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Friday, February 22, 2013

Bringing Music Back to Life

This is about "Serenade" by Victor Pergament, a very special piece from my last concert. The score used in that performance was published in pre-revolutionary Russia. It was given to me by Maria Seletskaya. Maria's father, violinist Myron Seletsky, was known for his exquisite rendition of this piece before being executed by Stalin in 1937. Here is a photo of Myron Seletsky, circa 1936.

This piece is now on YouTube, and the description there says:
Maria was only 8 years old when she lost her parents to Stalin's terror, and she did not get to hear her father play it. She has asked Stanislav to bring back the beauty of her father's music. This is arguably the Serenade's first concert performance in the USA; it is dedicated to all musicians who were victims of Stalin's terror. Let their music come back to life!

I have just heard from Boris Rivchun, a pianist/composer who lives in Moscow. His grandfather, David Geigner, was a close colleague of Myron Seletsky; he too was executed by Stalin. Boris had a chance to hear this piece, and he wrote:

Great music, performed with such artistry and skill! How wonderful that you were able to give a "new beautiful life" to this work, this is the best possible tribute to Myron Seletsky! My mom and I were hugely delighted, thank you! 

With pleasure and gratitude,
Boris Rivchun, Moscow

I am grateful to Maria for giving me the opportunity to bring this beautiful piece back to life, and I am happy that my work brings pleasure to others whose relatives had shared Myron Seletsky's tragic fate.