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Violinist Yevgeny Kutik Announces New Five-Part Docu-Recital Series Premiering February 11, 2021

Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert

A Docu-Recital Series Premiering Thursdays at 7pm ET

February 11 - March 11, 2021

Featured on PRI's The World

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On Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 7pm ET, Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik, known for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), launches Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert, a five-episode docu-recital series filmed at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA, based on Kutik’s 2014 album Music from the Suitcase (Marquis Classics). Each 30-40-minute episode features music performances, including works from the album, interwoven with Kutik’s personal narrative storytelling. Episodes will premiere weekly on Kutik’s Facebook and YouTube channels every Thursday at 7pm ET beginning on February 11 and running through March 11, 2021. Registrants will be emailed the links to watch by 5pm on Wednesdays. Kutik will be available for questions in the chat during the Thursday premieres, and each episode will be available for on-demand viewing until 12pm ET on the following Sunday.

When Yevgeny Kutik was five years old, he and his family emigrated from the deteriorating Soviet Union to the United States with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. Although they had to leave most of their possessions behind and fit everything else into just two suitcases, Kutik’s mother, a violin teacher, filled one of the suitcases with sheet music from the family’s collection, believing that their music was a significant part of their family’s musical history. Years later, Kutik began to explore the music from the suitcase and was enthralled with the pieces he discovered. He recorded a selection of this music on his critically acclaimed 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart and was featured on NPR's All Things Considered and in The New York Times.

Each episode revolves around a theme of “finding home” as Kutik explores anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, his family’s months as “stateless” refugees, the amazement and challenges of starting a new home in the United States, his teachers and mentors, and lessons for the future.

Kutik explains the inspiration for this docu-recital series: “In 2020, as the pandemic cancelled concerts and upended plans for the foreseeable future, I was in search of inspiration. As I began sifting through these musical pages that my family brought over, it dawned on me that as difficult as this pandemic and resultant loss of opportunity was, with strength and determination, there would always be a way to begin again, to rebuild from nothing, as so tangibly represented by these scores.

I spent the quiet months of quarantine collecting memories and stories from my family, looking through family photographs, and at the same time, for my own enjoyment, playing through some of my favorite scores from school and concerts over the past years. I began to realize that much like the collection of music my family brought over, I now had my own sheet music, representing my journey thus far: a semblance of a musical “home,” and of teachers, memories, and community.”

Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert

Each episode available Thursday at 7pm ET through Sunday at 12pm ET

Register to watch all episodes here:

Episode 1 - The Fifth Line

Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 7pm EST

A glimpse at the structural, historical anti-Semitism in the former USSR; Kutik’s family decides to leave the Soviet Union in search of a better life; an introduction to the 'music' from the suitcase. Featuring Achron's Hebrew Melody, Shostakovich's Sonata No. 2, and Stravinsky's Divertimento from a Fairy's Kiss.

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Episode 2 - In Between

Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7pm EST

A look at the strange and stateless journey through Europe which millions of Soviet emigres undertook to start a new life; applying for asylum; an awful recollection from the USSR. Featuring Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Khachaturian's Nocturne, and Bloch's Baal Shem.

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Episode 3 - Begin Again

Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 7pm EST

Kutik’s family arrives in the United States; a closer look at rebuilding everything from nothing; the incredible power of community and selflessness. Featuring Rubinstein's Romance, Achron's Hebrew Lullaby, Shostakovich's Romance from Ovod, Prokofiev's Waltz from Cinderella, and Sviridov's Children's Album.

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Episode 4 - Listen

Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 7pm EST

A tribute to the teachers and influences who helped Kutik and his family grow and build; remembering Zinaida Gilels and Roman Totenberg. Featuring Prokofiev's Sonata No. 2 Op. 94a, and Darius Milhaud's Le Beouf sur le toit.

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Episode 5 - Coda

Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 7pm EST

Reflecting on his family's journey, one small journey among millions; a musical tribute of thanks to Kutik’s community. Featuring Rachmaninov's Vocalise and Franck's Sonata.

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Yevgeny Kutik has captivated audiences worldwide with an old-world sound that communicates a modern intellect. Praised for his technical precision and virtuosity, he is also lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works as well as rarely heard and newly composed repertoire.

A native of Minsk, Belarus, Yevgeny Kutik immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five. As a follow-up to his 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), in 2019 Kutik launched a new commissioning and recording project titled Meditations on Family via Marquis Classics. He commissioned eight composers to translate a personal family photo into a short musical miniature for violin and various ensemble, envisioning the project as a living archive of new works inspired by memories, home, and belonging. Each track was released digitally weekly, and the full EP CD, produced by four-time Grammy winner Jesse Lewis, was released on March 22, 2019. Strings Magazine featured Kutik and Meditations on Family as its cover story for the March/April issue. Kutik’s other recordings include his debut album, Sounds of Defiance (Marquis 2012), and Words Fail (Marquis 2016), both released to critical acclaim.

In 2019, Yevgeny Kutik made his debuts at the Kennedy Center, presented by Washington Performing Arts, and at the Ravinia Festival. Recent performances include appearances with the Dayton Philharmonic, La Crosse Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, the Cape Town Philharmonic in South Africa, Morris Museum, Honest Brook Music Festival, and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Passionate about his heritage and its influence on his artistry, Kutik is an advocate for the Jewish Federations of North America, the organization that assisted his family in coming to the United States, and regularly speaks and performs across the United States to both raise awareness and promote the assistance of refugees from around the world.

Yevgeny Kutik made his major orchestral debut in 2003 with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the First Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize.

Yevgeny Kutik began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and went on to study with Zinaida Gilels, Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory and currently resides in Boston. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella. For more information, please visit

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