By Sue Wade
Juilliard-trained, internationally renowned educator and pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski carries a hefty portfolio of accomplishments to his new job as Grand Piano Series director of education and community engagement.
Deeply committed to music education for all ages, he’s spun the stories behind the scores in countless master classes, interactive lecture/performances and residency programs at worldwide institutions from the Bronx School for Music to Singapore’s Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
He sees even this spring’s premiere of his first symphony, with the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras, as a teachable moment. “I’m thrilled that my music is going to be not only played by a symphony orchestra but by young people learning how to be an orchestra,” he said.
Since the pandemic, Soukhovetski has also been adjunct faculty at his alma mater, The Juilliard School, where he teaches an online lifelong learning course in music appreciation.
In his new Grand Piano Series role, he now has free rein to apply all that teaching talent in Naples, where he plans to relocate and will continue adult music appreciation lectures locally.
For several years as a guest pianist, he visited local elementary schools through the series’ well-known community outreach program.
Soon, through after-school PianoLabs, he and the series will give elementary schoolers the chance to do more than just enjoy music “as a spectator sport,” by actually learning to play, hands on the keyboard.
Grand Piano Series often partners with other area arts organizations. This season, it will partner with Opera Naples and Naples Community Orchestra, sharing Soukhovetski as a guest artist with both.
First, he will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major as part of Naples Community Orchestra’s Viennese Classics concert on Feb. 24.
His recital on Feb. 29 — “From Opera to Broadway” — is presented by Grand Piano Series and included as the kickoff event for Opera Naples’ 2024 Festival Under the Stars.
The Opera Naples partnership spotlights his Las Vegas-style narration “From Opera to Broadway,” which spans Soukhovetski’s original arrangements from Puccini’s “La bohème” to Broadway favorites like Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Phantom of the Opera” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
As part of Naples Community Orchestra’s Viennese Classics, Konstantin Soukhovetski will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major at 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at Moorings Presbyterian Church, 791 Harbour Drive, Naples. Tickets are $40 at naplescommunityorchestra.org.
As part of Opera Naples’ 2024 Festival Under the Stars, Soukhovetski will perform “From Opera to Broadway” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29 in St. Leo Auditorium, 28290 Beaumont Road, Bonita Springs. Purchase single tickets at $45 ($50 at the door) or at grandpianoseries.org. Soukhovetski will also hold an online lecture, “From Opera to Broadway,” from 4 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 20. Register online at grandpianoseries.org. For assistance, call 469-333-3231.
By Sue Wade