Alexander Pashkov, piano - concert

Tuesday, May 31, 7pm
Bellas Artes, Hernandez Macias 75
$400, $300, $200 tickets

In response to the brutal invasion of Ukraine, cultural organizations around the world are breaking ties with all things Russian. The boycott is understandable, but indiscriminate, and in some cases illogical — one symphony orchestra here in Mexico is refusing to perform works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Rimsky-Korsakov.

The Russian-born classical pianist Alexander Pashkov is one casualty of the boycott (or more accurately, blacklisting). His 12-city European tour scheduled for spring 2022 was suddenly cancelled, even though Pashkov has been living in Morelia, Mexico, and teaching at the conservatory there for two decades. (He left Russia in 2000, the year he got his doctorate at the Rimsky-Korsakov conservatory in St. Petersburg — and also the year Putin came to power.)

The tour cancellation has made Pashkov available, and he has been welcomed to perform at Bellas Artes as part of the Steinway Series, benefit concerts employing the theater's excellent (and recently restored) 9-foot Steinway concert grand. All Steinway Series concerts raise money for Libros para Todos, the nonprofit organization that inspires young people to read books. His concert will take place at 7pm on Tuesday, May 31.

Pashkov's technique and memory are astonishing; he can perform nearly 50 concertos without a score, and his repertoire of solo pieces, from Jean-Philippe Rameau to Thelonious Monk, is incalculable in number. This special anti-blacklist event will give him a chance to showcase both his technique and memory. Rather than arrive with a set program, he will announce and perform whatever piece comes to mind at the moment, essentially giving a spontaneous concert of encores.

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