February 20, 2018  

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Famed Pianist to Celebrate Russian Ballet Music in Free Concert

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Svetlana Belsky

Critically acclaimed as "a passionate pianist and scholar," Svetlana Belsky is an in-demand recitalist and chamber pianist, noted for her remarkable rapport with audiences and stylistic versatility. This gifted artist comes to Hattiesburg as part of The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music’s Guest Artist Series Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in Marsh Auditorium. The concert is free of charge.

Belsky's love for a wide variety of music has led her to play early music with original instrument ensembles and to receive awards for her interpretation of new American music. In the past few years alone, she has introduced, in world and local premieres, compositions by no fewer than a dozen living composers.

The Hattiesburg program will consist of transcriptions of Russian orchestral music originally written for ballet. Classics by Prokofiev include selections from his ballets Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. Other pianistic fireworks will be assured by selections from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

In a recent performance of this lecture-recital in Chicago, Belsky was praised by classical music critic M.L. Rantala for her "ever-present enthusiasm and amusing approach" and "glorious, big sound." Children, however, are often known to be one's toughest critics. And at this same concert a child in the audience audibly said, "Wow!" to her performance of "March" from the Prokofiev's opera Love of Three Oranges.

Belsky has appeared in the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, China, and Hong Kong, and throughout the United States. Her performance credits include Carnegie Recital Hall, Kiev Philharmonic Hall, Dame Myra Hess Series, Music in the Loft, countless university concert series, live recitals on Chicago's WFMT and New York's WQXR.

Although born in the Soviet Union, Belsky has trained mostly in the United States. After immigrating to America, she  studied with Chicago's beloved Emilio Del Rosario. She received her Bachelor of Music Summa cum Laude and Master Degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ann Schein, a student of the legendary Arthur Rubinstein. Later, she earned her Doctorate in Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, while working under Mme. Nina Svetlanova, an heir to the tradition of Heinrich Neuhaus. She has also been privileged to coach with Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Phil Levin (harpsichord) and other great artists.

Pianist and Southern Miss piano faculty member Elizabeth Moak said, "I expect that Svetlana Belsky will deliver a lively and engaging program as well as an enjoyable Sunday afternoon."