The Catholic University of America

Feb. 21, 2013

CUA to Host Piano Series

Nikita Fitenko, associate professor of piano at The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at Catholic University, will perform at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Ward Recital Hall, as part of the newly established Washington International Piano Series at CUA.

Fitenko co-directs the Washington International Piano Festival along with Ivo Kaltchev, associate professor and head of the Piano Division. In his performance, Fitenko will be joined by cellist Michael Mermagen and pianist Katerina Zaitseva. The program includes Prokofiev-Pletnev’s “Cinderella Suite for Two Pianos,” Prokofiev’s “Sonata in A Major, Op. 82,” and Rachmaninov’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor, Op. 19.”

The Washington International Piano Series at CUA, sponsored by the Piano Division, showcases the school’s new 9-foot New York Steinway D concert grand piano. All concerts in the series are free.

Fitenko has performed recitals and with orchestras in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, and South and North America. He has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as St. Petersburg Capella Symphony, Russian Chamber Philharmonic, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow, and others. In addition to concerts in the United States, his future engagements this year will take him to Italy, England, Spain, China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia.

While performing a wide and diverse repertoire, Fitenko is an acknowledged master of Russian piano music. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, he graduated from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. After receiving the Anton Rubinstein Memorial Award, he came to the United States to study, pursuing his master's and doctoral degrees at the University of North Texas. Fitenko has been invited to serve on many international piano competition juries. Among his students are winners of national and international competitions including the National MTNA Competition.

Prior to his position at the University, he was associate professor and coordinator of Keyboard Area at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Fitenko is the founder and artistic director of the Louisiana International Piano Competition and is one of the founders of the Florida International Piano Competition (formerly Orlando International Piano Competition). Until 2008, he was also the artistic director of the Louisiana Piano Series International.

“We are proud to announce this new piano concert series that includes faculty and distinguished guest-artists’ recitals,” said Ivo Kaltchev. “These concerts are wonderful celebrations of our new piano and of the talents of our faculty.”

The remaining concerts in the series include:

  • Thursday, March 21, 8 p.m.: Ralitza Patcheva, piano faculty
  • Friday, March 22, 8 p.m.: Thomas Mastroianni, professor emeritus
  • Thursday, April 4, 8 p.m.: Ivo Kaltchev, associate professor
  • Sunday, April 14, 3 p.m.: James Litzelman, piano faculty
  • Thursday, April 18, 8 p.m.: Antonio Di Cristofano (Italy), guest artist recital
  • Sunday, April 21, 3 p.m.: Xun Pan (China, U.S.), guest artist recital, piano professor, Millersville State University, Millersville, Pa.
  • Sunday, April 28, 3 p.m.: Jose Ramos Santana, piano faculty

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