Poliykov channels Horowitz

Posted Saturday, May. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Ukrainian pianist Oleksandr Poliykov cut an elegant figure as he wore the day’s first traditional tuxedo — opening up the Cliburn’s second day of preliminary round recitals.

And what a meaty way to start the morning, what with a muscular Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9 by Liszt and the familiar yet not-often-tackled Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky.

As warm a presence as he is big (and he stands at least 6-foot-2), the 25-year old Poliykov seemed to enjoy every moment of his first time performing on the Bass Hall stage.

He seemed particularly keen on channeling his fellow Ukrainian, the grand piano master, Vladimir Horowitz, as his broad hands flew across the keys through both pieces.

“I really love this hall,” Poliykov all but gushed backstage after his recital. I hope I was able to reproduce the warmth that someone like Horowitz could bring to all this wonderful music.”

— Andrew Marton, Special to the Star-Telegram

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