DAVID KWIATKOWSKI – STAFF WRITER
Alexander Kobrin has taught and learned the art of piano all over the world. He’s played venues across Europe and Asia and has won some of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions. He’s taught in Russia and in America, and at the Institution. And he can still bring the house down at Chautauqua.
Kobrin, a world-renowned pianist and Chautauqua Piano Program faculty member, will perform at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 6 in the Amphitheater.
Since his first time at the Institution a few years back, Kobrin has returned many times to perform for — and teach — Chautauquans.
“I think it has a very special atmosphere, thanks to the organizers of piano school, John Milbauer and Nikki Melville, and everybody who is involved in (the Piano Program),” Kobrin said. “Their passion and expertise help students really get the most of everything that Chautauqua has to offer. Recruitment has been fantastic, and I really appreciate their friendship. And, of course, it has been a special treat to perform for the Chautauqua audience. I am very much looking forward to my visit.”
He will be performing Frédéric Chopin’s “Four Mazurkas,” op. 24, Franz Schubert’s “Piano Sonata in C minor, ” D. 958, and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”
“These composers have always been in my repertoire and whose music I enjoy performing,” Kobrin said. “Performance is a very emotional and psychologically engaging experience, and these works are dragging you into their intimate and dramatic world.”
When Kobrin creates a setlist for a performance, he takes many facets into consideration.
“It depends on many factors: the mood, the concept inside the program, and often it’s just music which I wanted to play for some time,” Kobrin said.
For Kobrin, the most challenging piece in his repertoire is Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto.
Kobrin wants the audience to think of tonight’s performance as a sign of a return to normalcy.
“I think these days we should appreciate the fact that we are able to go back to live performances and to value them even more,” said Kobrin, who in 2005 won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. “The spirit of a live concert can never be replaced by anything remote, and I am happy that I can share my musical thoughts with a live audience. I hope the audience (will) be able to share them with me.”