in Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are available through the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts at www.kauffmancenter.org, (816) 994-7222 or at the Kauffman Center’s Box Office, 1601 Broadway.

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Posted by on Feb 16 2014. Filed under Featured, Music Scene. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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