Music/Words at Fine Arts Building, Curtiss Hall | Concert preview
Pianist Inna Faliks partners with poets Vera Pavlova and Valzhyna Mort in an adventurous program.
“I always carry a book of Boris Pasternak’s poems in my music bag whenever I play concerts,” Inna Faliks says. “Poetry inspires and informs my performance.” Faliks, a Ukrainian-born pianist who splits her time between NYC and L.A., says her longtime love of the form inspired her to launch the “Music/Words” series in New York five years ago. Faliks’s award-winning programs, which she began bringing to Chicago two years ago, alternate poetry readings with complementary piano selections.
“Interdisciplinary performance is important,” says the pianist. “It’s hard to keep things fresh by playing standard classical pieces over and over again.” Faliks’s collaboration with the Poetry Foundation, “Music/Words: Poetry Off the Shelf,” features readings by two poets who, like Faliks, have roots in the former Soviet Union: Vera Pavlova and Valzhyna Mort.
“Vera and Valzhyna have such strong, individual voices and very musical-sounding poetry,” Faliks says. The three women collectively designed an adventurous program of Chopin, Shchedrin, Tchaikovsky and Sofia Gubaidulina, one of Russia’s greatest living composers. Faliks says she wanted to include Gubaidulina’s harsh and edgy Chaconne for Solo Piano because it’s “very powerful and dark, also a little humorous—much like the poetry of both these women.”