The Newcomb Music Department at Tulane University hosts the only classical concert piano series in the state with free admission.
Beginning Oct. 2, the annual Concert Piano Series opens with renowned pianist Pavel Gintov, who rose to fame at age 12 when he debuted at the Kiev Philharmonic Hall. Now 33, Gintov has traveled through Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States, having performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Teatro Verdi Nationale in Milan, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Kioi Hall in Tokyo.
Faina Lushtak, a professor of music in the Tulane School of Liberal Arts and Downman Chair in the Performing Arts, is tasked with coordinating performers and ensuring the success of the show, which features both international and local talent. Lushtak invites participants from the prestigious New Orleans International Piano Competition that she began judging two years ago.
“The series is a real enrichment for students and the whole community of New Orleans,” Lushtak said. “We have internationally known, high-caliber performers, and we have this wonderful theater for students and all of New Orleans. Everything is right on campus.”
The Newcomb Music Department has hosted the free concert piano series for the past 20 years. When it began, free concert series were not uncommon, but today Tulane is the only remaining establishment with no charge for admissions. The goal, said Lushtak, is to inspire student musicians as well as offer enthusiasts a chance to attend concerts of acclaimed performers.
“We are the only institution that offers anything like this and it enriches our students incredibly and gives them something to look forward to,” Lushtak said.
Future performances include:
Douglas Humphreys on Nov. 13
Re Zhang on Jan. 22
Faina Lushtak on Feb. 27
Ksenia Nosikova on March 23
And the duo of Andrew Cooperstock and William Terwilliger on March 24
All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in Dixon Hall.