LEWISTON — Concert pianist Igor Lovchinsky, one of the most popular artists to have appeared in Lewiston’s Franco Center Piano Series, presents the 5th program of the 2014-2015 season at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24.

Reserved tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. Students are free.

Reflecting the pianist’s interest in a broad range of music styles, his program will include works by the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, two compositions by Enrique Granados, a Busoni Sonatina, and Earl Wild’s Grande Fantasy on Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”

The late virtuoso pianist Earl Wild, upon hearing Lovchinsky perform his Gershwin arrangements, declared that no one had performed them as well and went on to sponsor the young pianist’s debut album, which featured his Etudes on Themes of Gershwin. This CD, released in 2008 on Wild’s Ivory Classics label, was voted one of the top five classical recordings of that year by Time Out International. Gramophone magazine hailed the young pianist as a “star of the future.”

In addition to having performed solo recitals at the Franco Center, Lovchinsky has also appeared there as soloist with the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra. His electric interpretation of the Grieg A minor piano concerto was the highlight of the Midcoast’s Gala Concert in October 2011. This season, he has performed in the Northeast and Midwest, including a performance of Carmina Burana with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.

A native of Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia, Lovchinsky showed extraordinary promise at an early age, giving recitals for family and friends even before entering the Kazan Special Music School for Gifted Children. His family settled in Columbus, Ohio, when he was 10, and he began his study with Nina Polonsky and Steven Glaser of the Ohio State University. He was only 18 when he won first prize in the 2002 Eastman International Piano Competition; the following year, he won the National Chopin Piano Competition. He went on to complete his undergraduate work at the Juilliard School, then obtained his master’s degree at the New England Conservatory.

Lovchinsky often speaks to his audience, appealing to both seasoned and first-time listeners. The Southampton Press described his commentaries as “witty, informative, and non-technical, adding immeasurably to the nonprofessional’s understanding.”

In addition to pursuing a career as concert artist, Lovchinsky is in his fourth year of graduate study in physics at Harvard University, thus fulfilling a long-standing passion for mathematics and science. He finds that these dual interests – performing the classical piano repertoire and conducting scientific research – are compatible and complementary ones. His wife, neuroscientist Alice Wang, is a violinist.

To purchase tickets, visit the Box Office at 46 Cedar Street, Lewiston, go online at www.francocenter.org, or call 207-689-2000. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.


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