OUT NOW: Violinist Yevgeny Kutik's The Death of Juliet and Other Tales on Marquis Classics
Out Now Digitally on Marquis Classics
Listen Here: https://smarturl.it/KutikProkofiev
Physical Release Date: February 18, 2022
Watch the Music Video for "Parting Scene and Death of Juliet": https://youtu.be/e_0-GcXhBdc
The new album from Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik, known for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique,” (The New York Times) is available now in digital formats on Marquis Classics. The Death of Juliet and Other Tales – Music of Prokofiev, highlights Russia’s rich history of folklore and folktales portrayed in the music of Prokofiev. The album also features world premiere recordings of traditional Russian folk songs, including a popular Russian Christmas tune, in new arrangements by Kutik, Michael Gandolfi, and Kati Agócs, commissioned specifically for the album. Released digitally on November 26, 2021 and with a physical release date of February 18, 2022, the album was recorded with pianist Anna Polonsky and produced by Grammy Award winner Jesse Lewis.
The Death of Juliet and Other Tales is meant to be a weaving of tales, a gossamer connecting Prokofiev’s Solo Sonata for Violin, Sonata No. 2, Op. 94a, and the exquisite “Parting Scene and Death of Juliet” (arr. Borisovsky) from Romeo and Juliet, to five Russian folk melodies Kutik fell in love with as a child: V Lesu Rodilas Elochka (arr. Kutik) – a beloved children’s folk song synonymous with Christmas; Kalinka (arr. Agócs), Yablochka (arr. Gandolfi), V Pole Bereza Stoyala (arr. Kutik), and Song of the Volga Boatmen (arr. Gandolfi).
Kutik explains in an essay, included in the album booklet, “Growing up in a Belarusian family, I got to experience first-hand the rich tapestry of Russian folktales and songs. My grandparents hummed tunes, my parents shared stories, and I’d encounter little folk relics throughout the house: Matryoshka dolls, exquisitely decorated Lacquer boxes, and teacups with fairytales etched in porcelain. Folklore was everywhere. Prokofiev’s music exists through the inspiration of these beloved Russian tales. Our childhoods, though in different times and places, share this same thread of tradition. In some way, we both reference this timeless source material in our approach to music-making. To me, Prokofiev’s music and the Russian folk songs I know so well, make more sense when played as reflections of the other.”
Kutik also reflects on a story from his teacher, Roman Totenberg, who met Prokofiev once at a nightclub in Paris. When Totenberg asked Prokofiev to discuss his music for a few minutes, Prokofiev replied dryly, “You know, I’d rather we just play cards.” Kutik has held on to this imagination of Prokofiev and his teacher, a young man at the time, playing cards well into the night, swapping stories and telling tales.
With The Death of Juliet and Other Tales, Kutik asks, “If given the chance to play cards with Prokofiev, what would you hear from him? What traditions, tales, and tunes would he regale you with? How would this change the way you listen to his music? I hope this album might give you that chance, to play cards with Prokofiev, through his music and through the reimagining of his inspirations.”
The Death of Juliet and Other Tales – Music of Prokofiev | Marquis Classics
Digital Release Date: November 26, 2021 | Physical Release Date: February 18, 2022
Yevgeny Kutik, violin | Anna Polonsky, piano
1. Traditional (arr. Kutik): V Lesu Rodilas Elochka for Solo Violin 1:51
2. Sergei Prokofiev (arr. Borisovsky): Parting Scene and Death of Juliet 7:28
3. Traditional (arr. Gandolfi): Song of the Volga Boatmen for Violin and Piano 1:56
4. Ivan Larionov (arr. Agócs): Kalinka for Solo Violin 2:25
5-7 Prokofiev: Sonata for Solo Violin in D major, Opus 115
5. Moderato 5:28
6. Andante 4:25
7. Allegro con Brio 4:20
8. Traditional (arr. Kutik): V Pole Bereza Stoyala 1:52
9. Traditional (arr. Gandolfi): Yablochka for Violin and Piano 2:42
10-13 Prokofiev: Violin Sonata No. 2 Op. 94bis
10. Moderato 8:17
11. Presto - Poco piu mosso del - Tempo I 5:10
12. Andante 3:51
13. Allegro con brio - Poco meno mosso - Tempo I - Poco meno mosso - Allegro con brio 7:50
About Yevgeny Kutik: 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 February 2021, Kutik launched 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 featured music performances, including works from the album, interwoven with Kutik’s personal narrative storytelling, 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. Of the series, The Boston Musical Intelligencer wrote, “Music from the Suitcase uses the medium effectively, preserving the nature of a live concert while adding elements of a documentary—all made possible both by Kutik’s astonishing forthrightness and inspiring musical engagement.”
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, New Bedford Symphony, the Cape Town Philharmonic in South Africa, Morris Museum, Honest Brook Music Festival, and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Performances in 2021-2022 include appearances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and Minnesota Sinfonia.
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 www.yevgenykutik.com.
About Anna Polonsky: Anna Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She has performed chamber music at festivals such as Marlboro, Chamber Music Northwest, Seattle, Music@Menlo, Cartagena, Bard, and Caramoor, as well as at Bargemusic in New York City. Polonsky has given concerts in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall’s Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, and has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A frequent guest at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, she was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two during 2002-2004. In 2006 she took a part in the European Broadcasting Union's project to record and broadcast all of Mozart's keyboard sonatas, and in the spring of 2007 she performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to inaugurate the Emerson Quartet’s Perspectives Series. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.
Anna Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of the renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her Master's Degree from the Juilliard School. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College, and in the summer at the Marlboro and Kneisel Hall chamber music festivals.
Beginning in 2018, Polonsky performs in a trio with clarinetist David Shifrin and cellist Peter Wiley.
Polonsky is a Steinway Artist. For more information, please visit www.annapolonsky.com.