Development and peak of Gershwin’s creative work coincided with “century of jazz”. “I hear musical kaleidoscope of America in it – our large seething boiler, our… national vital pulse, our songs…” – the composer wrote. In 1924 the performance of one of the best composer’s work Rhapsody in Blue for piano and symphony orchestra took place. The author himself played the piano part. New composition aroused profound interest in American music society. The Rhapsody highlighted Gershwin’s ingenious melodic talent, “original sense of harmony” and “rhythmic invention”. S. Rachmaninoff, F. Kreisler, J. Heifetz, L. Stokovsky attended the premiere of the Rhapsody which was a great success.
Following the Rhapsody Concerto for piano, landmark orchestra composition An American in Paris, Second Rhapsody for piano and orchestra, opera Porgy and Bess, and other compositions appeared. Combination of Afro-American jazz and folk traditions, Broadway pop music with European classical music in these compositions found full-blooded and natural incarnation, defining the main stylistic feature of Gershwin’s music.
Valery Grokhovsky – laureate of the F. Busoni International Competition in Bolzano, Italy (1989) and of the International Pianists’ Competition in Cincinnati (1990). Since 1991 – Professor of Texas University in San-Antonio. He has worked in the US as a tutor and gave international master-classes within 10 years. Since 2001 he has started touring throughout USA, Europe, and Russia. Musicians and journalists all over the world say that Valery Grokhovsky manages to speak two languages – of classics and jazz – fluently and “without accent”. He released more than 20 CDs with classical and jazz music, wrote soundtracks to the movies “Contemplators” (USA), “Aphrodisia” (France), “My Gradiva” (Russia – USA).
Alexander Walker is in demand as a conductor throughout the UK and abroad. He performed in Finland, Poland, Russia, USA, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Turkey, the Balkans. After completing a music degree at Bristol University and post-graduate studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he studied with Ilya Musin at St. Petersburg Conservatory. Walker regularly performs at Barbican Hall (London) and Bridgewater Hall (Manchester). He conducted performances of “The Nutcracker”, “Giselle”, “Romeo and Juliette”,” Swan Lake” in Covent Garden. Walker toured with the Royal Ballet to the Bolshoi Theatre, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera and Kennedy Center.