An alternative experience as a welcomed addition to its traditional presentation, Get Classical invites many new fans to the classical genre, launching its first event on May 6th. at the tastefully styled, eclectic Rose Bar.
Get Classical’s vision of an intimate presentation of classical concerts and commentary amid the Gramercy Park Hotel’s stylish Rose Bar brings the grandeur of the 19th-century salon to the 21st-century lounge.
Presenting a new alternative to listening to classical music in its formal concert hall venue, Get Classical integrates classical into the mainstream, and sophisticated, music night life.
In the hope of bringing newcomers and aficionados alike to this generation’s vital, ever-expanding classical music scene, Get Classical aims to benefit a genre that is always looking to reinvent itself but seldom reaches out of its own comfort zone.
These salon-type concerts, where people can sit back with an aperitif, are planned as a monthly Sunday series and will include CD-release and signing events, presenting seasoned as well as up-and-coming young artists to New Yorker audiences.
Inspired by interviews, interactions and friendships with great musicians, Ilona Oltuski founded the music blog GetClassical and her website http://getclassical.org in 2009. Featuring intimate portraits of classical performers and their stories, written by a blogger who, herself a lay musician, gets it, GetClassical prides itself on peering into the inner world of the artist and some of the developing trends within the business of music.
Get Classical at the Rose Bar hopes to bring its sensitivity towards cultural shifts into the actual performance realm, picking up on the notion of new efforts to promote a classical scene in new environments. An extension of both the cool generation’s craving for style and the happening night life scene at Rose Bar can potentially emulate a highly attractive version of the ideal, traditional classical forum.
The May 6th. program features avid performers, classical pianists Marika Bournaki, Vassily Primakov, Natalia Lavrova and David Aladashvili, who will also engage in a conversation with music journalist Ilona Oltuski, Get Classical’s Founder and host of the series’ launch at the Rose Bar. Get Classical’s intimate and “salon like” program will hopefully revitalize this very important part of our city’s culture.” Entrance is free, with a one-drink minimum. Attendees must book at GetClassicalRoseBar@gmail.com to be included on the guest list by April 14th.
Many thanks go to the Gramercy Park Hotel and the Rose Bar, for their personal support and for their willingness to take part in Get Classical’s launch.
If you are interested in contributing to Get Classical’s ever-growing series through monetary donations, media coverage, performance, or planning expertise, please contact Ilona Oltuski at Ilona@getclassical.org
About the artists:
French Canadian Marika Bournaki’s pianistic talent and personal development, relative to her budding career as a concert pianist, are depicted with great insight in the documentary “Making Marika.” Her ability to connect to audiences and present on stage and in front of the camera has led her to a variety of national and international broadcasts, such as the National Public Radio’s From the Top, and other filmed recordings. Her DVD “Happy Birthday Mr. Schumann”, released in 2010, features her as soloist, performing the Schumann Piano Concerto with the St.Peterburg Symphony. The DVD also gets into Marika’s head and her feelings about being on the road as a performer.
For more information about Marika see her website http://www.marikabournaki.com/ Get Classical’s portrait on Marika: http://english.getclassical.org/2011/02/06/pianist-marika-bournaki-on-a-schumanesque-quest-finding-herself-in-the-process/
Being honored with the 2007 Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year award, Vassily Primakov enjoys a strong following, not only with his many audience-based fans, but with critics all around. The New York Times wrote, “Primakov gave a fiery performance…with bold, expressive phrasing and dramatic commitment that brought the audience to its feet;” Van Cliburn marveled at his, “prodigious technique.”
A Semi- and Finalist at several competitions, including the prestigious Cleveland International Piano-; Van Cliburn- and Gina Bauchauer- competitions have led Primakov to the pursuit of an interesting, independent career in music. His disc of 21 Mazurkas by Chopin was named a “Best of Year” by National Public Radio (2009).
His strong connection – as friend and collaborator – to Natalia Lavrova, herself a fellow Juilliard student and gifted pianist in her own right, led him to partake in founding their new record label: http://lpclassics.net/ in 2011. Their first release was Arensky’s Suites for Two Pianos http://lpclassics.net/anton-arensky-suites-for-two-pianos-2/. of their duo-partner performances, a way of sharing the sometimes outright loneliness at the piano-bench, which both of the young Russians also enjoy tremendously.
The label’s interest in historic recordings by important teacher-performers must reflect upon Natalia Lavrova’s educational inclinations. As the founder of Music School of New York City, she integrates her expertise and experiences of both the Russian School of Piano and her training acquired at the Juilliard School’s prestigious studios of Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal. http://musicschoolofnewyorkcity.com/faculty/40-faculty-piano/48-natalia
Finishing his last year’s BA program, under the tutelage of both Juilliard’s Matti Raekallio and Jerome Lowenthal, the extraordinarily connecting personality of David Aladashvili has already landed him center stage on many occasions. In addition to the abundance of a very natural, musical talent, his genuine charm and invigorating people skills have led him to engage in various organizational efforts, ranging from student recitals and the 80th birthday extravaganza, including skits performed by the entire faculty for Prof. Jerome Lowenthal, to creating benefit concerts in his native Georgia. His engaging personality effortlessly reaches out to faculty members, such as Joel Sachs, who co-performed at a Georgian evening concert, presented and coordinated by Aladashvili, and political personalities, such as Temuri Yakobashvili, ambassador from the Republic of Georgia. Many thanks from Get Classical’s Ilona Oltuski to David, for his personal enthusiasm and input for Get Classical at the Rose Bar that helped making the endeavor come true.
For a personal portrait of Aladashvili also see: http://english.getclassical.org/2010/03/18/oncert-review-david-aladashvili-a-georgian-evening-at-carnegie-weill-recital-hall/
If you are a musician, interested in partaking in the next Get Classical event, a CD-release, previewing your program for a major performance while visiting from abroad, or just simply enjoy spending time in conversation with other musicians and new audiences, or if you are interested in contributing to Get Classical’s ever growing series through monetary contributions, media coverage, or planning and hosting expertise please contact Ilona@getclassical.org