Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia
President Jean Joka
Hon. Consul for Southeastern PA
and Concert Chair Deborah Majka
Fryderyk Chopin statue in Warsaw
Jolanta Chojecka, Alexei Tartakovsky
Siobhan Lyons, Jolanta Chojecka,
Susan Kohler Reed
Chopin Concert 2018
Featuring: Alexei Tartakovsky biographical information below
(l. to r.) - Tiffany Loomis, PHSP President Jean Joka, Irene Musman, Krystyna Cimoch, Liz Whitman, Concert Chair Deborah Majka, Alexei Tartakovsky, Marie Hejnosz, Teresa Wojcik, Diana Blichasz, Margaret Zaleska
This year's concert, organized by the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, took place on March 11 at 2:00 pm in the performance hall of Holy Family University in Northeast Philadelphia. The concert celebrated not only the March 1 birthday of the famous composer but also the 100th Anniversary of Poland's Independence. Hon. Consul for Southeastern Pennsylvania and Concert Chair Deborah "Debbie" Majka greeted the audience which had filled the hall to near-capacity. She introduced Jolanta Chojecka, the new First Counselor for Culture, Science and Information at the RP Embassy in Washington, DC.
Jolanta started her assignment on January 11 and was pleased to make her acquaintance with Philadelphia Polonia. On the following day, she stopped for a meeting with administrators of the Philadelphia Sister Cities Program, Siobhan Lyons and Susan Kohler Reed. For two weeks in March, Philadelphia will be hosting students from Torun, Philadelphia's partner in Poland.
The soloist, Alexei Tartakovsky, was called a "thoughtful and serious musician" by the new York Concert Review and praised as one of the most promising talents of his generation. His beautiful sound, profound musicianship, superb technique and exciting artistic approach have thrilled audiences worldwide.
Alexei has performed solo and with orchestras in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, China and Japan at halls that include Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Warsaw Philharmonic, Yokahama Minato Mirai Hall and Carnegie Hall.
A highlight of his career was his outstanding performance at the 2015 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw where he was a semifinalist. Of that competition he said "I had the pleasure of playing all my rounds on an instrument that had been transported from Japan to Vladivostok to Warsaw in secrecy aboard an armored Soviet military train and was crafted from asteroid metals, the vintage tears of Aleut Inuit virgins, and the wood of Japanese sakura harvested from the eastern face of Mt. Fuji: a Yamaha CFX. One of the best instruments I had ever played."
In 2016 he was awarded the French Prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition. He is also laureate of the James Mottram International Competition (Manchester, UK) and 1st prize winner at the Heida Hermans International Competition in Westport, CT. Additional prizes include: New York Concert Artists International Competition (2011) and 1st, Audience Prize, and prize for best performance of a Russian work at the San Jose International Competition (2012).
At the concert in Philadelphia he played a mixed program of Beethoven, Chopin and Stravinsky. At the end, after prolonged applause, he returned for an encore with Chopin's Valse Brilliante Op. 18.
The event was a successful way to celebrate both Chopin's genius and the 100th Anniversary of Poland's Rebirth in the 20th Century. Poles owe a debt of gratitude to President Woodrow Wilson and the Fourteen Points he outlined on January 8, 1918. This statement of principles was used in the Peace Negotiations that ended World War I. The speech before the US Congress included the Thirteenth Point which called for the creation of an Independent Poland as a condition for peace in Europe.
Polish Heritage Society president Jean Joka, explained the purpose of the organization and invited those present to join in future events. A general meeting, with refreshments, open to all is scheduled for April 22, 2018, at the Associated Polish Home in Philadelphia. Additional information may be found on the internet: http://www.polishcultureacpc.org/orgs/PHSP.html
(l. to r.) - PHSP President Jean Joka, Margaret Zaleska, Liz Whitman, Jolanta Chojecka,
Concert Chair Deborah Majka, Alexei Tartakovsky
Deborah Majka, Alexei Tartakovsky, flower girls
Called "a thoughtful and serious musician" by the New York Concert Review, Russian-American pianist Alexei Tartakovsky is one of the most promising young virtuoso talents of his generation. His beautiful sound, profound musicianship, superb technique and exciting artistic approach have thrilled audiences worldwide.
He first brought attention to his artistry by winning three top prizes in a one year span (2006-2007) at the Rolf and Brigitte Gardey International Competition in Daytona Beach, Florida, The New York Piano Competition, and the American Fine Arts Festival (AFAF) in New York, which resulted in his performing at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall).
Immediately after, he became a laureate of the James Mottram International Competition in Manchester (UK) and received 1st prize at the Heida Hermanns International Competition in Westport, Connecticut, which he won with unanimous decision by the judges, who called him a "phenomenal, first rate pianist" and "a monumental talent" in the media. Additional prizes include 1st prize at the New York Concert Artists International Competition in 2011 and 1st, Audience Prize, and prize for the best performance of a Russian work at the San Jose International Competition in 2012.
Since then, he has given concerts both solo and with orchestra in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe, China, and Japan at halls that include the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Warsaw Philharmonic, Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, and Carnegie Hall. His playing has been broadcast on Dutch Radio 4, Polish Radio 2, and New York's WQXR. Among the orchestras Tartakovsky has performed with are the Jacksonville Symphony and the North Czech Philharmonic, and with conductors including Fabio Mechetti, Nurhan Arman, Maurice Peress, and Clark Rundell.
A highlight of his career was his outstanding performance at the 2015 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, where he was a semifinalist. He received high praise from members of the jury, including Martha Argerich, Adam Harasiewicz, and Akiko Ebi, who called him a "fantastic musician and pianist". In 2016, Tartakovsky was awarded the French Prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition.
Among the musicians Tartakovsky has studied with are Matti Raekallio, Nina Lelchuk, Boris Slutsky, Boris Berman, and Horacio Gutierrez. Alexei did his undergraduate studies at Juilliard and CUNY Queens College, received his Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory, and an Artist Diploma from Yale School of Music. He is currently pursuing his doctorate with Richard Goode at CUNY Graduate Center, where he was awarded the coveted Graduate Center Fellowship.