Pianist Sergei Saratovsky  is taking over the ivories at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre  Sunday afternoon.

Pianist Sergei Saratovsky is taking over the ivories at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Sunday afternoon.

NOCCA’s replacement at the piano has a fine pedigree

Sergei Saratovsky performs on North Okanagan Community Concert Association’s Hamburg Steinway on the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day.

Sunday’s community concert features the same piano, however, the person sitting at it will be different than originally announced.

Tickling the ivories and ebonies of the  North Okanagan Community Concert Association’s (NOCCA) Hamburg Steinway on the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day is now Sergei Saratovsky, a last minute replacement for Ruston Vuori, who had to cancel his performance due to health reasons.

“Saratovsky will be playing a program of romantic favourites by such composers as Mozart, Schumann, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Kreisler/Rachmaninoff,” said Jan Waldon, NOCCA publicist.

Born to a family of musicians in Karelia, Russia, Saratovsky received his university education at the Petrozavodsk State Conservatory of Music, graduating with a bachelor’s of music in piano performance in 2004.

He soon after came to Canada and completed a master’s in piano performance with Alexander Tselyakov at Brandon University in Manitoba, where in 2006 he received the gold medal for academic excellence and graduated with distinction.

In May 2012, Saratovsky was granted the degree of doctor of musical arts at the University of British Columbia where he studied with Jane Coop.

Before coming to Canada, Saratovsky was recognized for his musical achievements in his homeland, receiving an award from Russian Prime Minister and former President Vladimir Putin.

Upon arriving in his new homeland, he  performed in the presence of former Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean.

His awards are numerous and include first place at the Porto International Piano Competition (Portugal, 1999), where he was also recognized for his interpretation of Debussy and for best performance of a Beethoven sonata. He has also won third prize at the International Russian Music Piano Competition (U.S., 2003), second prize at the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Competition (Canada, 2004), and second place at the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition (U.S., 2006).

In 2008, Saratovsky was the recipient of an award and recital opportunities from the Vancouver Chopin Society. He also placed second at the Pacific Piano Competition, and was a finalist at the Montréal International Musical Competition, where he also received the award for best Canadian artist.

His concert engagements have included appearances with the Portugal National Orchestra, the Portugal Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Laval, and regular solo engagements with the State Symphony Orchestra of Karelia in his native Russia.

He has performed for audiences in France, Italy, Australia, Portugal, Canada, the U.S., and Russia, and has been the featured artist on radio and television broadcasts aired around the world.

More recently,  Saratovsky finished a concert tour of Canada presented by Jeunesses Musicales du Canada.

His concert with the NOCCA begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

For those who do not have a NOCCA membership, individual tickets are available at the Ticket Seller box office in the Performing Arts Centre. (Call 250-549-7469, or order online at www.ticketseller.ca.) Cost is $35 for an adult and $17.50 for a student.

The NOCCA has also recently joined Facebook and will be posting its latest information on it regularly.

“If you have a Facebook account, please like us,” said Waldon.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/NOCCA/556369264396607?fref=ts