GV welcomes Russian pianist for concert


GVL / Meghan Landgren

Colleen Garcia, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University welcomed pianist Sergei Kvitko for a concert on Feb. 15. He performed works by Franz Schubert at the Haas Center for Performing Arts. 

Kvitko is known for his ability to understand the tone of the piano and play with grace throughout his concerts. He has performed throughout the United States and other countries. In 2018, he embarked on a solo concert tour. He performed in 14 cities across the globe, including in cities in Spain, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. 

Kvitko was born in Russia where he first began playing music at the age of six. He studied music at Michigan State University, where he received his doctorate degree in musical art. Along with studying and playing music, he also composes pieces.

He’s also known for his reputation in classical recording engineering along with being a producer in music. He has been featured in multiple magazines for his work along with being nominated for the Latin Grammy for Best Classical Album. 

Dr. Sookkyung Cho is the GVSU professor who arranged for the Kvitko recital. Cho said that she’s met many talented artists throughout the years at school which helps her reach out for finding performers. With her connections from Juilliard and John Hopkins, Cho has many talented peers to reach out to and many who’re willing to perform for the community.

“It depends, but I have a lot of friends, from about 10 years of undergraduate and graduate school plus years of working in the field, who are great pianists, so I try to contact those I know will give excellent recitals,” Cho said.

Cho and Kvitko have collaborated in the past which made it easier for her to get him to play on campus. Due to their previous work together, Cho knew she wanted to ask him to perform for the community.

“Sergei was my recording engineer for my debut CD and I knew he was also an excellent pianist,” Cho said.

With the pandemic limiting the amount of people able to be in a shared space GVSU has found new accommodations to allow the arts to continue to be shared to students. 

“We have been able to keep live music going, although there is a limitation of how many people we can have in the recital hall,” Cho said. “Most of our events have been live streamed as well.”

Cho explained that in the future GVSU students should be expedited for new musical events that will be coming to campus. 

On Feb. 25, in celebration of Black History Month, piano students and voice students are presenting selections from Samuel Coleridge’s Taylor’s 24 Negro Melodies 7:30 p.m. The performance will be livestreamed at gvsu.edu/mtd/livestream.