SERGEY SCHEPKIN TO LAUNCH A NEW CONCERT SERIES IN BOSTON DURING THE 2018-19 SEASON
Sergey Schepkin is launching a new concert series, GLISSANDO, in honor of Bach’s 333th birthday. The eight concerts of the series will take place at the First Church in Boston (66 Marlborough Street in Back Bay) on Sundays at 4 PM, and will include five chamber concerts, a voice and piano recital, and two solo piano recitals, all centered around Bach’s music and exploring its connections – some direct, some not so obvious – with the music written before and after (sometimes well after) him. The series will also celebrate the composers whose important dates of birth and death are remembered in 2018 and 2019.
The inaugural concert will take place on September 23 and will include chamber works by Debussy, whose centenary of death is this year, as well as Bach’s at once recondite and brilliant Musical Offering (Deborah Boldin, flute; Jason Horowitz, violin; Owen Young, cello; and Sergey Schepkin, piano and harpsichord).
The other dates are:
October 21: Bach’s six keyboard Partitas (Sergey Schepkin, piano)
November 18: the day before the 190th anniversary of Schubert’s death; the program will include Schubert’s “Die schöne Müllerin” song cycle, as well as Bach’s aria “Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen” from the Cantata BWV 82 (Darren Chase, baritone, and Sergey Schepkin, piano)
December 16: Bach’s six Sonatas for violin and obbligato keyboard (Robyn Bollinger, violin, and Sergey Schepkin, piano)
January 13: Bach’s six French Suites for keyboard (Sergey Schepkin, piano)
February 17: a juxtaposition of Bach’s Concerto for two solo keyboards with the Stravinsky Concerto for two solo pianos and the Rachmaninoff Second Suite for two pianos (William Davidson, Ian Lindsey, and Sergey Schepkin, pianos)
March 17: Tempo di Pavana – a concert of Pavanes from different eras, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by including the Pavana Lachrymae by the (purportedly) Dublin native John Dowland, arranged for the keyboard by Dowland’s contemporaries Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, William Byrd, and Giles Farnaby; celebrating the 39th birthday of the renowned American composer and a Harvard ’02 alumnus Christopher Trapani by bringing back his spiritual and luminous Pavana for violin and piano, performed only once at Harvard almost two decades ago; fitting in a very Elizabethan-sounding Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV 904; and playing some French music, including Pavane for a Dead Infanta and Sonata for violin and piano by Maurice Ravel, born in March like Bach and Trapani (Jason Horowitz, violin, and Sergey Schepkin, piano and harpsichord)
May 5: anticipating the 2019-20 season, dedicated to Beethoven, by performing music by the three great B’s: Bach’s Third Sonata for viola da gamba and keyboard; Beethoven’s Tenth Sonata for violin and piano, Op. 96; and Brahms’s Second Trio (Jason Horowitz, violin; Rafael Popper-Keizer, cello; and Sergey Schepkin, piano)
Please use the contact form on this website to reserve seats. Tickets will be sold at the door ($35 general admission; $10 students with a valid ID). $30 discount will be offered for listeners who subscribe to the entire season.
October 8, 2016
CHECK OUT JAMES MANHEIM’S REVIEW OF SERGEY’S NEW BACH PARTITAS ALBUM ON ALLMUSIC:
October 6, 2016
CHATHAM UNIVERSITY, PITTSBURGH CONCERT CANCELED
The October 10 concert by Cyrus Forough and Sergey Schepkin has been canceled owing to Sergey’s illness. Their October 17 concert at Carnegie Mellon University is expected to proceed as scheduled.
October 5, 2016
CHECK OUT THE INTERVIEW WITH JOHN MARKS ON THE TANNHÄUSER GATE WEBSITE:
ALSO, CHECK OUT JOHN MARKS’S REVIEW OF SERGEY’S NEW BACH PARTITAS ALBUM:
July 28, 2016
SCHEPKIN’S NEW ALBUM OF THE SIX BACH PARTITAS IS THE WGBH CD OF THE WEEK!
July 24, 2016
CYRUS FOROUGH AND SERGEY SCHEPKIN TO COMPLETE THE CYCLE OF BEETHOVEN SONATAS FOR PIANO AND VIOLIN (see The 2016-17 Season page)
July 8, 2016
THE NEW ALBUM OF THE SIX BACH PARTITAS RELEASED BY STEINWAY & SONS
THE RAVE REVIEWS OF THE CHAMELEON ARTS ENSEMBLE FATHER’S DAY CONCERT AT THE ROCKPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL
July 14, 2015
SCHEPKIN’S ALBUM OF BACH’S FRENCH SUITES RECEIVES PRAISE FROM THE GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE (UK)
In his review, the distinguished critic Bryce Morrison writes, among other things, the following:
“Russian-American pianist Sergey Schepkin leaves you in no doubt why Bach is at the heart of his repertoire. And his performances of the six French Suites, two differing takes on the A minor Fantasia and Fugue and the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue are of exemplary precision and lucidity. […] Scholarship is complemented with playing devoid of egocentricity, […] in which everything is made seamless and natural, though with no loss of character. Bach is always allowed his own voice […] Schepkin is gentle and heart-warming in the Second Suite’s Allemande, lively but unforced in the Courante. There is a special sense of joyousness in the Fifth Suite, where in the final Gigue his sparkle declares his enviable technique, though one never on display for its own sake. Try the Courante from the Sixth Suite for an example of Schepkin’s effortless-sounding command or the Gavotte for an irresistibly perky rhythmic spring.”
June 24, 2015
LONDON: SCHEPKIN JUMPS IN TO FILL IN FOR THE ORCHESTRA HELD UP BY A FERRY DRIVERS’ STRIKE
Sergey Schepkin, scheduled to play the Mozart A-major Concerto (K. 488) with the Cologne-based orchestra Kammerphilharmonie Europa on June 23 for the Proms at St Jude’s, a festival in Hampstead, London, accepted the festival’s invitation to perform a half-recital on a five hours’ notice: the orchestra was detained in Calais, France, by a ferry drivers’ strike and could not be in town even for the dress rehearsal. Sergey played three Debussy Preludes and the Bach Sixth Partita, which he had not performed or practiced since late February. The orchestra, originally scheduled to perform a full program, took a ferry from Dunkirk and made it for the second half, in which Schepkin did perform his concerto without a rehearsal and the Russian trumpeter Kirill Gusarov, who was traveling with the orchestra, played Hummel’s Concerto in E-flat as originally scheduled. The concert got a positive review in London’s Evening Standard.
March 15, 2015 – ONLINE REVIEWS OF SCHEPKIN’S ALBUM OF BACH’S FRENCH SUITES
December 15, 2014 – SCHEPKIN’S RECORDING OF BACH’S FRENCH SUITES IS THE WGBH CD OF THE WEEK
November 17, 2014
SERGEY SCHEPKIN’S RECORDING OF BACH’S FRENCH SUITES RELEASED BY STEINWAY
Sergey Schepkin’s new album of Bach’s six French Suites, Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, and Fantasia and Fugue in A minor (BWV 904) has just been released by Steinway & Sons. The album is marketed throughout the world. In June, Schepkin pressed three hundred copies of the album at his own expense; after the Steinway release they have become a collector’s item. To purchase the original version of the album, please get in touch with Sergey Schepkin via the Contact page of this site; to purchase the Steinway & Sons release, please visit www.arkivmusic.com.
August 1, 2014
SERGEY SCHEPKIN TO PERFORM AND RECORD BACH’S PARTITAS
Bach’s six Partitas, published in 1731 at the composer’s own expense as his Opus 1 under the title “Clavier-Übung” (Keyboard Practice), are considered among the most engaging, complex, and beautiful keyboard works of all time. Johann Nikolaus Forkel, Bach’s first biographer, wrote in 1802:
“This work made in its time a great noise in the musical world. Such excellent compositions for the clavier had never been seen or heard before. Anyone who had learnt to perform well some pieces out of them could make his fortune in the world thereby; and even in our times, a young artist might gain acknowledgment by doing so, they are so brilliant, well-sounding, expressive, and always new.” (Translated by Arthur Mendel)
Sergey Schepkin started performing Bach’s Partitas as a cycle twenty years ago, while he was a doctoral student at New England Conservatory; his first doctoral recital in 1994 was a presentation of these six works. Schepkin’s Partitas concerts garnered him great acclaim from The New York Times and The Boston Globe. After his 1995 Partitas recital at Weill Recital Hall in New York City, the Times wrote the following:
“Sergey Schepkin is an extraordinary young pianist who has made the keyboard music of Bach his central preoccupation. … Two years after his New York debut, he played Bach’s six Partitas with striking purity of tone, complete technical control and restless intelligence. … Mr. Schepkin’s lofty perspective held one mesmerized. … His next thoughts on this repertory are eagerly awaited.”
Schepkin went on to record the six Partitas in 1995; the recordings (two volumes) were released in 1996 and 1997 by the Boston-based Ongaku Records. Both volumes were nominated for the INDIE Award, and the reviews were enthusiastic. The BBC Music Magazine gave it five stars – its top rating – and the Fanfare magazine wrote:
“The arrival of Sergey Schepkin on the recording scene seems to me to have – if you pardon the crassly commercial metaphor – raised the stakes for every player who essays Bach. … So extraordinary are the achievements of this young man … that they set a new standard. … We are, in other words, face-to-face with music history in the making. … No one who loves Bach can afford not to listen to these performances.”
Since then, Schepkin repeated the cycle for New York’s Bargemusic and the Newport Music Festival, and has played the Partitas separately on numerous occasions, most notably in Alice Tully Hall at New York City’s Lincoln Center in 2004. The New York Times characterized his playing of the Fourth and Fifth Partitas there as “the picture of Apollonian elegance”, and continued:
“In both works, the individual strands were precisely rendered and the music’s textures were perfectly transparent. Where Bach left room for ornamentation, Mr. Schepkin provided stylish turns and elaborations. And within the logically ordered world of Bach’s music, Mr. Schepkin conveyed the characteristics that set these works apart: the stately, almost orchestral quality of the Partita No. 4, for example, and the more unbuttoned, lively aspects of No. 5.”
To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of his first Bach Partitas presentations, Schepkin is now embarking on a three-concert tour. The first recital will take place at 7:30 PM on Saturday, October 11 in Pittsburgh, at Carnegie Mellon University’s Mellon Institute; it will be the pianist’s annual faculty recital there. The second concert will take place at 7 PM on Thursday, October 30 in New York City’s Greenwich House in Greenwich Village (the Renée Weiler Concert Hall). Finally, Schepkin will play the Partitas at 3 PM on Sunday, November 16 for the celebrated Rockport Music festival in Rockport, Massachusetts, at the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center.
Prior to the tour, Schepkin will be making a new recording of the Partitas in Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston, where he also teaches.