US Debut Recital (September 2014, New York-Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Music Center)
My American Debut I will never forget. This was my maiden visit to the States, let alone New York.
I stayed out of Manhattan for the first few days, living with friends in the leafy suburbs of Queens, preparing for the concert and battling with jet lag. Finally the day of the recital arrived and I travelled to the island..
I saw the majestic Empire State Building, Madison Square Gardens and all the other marvellous "giants" in real life as they were lit up by the glistening rose gold colours of the indian summer sunset. I was plunged into the frenzied world of Manhattan streets and avenues watching people of all kinds of walks of life and nationalities rush past me in every possible direction, hearing the noises and screeches, sighs and hums of the city that never sleeps. And of course seeing the famous yellow taxis, bagel shops, cafes, boutiques. Getting hit by all this fantastical NY paraphernalia literally a few hours before I had to play, somehow filled my entire being with unrestrained happiness and joy! I fell in love with Manhattan instantly and I knew there and then that the concert would be something special.
It turned out to be a very memorable occasion with a kind and welcoming audience giving me a standing ovation at the end of the recital which I finished with my own arrangement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue - the most Manhattan piece of music ever!
I can not thank enough Lisa Erickson, her family and friends, my friends and supporters at Kensington Music Society for making this concert possible. Thank you to all my friends in UK, Russia, USA and all over the world who helped spread the word about this concert and all those who travelled from far away places to New York to listen to me! Finally, a very special thank you to Oliver and Judy Markson for their amazing hospitality and for their friendship and support!