Performing selections from Kutik’s critically acclaimed album Music from the Suitcase
plus music by Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Strauss
Saturday & Sunday, December 21 & 22, 2019 at 2pm
Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Road | Morristown, NJ
Morristown, NJ — On Saturday, December 21 at 2pm and Sunday, December 22 at 2pm, Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik, known for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times) is presented by the Morris Museum in Bickford Theatre with pianist Randall Hodgkinson. This program, entitled Music from the Suitcase, features works by Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Rubinstein, and Strauss.
When Yevgeny Kutik was five years old, he and his family emigrated from the deteriorating Soviet Union to the United States with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. Although they had to leave most of their possessions behind and fit everything else into just two suitcases, Kutik’s mother, a violin teacher, filled one of the suitcases with sheet music from the family’s collection, believing that their music was a significant part of their family’s musical history.
Years later, Kutik began to explore the music from the suitcase and was enthralled with the pieces he discovered. He recorded a selection of this music on his critically acclaimed 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart and was featured on NPR's All Things Consideredand in The New York Times. Kutik says, “The pieces on this album carry with them a simplicity and directness, and with this immediacy, a striking beauty...It reminds me of what we went through and how far we have come.”
Kutik and Hodgkinson open the program with Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94b and Stravinsky’s Duo Concertante. After intermission, Kutik presents two works from Music from the Suitcase – Prokofiev’s Waltz from Cinderella and Rubinstein’s Romance. Kutik and Hodgkinson close the program with Strauss’ Violin Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 18.
About Yevgeny Kutik: Kutik has captivated audiences worldwide with an old-world sound that communicates a modern intellect. Praised for his technical precision and virtuosity, he is also lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works as well as rarely heard and newly composed repertoire.
Yevgeny Kutik made his debut at the Kennedy Center, presented by Washington Performing Arts in April 2019. He made his major orchestral debut in 2003 with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the First Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. He was a featured soloist in Joseph Schwantner’s The Poet’s Hour – Soliloquy for Violin on episode six of Gerard Schwarz’s All-Star Orchestra, a made-for-television classical music concert series released on DVD by Naxos and broadcast nationally on PBS.
Throughout the United States, Kutik has performed with orchestras including the Rochester and Dayton Philharmonics, Tallahassee, New Haven, Asheville, Wyoming, and La Crosse symphony orchestras, as well as Florida’s SYMPHONIA, New York City’s Riverside Symphony and Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston. Abroad, he has appeared as guest soloist with Germany’s Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock and WDR Rundfunk Orchestra Köln, Montenegro’s Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra, Japan’s Tokyo Vivaldi Ensemble, and the Cape Town Philharmonic in South Africa. He has appeared in recital as a part of the Dame Myra Hess Concerts Chicago, Peoples' Symphony Concerts, Merkin Hall Tuesday Matinee Series, and National Sawdust in New York City, the Embassy Series and The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., and at the Lobkowicz Collections Prague presented by Prince William Lobkowicz. Festival performances have included the Tanglewood Music Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Pennsylvania’s Gretna Music, Germany’s Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
As an extension of Music from the Suitcase, Kutik commissioned a diverse group of today’s leading composers for Meditations on Family. Featured composers include Joseph Schwantner, Andreia Pinto Correia, Gity Razaz, Timo Andres, Chris Cerrone, Kinan Azmeh, Gregory Vajda, and Paola Prestini. Kutik recorded each of the new pieces for weekly digital release online as singles on Marquis Classics, starting in January 2018 with the full EP released on March 22, 2019. Kutik’s other recordings include his debut album, Sounds of Defiance (Marquis 2012), and Words Fail (Marquis 2016), both released to critical acclaim.
Passionate about his heritage and its influence on his artistry, Kutik is an advocate for the Jewish Federations of North America, the organization that assisted his family in coming to the United States, and regularly speaks and performs across the United States to both raise awareness and promote the assistance of refugees from around the world. He was a featured performer for the 2012 March of the Living observances, where he played for audiences at the Krakow Opera House and for over 10,000 people at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Yevgeny Kutik began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and went on to study with Zinaida Gilels, Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory and currently resides in Boston. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella.
For more information, please visit www.yevgenykutik.com.
About the Morris Museum
Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum is an award-winning, multifaceted arts and cultural institution serving the public through its exhibitions and performances which strive to interpret the past and discover the future through art, sound, and motion. The Museum is home to the historic and internationally-significant Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. Changing exhibits of contemporary content further illuminate its Permanent Collection. The Museum’s Bickford Theatre is a 312-seat performing-arts facility, offering unique programming in film, jazz, and live performance through its innovative series, Live Arts at the Morris Museum. The Morris Museum has a proud tradition of meaningful educational programs and family events. New Jersey’s only Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, Morris Museum is also the first museum in New Jersey to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, it has been designated a Major Arts Institution and has received the New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ Citation of Excellence, among other awards.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.morrismuseum.org, by phone at 973.971.3706, or in person at the Morris Museum. The Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm.
The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
# # #