Ivan Moshchuk

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Ivan Moshchuk performing at the Verbier Festival, July 2010.

Ivan Nikolaevich Moshchuk (Russian: Иван Николаевич Мощук; Born December 5, 1990) is an American classical pianist.[1] He was born in Moscow, U.S.S.R., and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.

Life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Ivan Nikolaevich Moshchuk was born in Moscow, U.S.S.R., on 5 December 1990, to Nikolai Moshchuk, a physicist, and Ludmila Moshchuk, a computer science engineer working in the aerospace industry. He moved to Grosse Pointe, Michigan at age four with his parents and only brother, Alexander, after his father accepted an invitation to work at Wayne State University, the family was one of music aficionados, attending performances of classical music regularly. Moshchuk began playing piano at the age of five, inspired by his older brother, who was also studying the instrument. Soon after, he began taking private lessons with Margarita Molchadskaya, former pedagogue of the central specialized school for gifted children at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, named after Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Moshchuk says the idea of becoming a professional musician did not come to him until later. "When I was growing up, I never considered myself being talented at music - my parents were scientists and I grew up thinking I would become a scientist."

Growing up, Moshchuk maintained a well-rounded curriculum, playing varsity tennis and excelling academically at Grosse Pointe South High School. He graduated in 2009,[2] at the same time, he was active as a musician, capturing first prize in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, and being selected as a Yamaha Young Performing Artist. He is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and a recipient of the 2010 Gilmore Young Artist Award.[3][4][5]

Moshchuk the pianist[edit]

While still a student at Grosse Pointe South High School, Moshchuk became the first Michigan resident to receive the Gilmore Young Artist Award. This propelled him into the music world as he went on to earn a BM from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied music theory with Ildar Khannanov, and piano performance with Brian Ganz and Leon Fleisher. Other artists he has worked with include Ivan Moravec, Mikhail Voskresensky, Klaus Helwig, Menahem Pressler, Sergei Babayan, Gábor Takács-Nagy, John O’Conor, and James Tocco. Following his studies at the Peabody Institute, Moshchuk relocated to Paris, France, where he became a resident of the Cité Internationale des Arts.

Performances[edit]

Following his recognition as a Gilmore Young Artist in 2010, Moshchuk has appeared in many of the world’s finest concert halls, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Philharmonia in Bratislava, has been featured at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (Kalamazoo, Michigan), the Verbier Festival (Switzerland), the BANFF Festival (Canada), and has made debuts with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Kharkiv Philharmonic (Ukraine), and Lublin Chamber (Poland) orchestras. As a chamber musician he has collaborated with the Telegraph and Attacca Quartets. Recent performances include engagements with the Chopin Foundation of the United States, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and the Detroit Opera House as part of the Art x Detroit festival, presented by the Kresge Foundation.

Recordings[edit]

Studio[edit]

On 14 August 2015, Moshchuk released his debut studio recording, a conceptual album entitled Forgiveness, featuring the music of Beethoven and Rachmaninoff, the album explores the concept of forgiveness in relation to music, aesthetics, and philosophy. It is currently available as an exclusive digital release on Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play, Spotify, and Amazon.[6]

Artistry[edit]

Influences and technique[edit]

Moshchuk often cites hard work over talent, and attributes his inspiration for music to his fans and supporters, exercising caution toward fame and the accompanying publicity of a performance career, he is primarily concerned with the communicative aspects of music rather than technique, and strives to be a "positive force of change in this world". He says, "The piano is just an instrument — a means of communication, I have no preference among instruments; each is important for its own reason. I cannot say I chose piano — it just happened, it is a way for me to share my stories with my audience. If I were not playing piano, I would find another means.” In addition, Moshchuk has been an outspoken advocate for the further development of music theory, as well as the importance of listening in music. "The way we talk about music depends on music theory. Ultimately, the task is to discover the essence of a musical work and present it simply and efficiently so everyone – not just musicians – can understand, it is a real test of creativity."

Reception[edit]

Moshchuk has received positive reviews by the media.

In 2010, Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun declared that it was "impossible not to be impressed" by Moshchuk's "absorbing, dynamic music-making",[7] the same year the Grand Rapids Press and Lansing City Pulse described Moshchuk's performances as "powerful" and breathtaking.[8] Following his appearance with the South Carolina Philharmonic in 2007, the Columbia Free Times praised Moshchuk for playing the Rachmaninoff Second Concerto with "immense verve and rewarding sonorities," and gave him "only the highest marks for accuracy, musicality, command, technique and sensitivity", the Kalamazoo Gazette noted Moshchuk's "rare combination of breathtaking technique and genuine musicality,"[9] selecting his solo recital as part of the Gilmore Rising Stars Series as a favorite of 2011, alongside artists such as Radu Lupu, Yo-Yo Ma, and Anthony McGill. Classical Voice North Carolina described him as "a young artist with matinee good looks and admirable stage presence."[10] Watching a recording of Moshchuk being interviewed for a public radio television program, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival Artistic Director and pianist James Tocco claimed to have been "struck by how intelligent this young man was" as well as "the power and beauty of his playing.”[11]

In CVNC: An Online Arts Journal in North Carolina, a writer wrote of Moshchuk's all-Chopin performances and compared him to legendary pianist William Kapell:

For this listener, Kapell set the standards for performance of Chopin's Sonata No. 3, and by those standards, all others are perforce measured. I've heard lots of performances of it over the years. Most have disappointed. Moshchuk did not, this performance in Carswell had everything going for it. It was quite simply one of the very best renditions I have heard in over 50 years. And overall, his playing easily made this program among the most impressive I have heard in a lifetime of listening, it was that good."[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival features Telegraph Quartet and Ivan Moshchuk". Grosse Pointe, Michigan Patch. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Ann L. Fouty. "Two Grosse Pointers in national music contest". Grosse Pointe News. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Prodigy Moshchuk plays music of Chopin". Star-News. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Ivan Moshchuk is 1st Michigan resident chosen for Gilmore Keyboard Festival". MLive.com. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Michigan teen wins Young Artist award as part of Gilmore International Keyboard Festival award". MLive.com. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "RENOWNED PIANIST IVAN MOSHCHUK, GP NATIVE, IN CONCERT AT WAR MEMORIAL, SEPT 19". Grosse Pointe War Memorial. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Clef Notes and Drama Queens: Gilmore Young Artist Award-winner Ivan Moshchuk gives dynamic Baltimore recital - Classical music and theater in Baltimore: Critic Tim Smith writes about classical music, opera, theater, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Centerstage, and more - baltimoresun.com". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Review: Gilmore Young Artist Ivan Moshchuk delivers powerful performance". MLive.com. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Pianist Ivan Moshchuk a perfect blend of technique, musicality in Gilmore Rising Stars recital". mlive.com. Kalamazoo Gazette. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "CVNC: An Online Arts Journal in North Carolina - Pianist Dazzles Meredith College Audience". cvnc.org. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Getting in tune with himself". C&G Newspapers. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 

External links[edit]