Young talent | Music Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Young talent 

A few weeks ago we reviewed a piano recital by the phenomenally gifted 14-year-old Sergiy Komirenko. Last Monday, in St. Mary's Pittman Auditorium, we discovered that he does not come alone: His 13-year-old sister, Olena, is a violinist of equally formidable talent. A student of Brian Reagin, concertmaster of the North Carolina Symphony, she recently won first prize in the Winston-Salem Symphony Talent Search and will perform with the symphony as soloist next year.

The program consisted of solo piano works, played by Sergiy, works for violin and piano, and finally, a Brahms piano trio with the Komirenko siblings joined by cellist Jonathan Kramer. Beginning the concert with the opening movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in D Major, Op.10, No.3, Sergiy showed the same weaknesses he exhibited in his recital some weeks back: trying to play as fast as possible, making his fingers stumble in the process, and mostly ignoring or abbreviating the rests. Despite these flaws, he demonstrated a better sense of dynamics and large musical form. Perhaps the Beethoven betrayed an initial nervousness because he really began to show his stuff in Quejas o la mujer y el ruise (Laments, or The Lady and the Nightingale) from Goyescas by Granados. Like the other movements of Goyescas, this piece is particularly challenging because of the subtle variations in mood. Sergiy's performance revealed unusual sensitivity to the languid melancholy and sensuous phrasing. Equally well conceived were the two etudes by Scriabin, especially the one in D Major, Op.8, No.10, again, the slower one.

Olena picked up the violin at age 8, after first studying piano. Because of her diminutive size she still has to play on a reduced-size violin, a factor that greatly hampers her tone; her instrument simply refuses to sing, especially in the lower register. Nevertheless, she has outstanding intonation and dynamic control as well as a sensibility for the music. She will have to develop somewhat better control of her bowing arm in order to finish off sustained notes less abruptly. With her brother, Olena performed the opening movement of Beethoven's Violin Sonata in A Major, ("Kreutzer"), the Kreisler transcription of Gluck's Dance of the Blessed Spirits from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice, and a violin and piano reduction of Wieniawsky's Second Violin Concerto. She is definitely a match for her brother in technique, and especially in musical sensitivity.

It was in the second half that their potential was best demonstrated. Together with cellist Jonathan Kramer, who is their chamber music coach, they performed one of the standards of chamber music, the Piano Trio in C Major, Op.87, by Brahms. This is a big work, requiring lots of stamina, and a bear both technically and musically. Olena in particular showed a maturity of approach far beyond her years. It is interesting to note that when performing with his sister, Sergiy appears extremely conscious of the fact he is only part of a greater whole. He continually watched his partners for visual as well as aural cues, a mature approach to ensemble playing that permits maximum flexibility and spontaneity in performance and, in this case, ensured that he never overpowered the violin.

This concert was just a sample of the abundance of young talent in the Triangle. The Raleigh, Durham and North Carolina symphony orchestras each run their own annual competitions for promising young musicians, giving the best of the lot a chance to show their skill in public. The most important thing we, the public, can do to support and encourage these young musicians is to attend their public concerts. It is amazing how good many of them are and hearing them play can be a musically exhilarating experience. No jaded performances there! Unfortunately, these concerts are frequently not well advertised and you have to hunt through the calendar to find them. EndBlock

  • Teenage performers Sergiy and Olena Komirenko match each other in musical prowess.

More by Elizabeth Kahn

More by Joe Kahn

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music Feature



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Great list, but not much local hip-hop! I'd throw out Izz the Unknown, who's been making the rounds in Chapel …

by JUN1U5 on From Record Stores to Music Festivals and HB 2, Triangle Music Grappled with Growth This Year (Music Feature)

The Never. Haven't thought about them in ever. That song "The Astronaut" from their first record is a power pop …

by Geoff Dunkak on Makers’ Mark: Ten Triangle Records that Turned Ten This Year (Music Feature)

Pam I'm so glad you are back on the air. Thanks for being so very honest with your struggles in …

by Brenda Quick on The struggle: Through trial and travail, newscaster and singer Pam Saulsby enters a second act (Music Feature)

I've had nothing but positive experiences working with Slums, his music always seemed to me more club ready where raund …

by Daniel Stark on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

That entire conversation only circulated among the beat community and a few others who chimed in. Then, it was deleted. …

by Eric Tullis on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

Comments

Great list, but not much local hip-hop! I'd throw out Izz the Unknown, who's been making the rounds in Chapel …

by JUN1U5 on From Record Stores to Music Festivals and HB 2, Triangle Music Grappled with Growth This Year (Music Feature)

The Never. Haven't thought about them in ever. That song "The Astronaut" from their first record is a power pop …

by Geoff Dunkak on Makers’ Mark: Ten Triangle Records that Turned Ten This Year (Music Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation