Classical music sets Valentine’s Day mood


Valentine’s Bounty for Classical Music Lovers

Park- ICM

Two Valentine Concert Offerings: February 9th featuring dynamic husband & wife duo

Ben & Lolita Sayevich at The 1900 Building and

February 13th featuring the award-winning soloists of Park ICM with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra

Bob Evans

 Stanislav Ioudenitch, Artistic Director at Park International Center for Music, announced Friday that Park ICM is offering not one, but two Valentines concerts. “If you are a classical music lover, we have a veritable buffet to choose from during Valentine’s week. You can snuggle up with your loved one in the intimate 1900 Building on Saturday with Ben and Lolita and then enjoy all that downtown Kansas City has to offer at The Folly Theater on Wednesday with our magnificent soloists and the Chamber Orchestra,” exclaimed Ioudenitch. “What more could you wish for to celebrate Valentine’s Day?”

“These concerts are VERY romantic,” said Ben Sayevich, Professor of Violin Studio at Park International Center for Music and founding Concertmaster of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. “We chose pieces for both of these concerts based upon their sensuousness, flirtation and their passion. There’s even a tango which is one of the most provocative dances ever written.”

“It is always a thrill to partner with the talent from the International Center for Music at Park University. This concert has crowd-pleasers perfect for Valentine’s week. Featuring violin, cello, and piano soloists in bon-bons by Chopin, Tchaikovksy, Saint-Saens, and Kreisler, the performance will warm your heart and tickle your fancy!” said Maestro Bruce Sorrell, KCCO music director and conductor.

On February 9th at 7:30 p.m., the thrilling combination of husband and wife duo, Ben Sayevich, Violin, and Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, Piano, will be taking the stage at The 1900 Building in Mission Woods, Kansas. The highlight of the evening will be the famed Violin Sonata No. 9, Op 47, by Ludwig Van Beethoven. Written in 1803 and notable for its technical difficulty, unusual length and emotional scope, it is commonly known as the “Kreutzer Sonata” after the violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer to whom it was eventually dedicated by the composer. Later author Leo Tolstoy took particular interest in the sonata, describing it as “holding special power to arouse erotic feelings from the powerful sensuous appeal of the music.” As a result, he named his new novella, The Kreutzer Sonata. Published in 1889, The Kreutzer Sonataemphasizes Tolstoy’s controversial view on sexuality, which asserted that physical desire is an obstacle to relations between men and women and may result in tragedy. Indeed Tolstoy’s main character, “Pozdnyshev,” a passenger on a train, tells the story to a captive audience in a train car of how he murdered his pianist wife after being enraged with jealousy that she played a duet with a visiting musician in their parlor. But regardless of its sexual themes in the late 19thCentury, the novella soared in popularity and was adapted in various stage and film productions ultimately contributing to the fame of Beethoven’s original sonata and linking the two forever together. The irony in all of this is that happily married Ben and Lolita will be performing the piece that will certainly be an unusual spin on love for Valentine’s Day. Park ICM high- res photos can be found here. Kansas City Chamber Orchestra photos are available upon request.

Also on the program is Gabriel Fauré’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in A-major, No. 1, Op. 13, Alexander Galzunov’s “Meditation” for Violin and Piano in D-major, Op. 32, and John Williams’ Tango “Por Una Cabeza” for Violin and Piano.

On February 13th, 7:30 p.m, at The Folly Theater in Kansas City, Missouri, you’ll escape with gorgeous tunes and heartwarming concertos performed by the fantastic combination of soloists from the Park International Center for Music performing with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra during Bridges of the Heart. The evening will feature award-winning soloists Dilshod Narzillaev (cello), Laurel Gagnon (violin), Igor Khukhua (violin), and Vladislav Kosminov (piano). Sayevich added, “Years ago when I was Concertmaster of KCCO, Maestro Sorrell and I made a pact that each year KCCO and Park ICM would partner for one concert of the season. It is incredibly advantageous for our students to play with a professional orchestra, as it is so different from performing a solo. Plus we provide our most promising, award-winning students as the soloists. They are our local stars!”

The Bridges of the Heart program will include:

Caroline Shaw:  Entr’acte

Continuing KCCO’s commitment to featuring women composers, Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte will open the concert. “Shaw is the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music and is probably the most important composer of her generation. Certainly, she is the most well-known,” said Maestro Sorrell.

Haydn:  Concerto for Cello in C MajorDilshod Narzillaev, cello soloist

Composed by Joseph Haydn around 1761-1765, it was created for his longtime friend, Joseph Franz Weigl, then principal cellist of Hungarian Prince Nicolaus’s Esterházy Orchestra. Prince Nicolaus was Haydn’s benefactor and supported the creation of most of Haydn’s compositions. After Haydn’s death, this concerto was believed to be lost until the early 1960’s.

Saint-Saens: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28; Igor Khukhua, violin soloist
A composition for violin and orchestra written in 1863, it was composed for virtuoso violinist Pablo de Sarasate. Originally intended to be the rousing finale to Saint-Saëns’ First Violin Concerto, the piece includes many virtuosic arpeggios that will certainly show off the incredible talents of violinist Igor Khukhua.

Kreisler:  LiebesfreudIgor Khukhua, violin soloist
Liebesfreud or “Love’s Joy” was composed in 1910 by Friedrich “Fritz” Kreisler, an Austrian-born violinist and composer. One of the most noted violin masters of his day and regarded as one of the greatest violinists of all time; Kreisler was known for his sweet tone and expressive phrasing.


Tchaikovsky:  Valse-Scherzo in C major, Op. 34; Laurel Gagnon, violin soloist
Written in 1877 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, this work is for violin and orchestra and will feature the magnificence of award-winning ICM soloist, Laurel Gagnon. Dedicated to Tchaikovsky’s lover and former student, violinist Iosif Kotek, it was Kotek’s trip to visit Tchaikovsky in Switzerland in 1877 that most certainly inspired its creation. While short, it is known to make great technical demands on the soloist.

Kreisler: Caprice Viennois, Op. 2; Laurel Gagnon, violin soloist
Born in Vienna in 1875, Fritz Kreisler was a child prodigy who quickly confirmed his position as an international violin virtuoso at a very young age. Caprice Viennois is one of his most familiar short pieces for violin and orchestra and is full of turn-of-the-century Viennese gaiety and grace.

Chopin: Variations on “Là ci darem la mano,” Op.2’ Vladislav Kosminov, piano soloist

Written by Frédéric Chopin when he was aged 17, it was Chopin’s first work for piano with orchestra. But Chopin often played the variations without the orchestra preferring to show off the brilliant piano part. When it premiered in 1827, Chopin himself was the soloist.


Park ICM Masters in Concert Presents Ben Sayevich & Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Parkway Room of the 1900 Building, 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, Kansas 66208. Tickets are available General Admission $30 and Students with ID $10.  A reception with the artists will take place immediately following the concert in the Fountain Room and free and open to the public. Tickets may be purchased Parking is free and freely available adjacent to the building.


Bridges of the Heart begins at 7:30 p.m. in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St, Kansas City, Missouri 64105. A free pre-show talk with conductor Bruce Sorrell about the music and composers will begin at 6:30 p.m. The evening will conclude with a Champagne and Chocolate Soiree for an additional fee; free for KCCO season subscribers.Individual tickets range from $20 to $35; senior and student discounts are available. Purchase tickets online at or (816) 235-6222.


Ben Sayevich & Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich. Lithuanian-Israeli violinist Ben Sayevich has established himself as one of the most distinguished violinists and teachers of his generation. He has concertized extensively throughout North America, Europe and the Far East and has appeared on radio and television as a soloist. He also maintains a vigorous schedule as chamber musician. He is a founding member of the Park Piano Trio, established at Park University in 2006, and is violinist of the London-based “Rosamunde Piano Trio” which has performed widely in Europe. Sayevich is head of the violin department at Park University’s International Center for Music. Sayevich is joined in concert by his wife, pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich. Originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Lolita began playing at the age of 4. In 1993, she received first prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition and was accepted to the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, studying with Vera Gornostaeva. Later Lolita was recruited to study with Park ICM’s Stanislav Ioudenitch in Kansas City. It is there that she met her future husband and the rest is history. Lolita is Director of Collaborative Piano at Park ICM.

Laurel Gagnon began her violin studies at the age of three and made her solo debut at the age of 12 with the New Hampshire Youth Symphony in a performance of Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen. Since 2013 she has studied under Professor Ben Sayevich at the International Center for Music, first performing with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra in 2015 in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons under music director Bruce Sorrell. Gagnon recently won fourth prize at the Singapore International Violin Competition, the “grand prix’ for emerging young violinists, and in 2015 garnered first prize at the Naftzger Young Artist Competition. Gagnon has studied at the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida and at the Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, N.Y. She currently performs on a 1719 Carlo Tononi violin from the Rin Collection.

Igor Khukhua, who was born in Novosibirsk, Russia, studied at the Moscow State Conservatory and was an artist with the Moscovia Orchestra. In 2016, he successfully won the competition that would place him with a full-time position with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, but he declined the offer, opting instead to come to the U.S. to study with Park ICM and professor Ben Sayevich. Since arriving in the U.S., Igor has won second prize at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition in New York and first prize at the Naftzger Artists Competition. In 2016, he amazed audiences with his U.S. debut at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.                                                 

Vladislav Kosminov, a native of Uzbekistan, made his U.S. debut in 2013 under the baton of Maestro Guillermo Figueroa. Prior to his United States debut, he was a prizewinner at several international competitions, including the Shabyt Inspiration International Piano Competition (Grand Prize, Astana, Kazakhstan) and the International Rubinstein Piano Concerto Competition (Second Prize, Paris, France). In 2015, he was a prizewinner of the George Gershwin International Competition in Brooklyn, New York. At home, he studied at the Academic Musical Lyceum for gifted children named after Vladimir Uspensky, and performed in various cities in Uzbekistan. Kosminov came to the U.S. in 2013 to pursue a Professional Performance Certificate at the Lynn Conservatory of Music, and is now pursuing a Masters in performance with Stanislav Ioudenitch at ICM.


Dilshod Narzillaev was born in 1997 in Navoi, Uzbekistan. In 2007, he began studying cello under the tutelage of Professor Djakhangir Ibragimov in the R.M. Glier specialized school of music. Narzillaev is the winner of several competitions, including the Classic-2008 competition and the 2011 Rovere d’Oro Prize in Italy; the grand prize at the Alexandr Glazunov competition in Paris; second prize at the Tashkent International Competition; grand prize in the Jubanov Competition, grand prize at the Ilyas Ibragimov Competition; and grand prize in the Uzbekistan Republic Competition. With the Uzbek National Symphony, Narzillaev has performed Bach, Saint-Saens, Dvorak, Haydn D major, Haydn C Major, and Shostakovich Concertos. He first appeared with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra in 2016, performing Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo Capriccioso, and currently studies with Daniel Veis at the International Center for Music at Park University.

The Park International Center for Music. Based on the classical European apprenticeship model, Park ICM is transforming talented protégés in piano, violin, viola and cello into world-class performers. Its internationally renowned instructors prepare students not only for the rarefied air of top international competition, but also in the life skills needed to thrive in their chosen profession. For more information, visit

The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, now in its 32nd season, is the region’s only professional resident chamber orchestra. Founded by music director and conductor Bruce Sorrell, the orchestra features talented professional musicians who live and work in the metropolitan area including members of the Kansas City Symphony, music faculties of the University of Kansas and the Conservatory at University of Missouri – Kansas City, and freelance professionals. For more information, visit KCChamberOrchestra.

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