Internationally known Russian-American pianist Martin Berkofsky will present a guest artist recital at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center, Saturday, Oct. 30. The concert is in memory of the children killed during the Sept. 4 takeover and bombing of School No. 1 in Beslan, Russia. The recital is free and open to the public.
The program begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (Room 200A).
Berkofsky will present a program of piano works by Franz Liszt, Alan Hovhaness, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. Pianist Peter Amstutz of the WVU music faculty will join him for several duets by Schubert and Hovhaness.
Of Russian background, Berkofsky was born in Washington, D.C., and by the age of eight was already giving public performances and television broadcasts. He studied first with the renowned Polish virtuoso and student of Busoni, Mieczyslaw Munz, then with Konrad Wolff and Walter Hautzig, both of whom were students of Arthur Schnabel, then finally under Fulbright scholarship with Hans Kann in Vienna.
For 13 years Berkofsky resided abroad, performing extensively in 25 countries and appearing on more than 150 radio and television broadcasts. He recorded with the London, Berlin, Seattle and Iceland Symphonies. For three years he appeared as co-director of the Long Island Chamber Ensemble in its New York and touring programs, when many new works were commissioned and premiered.
Winner of the New York National Music League Young Artists Competition, Berkofsky received a five-year contract to tour the United States and was the guest of Yale Universitys Sanford Fellowship in recognition of his role in the discovery and restoration of Max Bruchs long-lostConcerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra.In musicological circles, he is known not only for his Bruch restoration, but also for a similar restoration and recording of a duo-concerto composed jointly by Mendelssohn and Moscheles, for his discovery in Paris of a previously unknown Liszt manuscript; for his collaboration in restoring the first recordings of Lieder by the Romanian composer Nicolae Bretan, and for his recent recording and world premiere in Moscows Tchaikovsky Hall of HovhanessConcerto for Two Pianos and Orchesra.
Berkofsky has given many master classes, both in the worlds major music conservatories, and for his own Christofori Foundation, an organization he founded after an unexpected recovery from a 1982 motorcycle accident that doctors had believed would end his career. He saw his recovery as a gift in return for which he would use his regained abilities to help others. In 2000, Berkofsky was successfully treated for cancer. To celebrate this recovery and his 60 th birthday, he embarked on a marathon running concert tour, traversing on foot 880 miles of Americas heartland and raising more than $80,000 for cancer for research.
For more information about Berkofsky, visit his website atwww.celebrateliferun.com. For information about the concert at WVU , contact the College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4841 ext. 3108.