Ukrainian violinist Aleksey Semenenko came to prominence in 2015 after his success at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. He has performed in Russia, throughout Western Europe, and in the US where he was the New Artist of the Month in Musical America for March 2015. His regular recital partner is pianist Inna Firsova, who also has a successful solo career. As a duo, they were awarded “Best Concert” at the 2016 Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Their program includes Viennese classics by Mozart and Schubert alongside one of Ysaÿe’s solo violin sonatas, arrangements of music by Debussy, and Wieniawski’s dazzling fantasy on themes from Gounod’s Faust.
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1770-1827)
Sonata No. 28 in E flat major, K. 380
Andante con moto
FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Fantasia for violin & piano in C Major, D. 934
EUGÈNE YSAŸE (1858-1931)
Sonata No. 5 in G major ("Pastorale"), Op. 27, No. 5
L'Aurore. Lento assai
Danse Rustique. Allegro giocoso
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
La fille aux cheveux de lin (Arr. Alexandre Roelens)
Clair de lune (Arr. Alexandre Roelens)
HENRYK WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880)
Fantaisie brillante on themes from Gounod's Faust, Op. 20
Please note that this concert takes place at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
Ukrainian violinist Aleksey Semenenko is praised for his passionate performances replete with “stunning technique and intonation, verve, wit, delicatesse, and beautiful phrasing” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), as well as consistently demonstrating “an unparalleled level of refined musicianship and stage presence” (The Strad). This was evidenced in his triumph at the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, where he captured Second Prize and went on to perform Laureate concerts throughout Belgium with the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège in Liege, Brussels, Namur, Charleroi, Hasselt, and Antwerp, and with the Brussels Philharmonic in Bruges and Ghent. In the 2015/2016 season he performed in Europe at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Rotary Club d’Arlon in Belgium, and the Rotary Gent-Zuid in Gent, and in the US, where he appears in recitals and concerto engagements at University of Florida Performing Arts, Tannery Pond Concerts, Merkin Concert Hall, the Embassy Series, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, the DuPage Symphony, and the Meridian Symphony. He made his Alice Tully Hall concerto debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s on the Young Concert Artists Gala Concert.
Semenenko has appeared as soloist with orchestras including the Moscow Virtuosi, the Kiev National Orchestra, the Junge Philharmonie in Cologne, and the Sinfonietta Hungarica, among others. He appeared at the Interlaken Classics Festival in Switzerland as soloist with the Zakhar Bron Chamber Orchestra and toured Germany, performing recitals in the Best of NRW Series. At the 2011 Musik:Landschaft Westfalen Festival, he performed Paganini’s Concerto No. 2 with the National Philharmonic of Russia under Vladimir Spivakov, and was subsequently invited by the Spivakov Foundation to perform at the Kremlin in Moscow and at the Moscow International Performing Arts Center. Semenenko performed the violin solo from John William’s Schindler’s List with the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra in Hamburg. An avid chamber musician, Semenenko founded the Stolyarsky Quartet, which has given concerts in Russia, the Ukraine, France, Malta, and Switzerland.
Semenenko’s other honors include First Prize in the 2015 Boris Goldstein International Violin Competition, Musical America’s New Artist of the Month (March 2015), the Audience Prize at the 2015 Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg, the Alois Kottmann Award at the 2010 International Day of Music Festival in Hofheim, Germany, and the Grand Prix of the 2006 National Violin Competition in Lviv, Ukraine.
Winner of the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was presented in debut recitals at Merkin Concert Hall and the Kennedy Center. At the Auditions, he was also awarded special prizes resulting in performances at the Paramount Theatre, the Usedomer Musikfestival, and the Friends of Music Concerts. He has also appeared in recital at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Port Washington Library, Rockefeller University, the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach, La Grua Center for the Arts, and on the Embassy Series.
Born in Odessa, Semenenko began his violin studies at the age of six with Zoya Mertsalova at the Stolyarsky School, and only a year later performed Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in A Minor with the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra. He currently studies with Zakhar Bron at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. Semenenko plays a 1760-70 Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi violin, loaned to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben fund of Hamburg, Germany.
Born in Russia, Inna Firsova began studying the piano at the age of eight, with Svetlana Korzhova in Ukraine. After graduation from the Hamburg Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Grigory Gruzman, and later at the Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere, she joined the class of Arnulf von Arnim at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany.
Firsova won the second prize at the International Piano Competition Zolotyj Leleka in Ukraine as well as the first prizes of the International Piano Competitions Vivat Musica in Ukraine, and the Concerto Competition of the Folkwang University in Germany, as well as various prizes from the Lions Club in Germany.
The young pianist has been a recipient of a scholarship from the association Yehudi Menuhin/Live Music Now Rhein-Ruhr.
Currently Firsova collaborates as a permanent duo partner of the prominent young violinist Aleksey Semenenko. Together they have appeared at the Rhein-Ruhr Piano Festival, the Kharkov Philharmonie in Ukraine, the Beethoven House in Germany, the International Summer Academy in Cervo, Italy, among many other prestigious concert halls.