2014-2015 PIANO SERIES

All recitals are held at 7:30pm in the Music Recital. Admission for each is $20 general and $15 student/senior. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (916) 278-4323.

The Fall 2014 Piano Series will open with a recital by guest artist Faina Lushtak on Saturday, October 25. This concert is generously sponsored by Richard Graves, and will feature works by Mozart, Schumann, Liszt, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky. View the program >>


Born in the Soviet Union, Faina Lushtak began studying piano and composition at the age of six. She graduated from the Stoliarsky School for Musically Gifted Children in Odessa, Ukraine under the instruction of her mother and later earned degrees in piano performance and composition from the Moscow Tchaikowsky Conservatory. She later became a faculty member of the Moscow Conservatory until emigrating to the United States. She is currently Professor of Music at the Newcomb Music Department of Tulane University, where she heads the piano division, holds the Downman Chair, and is the music director of Tulane's Concert Piano Series and Tulane Piano Trio. She is also on the faculty of the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. The lyricism and romanticism of Ms. Lushtak's performances have brought her love and affection of audience and critical acclaim. Since her debut at the age of ten, Ms. Lushtak's performances have inspired audiences throughout her native Russia as well as those in Western Europe, Canada and the United States.


The Series continues on Saturday, November 22 with a recital by James D'León, featuring works by Corigliano, Liszt and Ginastera. This recital is sponsored anonymously in memory of Sacramento State Professor Emeritus Sandra Barkdall.

Born in South Korea into a musical family, James D’León began the piano at the age of 4 and performed his first solo recital at the age of 5. He was awarded a full scholarship to the prestigious pre-college program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with May Kurka and Milton Salkind.

As the winner of both the San Francisco Symphony and the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra competitions, D'León performed the Grieg Piano Concerto and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 at the age of 12. He then relocated to Pennsylvania where he honed his technique and performance skills and by the age of 14, he had won every regional competition culminating in his debut performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2009, he was selected as an International Steinway Concert Artist on both the prestigious New York and Hamburg, Germany rosters. Since then, he has performed in England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Canada, and 40 states (and counting) throughout the continental United States. His performances have garnered critical praise from audiences and critics everywhere including the Philadelphia Inquirer, which stated that he performed with “exciting pianism and powerful emotion.”


The Spring 2015 semester kicks off with a recital by Tanya Gabrielian with works by Bach, Schumann and de Falla on Saturday, March 14. This recital is sponsored by Steven D. Hearst and Susan J. Haake.

Lauded by the Washington Post for her “strikingly poised nobility” and “commanding presence”, pianist Tanya Gabrielian has captivated audiences worldwide with her gripping performances. She has performed in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, in venues including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Sydney Opera House, Salle Cortot in Paris, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago.

Tanya Gabrielian rose to international acclaim with first prizes in the Scottish International Piano Competition and the Aram Khachaturyan International Piano Competition. Gabrielian is also a laureate of the Sydney International Piano Competition, and the Bosendorfer International Piano Competition. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Royal Academy of Music, and upon graduation, she was awarded with a DipRAM, the highest performing award of the Academy. Gabrielian then completed her studies at The Juilliard School as the only candidate accepted for the prestigious Artist Diploma program.


Guest artist Agustin Anievas will perform works by Schubert, Beethoven and Chopin on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

Agustín Anievas began his distinguished international career as a child prodigy, playing his first important recital at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City when he was 12. Now, more than five decades later, he continues to share his passion for the piano in the concert world as a performer and a recording artist. He has appeared in recital and with orchestras in the major music centers of the United States, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and many Middle East and Far East countries. He is praised for his sensitive musicianship as well as his bravura and virtuosity, summed up by the Washington Post, which headlined its review, “That’s the way to play the piano!” Anievas served for several decades as Chairman of the Piano Department and Professor of Piano at Brooklyn College’s Conservatory.