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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Pianist describes hardship, inspiration before AU performance

The best praise pianist Yuliya Gorenman received was from her elderly piano teacher.

“I remember I played the Rachmaninoff concerto and she just stood there… holding my hands and just cried,” Gorenman said. “And to me that was the most special moment. Words were just completely unnecessary.”

Gorenman, who is recognized by prestigious musical institutions and received international acclaim from critics, will channel these experiences into her performance of the third installment of her concert series “The Gorenman Project” at the Katzen Arts Center on Sept. 28.

The installment will feature the works of Robert Schumann, the music her mother had always wanted her to master. Gorenman’s mother died five days before her first concert of “The Gorenman Project” series in 2011.

Many expected her to cancel the performance, but Gorenman refused. Her mother was her first teacher and greatest critic, so she honored in the only way she knew how: performing.

Gorenman said whenever she is going through personal trauma, Schumann is the answer. The Symphonic Etudes, one of the works she will be performing, were a set her mother had always wanted her to master.

As a musician, Gorenman said she researches each work thoroughly before performing. However, she does not hold her audience to this same standard, understanding that it’s unlikely they will remember the name or composer of her work.

“If I move them to feel and think and remember something or if they are genuinely touched, my job is done,” she said.

Growing up in the Soviet Union during the height of communism, Gorenman was surrounded by a climate of cynicism and deceit. Music became her outlet, and today, she is renowned for the “lyrical honesty” of her playing, according to her website.

“It allows you to be happy and sad and weep and laugh and it also heals you from the inside out,” Gorenman said. “When you let it out is when you can start healing.”
Although music is her passion, Gorenman is considering opening a construction company while currently rebuilding her home at the age of 45.

“Either building a house or building a program or creating something where there was nothing, it’s incredible,” she said. “Where there used to be a pit of dirt now is going to be a home. And where was kind of a muddle of notes, now there is music. “

Gorenman will perform “The Gorenman Project: Schumann Edition” on Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. in Abramson Family Recital Hall of the Katzen Arts Center.

In this grand finale, hosts Sydney Hsu and Sara Winick say their goodbyes and give updated lists of their current favorite shows. Listen along and compare the new lists to those from the very first episode! 

To all the loyal listeners, it has been a great run, but all good things must come to an end. However, just like some of your favorite TV shows, a second season is never truly out of the question.

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