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Image for Inna Faliks
Inna Faliks
04.10.22 | Armstrong Concert Hall
World of the Piano


Polonaise Fantasie
The Story of a Pianist
Inna Faliks, piano

Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 2:30 p.m.
Armstrong Concert Hall
Shenandoah Conservatory

Basso Ostinato

Rodion Shchedrin (b. 1932)

Prelude and Fugue No. 18 in G-sharp Minor, BWV. 863 from Well Tempered Clavier, Book 1

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

Ballade in Black and White (2011)

Jan Freidlin (b. 1944)
Composed for Inna Faliks

Fantasy in D Minor, K 385

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)

The Maiden's Wish

Fréderic Chopin (1810–1849)
transcr. Franz Liszt

La Campanella from Grandes études de Paganini, S. 141

Franz Liszt (1811–1886)

Polonaise-Fantaisie, op. 61

Fréderic Chopin (1810–1849)

- intermission -

6 Bagatelles, op. 126

1. Andante con moto, Cantabile e compiacevole 
2. Allegro
3. Andante, Cantabile e grazioso
4. Presto
5. Quasi allegretto
6. Presto, Andante amabile e con moto

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

Artist's Statement

This is the first time I am performing Polonaise-Fantasie, the Story of a Pianist, since the beginning of the pandemic. During the pandemic, four months ago, I lost my mother, whom you will meet in this story, to brain cancer — at just 67. Odessa, my home city, is engulfed in a terrifying, brutal war. I cannot express adequately through words just how poignant it is for me to perform this for you today.

How did Polonaise Fantasie the Story of a Pianist come to be?

Ten years ago, when I was pregnant with my son Nathaniel, I started writing down vivid memories of my childhood in Odessa, the former Soviet Union, and of immigration to the United States. Gradually, these started to take the shape of a book about a life in music. At that time, I was living in New York City, performing and curating my series Music/Words, where poets read between musical performances. Poetry inspired me for as long as I can remember and influenced my first CD (Sound of Verse, MSR Classics.) I hadn’t written in years.  It was profoundly satisfying to be writing once again.

A few years later, after I had moved to Los Angeles to head the piano department at UCLA, the chapters of the book found their way into the hands of producer Cynthia Comsky. She insisted that I use them to create a recital-monologue. Many memories described in the book had musical pieces inexorably connected to them, in my experience. For the monologue recital I chose pieces that had been with me since childhood, as well as those that found their way into my repertoire, along my path, to connect and illuminate the narrative. The format, play-read-play-read, echoes the format of my long-running Music/Words programs, where the poems and the music create an arch that is emotionally resonant. The premiere took place at the Ebell Theater of Los Angeles in 2015, just a few months after my daughter Frida was born. Then, I began to perform it worldwide as a one-woman show. This season, the show had its European premiere in Italy and it has been seen throughout the United States in multiple states and venues.

I am thrilled to report that a book will be out based on what you hear today — please look for it in all bookstores after spring 2023. I owe my artistic identity partially to growing up in the Odessa of the past — seven people in a three-room apartment, surrounded by books, music, ideas and friends (One of whom is Misha. You will meet him in the story. He is my husband and the father of my two children).

Recording and performing this story and this music is the most personal project I have ever performed. I dedicated the recording to my family: my parents, Irene (in memoriam) and Simon Faliks who were brave enough to leave the USSR when they did; my husband and best friend, then and now, Misha Shpigelmacher; and my two children, Nathaniel and Frida Shpigelmacher, as well as to anyone who has ever left a place in search of a better life.

Thank you for being with me today.

– Inna Faliks

Meet the Artist
Inna Faliks
Sunday, April 10 at 1:30PM
Armstrong Concert Hall

Join us on the Sunday of each World of the Piano performance at 1:30PM in Armstrong Concert Hall for a Pre-Concert Talk! Learn about the artist’s program from Shenandoah Conservatory faculty and special guests.

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World of the Piano Supporters
Endowed Concert Sponsors

Dr. Laura N. Dabinett & Dr. Russell B. McKelway • Annual Dabinett/McKelway Performance Fund

Concert Sponsors

Crescent Cities Charities, Inc.

2021/22 Piano Society

Marika Bournaki & Julian Schwarz
Doctors Laura Dabinett & Russell McKelway
Dr. & Mrs. William W. Ellis
Barbara & Andy Ferrari
Warren & Mary Hofstra
Mr. William H. Hutchinson
Ms. Susanne S. Jackson
Mrs. James C. Laidlaw
Marjorie & John Lewis
Stanley A. Lipinski
Rachel Funkhouser Lynch
Candy & Howard Means
Thomas Miller
Eleanor Pendleton Monahan
Courtney Reilly & Joseph Hammett
Dr. & Mrs. Oljan Repic
Michael Rutkaus
Dane Toler & Lee Ruddle
Alice W. Vance in Memory of Alice Williams
Karen Walker & Robert Larson


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Accessibility & Reminders

Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available across the courtyard in Gregory Hall (approximately 100 feet from the Armstrong Concert Hall lobby). Please notify house management for assistance.

Patrons are requested to turn off cell phones and other electronic devices during performances. The taking of photographs and the use of recording equipment are not permitted during performances.

COVID-19 Safety

Masking is strongly encouraged but optional for patrons attending performances at Shenandoah Conservatory. Should community levels in our area elevate to a high level in the future, masking requirements may be reinstated as a matter of public health. Visit cdc.gov for up-to-date COVID-19 community levels.


Performing artists will perform unmasked only if they have participated in surveillance testing, per university protocols, in advance of their performance(s).

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