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10 Classical Piano Gems – Vladimir Khomyakov On His New Album “Romance”

Written by: Anna Goryacheva, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

For everyone in the performance industry, the pandemic created global challenges we have not experienced perhaps for the last century. Lockdown forced numerous artists, dancers, musicians to dramatically adjust their activities to new realities or sometimes go entirely out of business. Online concerts and live streams gained some popularity. Still, the new setting failed to replace the audience's need for live events and now we can finally see some subtle hope for the actual performances to come back. On the other hand, many renowned musicians turned themselves into studio work during the hardest lockdowns.

One of them Vladimir Khomyakov, an award-winning Russian-American concert pianist who achieved prominence in the classical music world for his extraordinary talent and incredible musical skills came up with a new breathtaking album.


Romance is an ultimate collection of masterpieces by four iconic European composers Johannes Brahms, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Robert Schumann. Known for his large-scale virtuosic pianism, Khomyakov shows his lyrical face and takes us on an intimate romantic journey. The selection of ten short pieces-miniatures is flowing on one breath from the first notes of Chopin's Grand Valse till the last sigh of Schumann's Romance. All of the tracks are perfectly balanced in moods, tonalities, and tempi, creating an enchanting story about the thing you desire the most from the first innocent dreams of youth through the blissful temptation to the calm happiness of true love.


Here at Brainz I got to talk to Vladimir himself to learn more about his latest album and his ever-growing musical career.


Vladimir, tell us about the recording process of the album?


It was that hot pandemic summer of 2020, the time of the most massive lockdown. I was closed in my studio in Redondo Beach, California, just with my piano and the microphones. With all concerts canceled, no performances in foreseen future, and no hope on the horizon, the only mood was a nostalgic remembering of a beautiful past. Somehow the feeling overwhelmed me and resulted in this recording a set of my favorite 'simple pieces,' 'encores' after large programs, that I have never performed together before. Suddenly they formed a puzzle and created a solid romantic program: the feeling and immense emotion. There's a lot of my personality in this recording, and I genuinely hope you will recognize your reflection in it too.


What is your favorite work from the album?


The cornerstone of the album the dramatic and passionate Chopin's Nocturne in C minor Op.48 No.1, which I have previously released as a single is one of the composer's most significant works, stately and beautiful, tragic and heartfelt, full of contrasts breathtaking music! But along with other all-time the audience's favorites like Brahms' Intermezzo in A and Liszt's Liebestraum (Love Dreams) there are some hidden treasures the rarely performed Chopin's Nocturne in E-flat Op. 55 No. 2 and Schumann's Romance. Those are such sophisticated and fascinating pieces; they deeply resonate with my heart and have been in my repertoire for decades.

Vladimir, what's next for you music-wise?


As I'm looking forward to more and more live concerts coming back, I still spend a lot of time in the studio. I have just finished recording my next solo album my first Russian album with works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin. Now, as it goes into the production stage, I can't wait to hear the final result. There are many more exciting projects that I can't share yet with you - but please make sure to subscribe through my website and social media to be the first to hear about them.


What helped you stay up mentally and emotionally during these uncertain times?


Frankly, I try to see opportunities in such times, the opportunity for self-improvement and growth, so later, you are ready to return to previous activities at a new level. I'm spending more time at the piano than ever before, mainly working on a new repertoire. There is a long list of compositions that I always wanted to learn and add to my programs but never had enough time due to concertizing. Now it is a perfect moment in my life to do that. Of course, no one could imagine that the 'moment' would last so long.


What would you advise young musicians regarding career today, any lesson they should keep in mind to succeed?


Without a doubt, it is one of the most challenging times in the classical music industry. It is highly competitive like never before, but it also has very unclear financial outcomes. So only if you can't live without music, if this is the only thing that makes you happy then practice as much as possible and use every opportunity to learn and every chance to perform in public. Read more, travel the world, and experience different things when you are young to build the baggage of feelings and impressions to fill your music with and make it exciting and unique for the listeners.


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Anna Goryacheva, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Anna Goryacheva is an award-winning Russian-American pianist, recording artist, educator, and entrepreneur. Being a brilliant soloist and chamber musician, Anna performed recitals in Russia, United States, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Finland, and Sweden. Her solo and orchestra performances were broadcast on the radio and television worldwide. Anna is the Founder of Elite Piano Institute the top piano school in Los Angeles, California. She has also gained recognition as a renowned pedagogue and has been featured in numerous media outlets for her expertise as a piano coach such as Thrive Global, Kivo Daily, Influencive, America Daily Post, The American Reporter, Voyagela, Disrupt Magazine, to name a few. In 2020 Anna was featured in the Brainz Magazine global list of 500 entrepreneurs, influential leaders, educators, and business owners worldwide recognized for their success, achievements, and unique work.

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