Solo concert of Illia Zuiko, a laureate of international competitions and a second year student at the academy’s piano department, studying under Professor Anatolii Hudko, was an outstanding event in the diverse program of the festival. His evening performance was part of the series “His Majesty the Piano.” Despite cold and rainy weather, the Kyiv Conservatory’s Great Hall was filled with audience, while a shiningly luxurious Steinway grand piano graced the stage...
The entertainer’s short speech informed the public that despite his age, the young pianist was a laureate of a number of prestigious competitions, including the Horowitz Memorial International Piano Competition in Kyiv, where Zuiko performed in the junior category, and the Viotti International Music Competition in Italy. Zuiko is a graduate of the Lysenko Kyiv Specialized Secondary Music School.
But of course, any titles, no matter how high-sounding they might be, matter far less for a musician’s real standing than their performance quality and artistic potential. We have a lot of laureates, but are short on bright creative individuals nowadays. We need musicians who always have all seats taken at their concerts, and Zuiko is one of them.
The program was organized in stylistic-chronological order. The brilliant musician performed compositions by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, and Prokofiev. The latter two were the only ones to have their works performed in reverse order, as Liszt’s Don Juan, of course, was a far more spectacular completion for this tough program!
The audience enjoyed two of Scarlatti’s sonatas in absolute silence, and applauded their performer. Zuiko showed his high mastery of piano, subtle intonation realization and great taste. The audience rewarded with an ovation his virtuoso performance of Beethoven’s Rondo, too. However, it was Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 2 that became the concert’s artistic climax. Diversity of piano sounds, sweeping reach of the young musician’s creative thinking and his Prokofiev-like courage left an unforgettable impression on the public. The final ovation was a fitting reward for Zuiko and his mentor, the renowned educator Hudko, who has trained many talented musicians.
Without doubt, this performance of the young pianist will serve as the beginning of ascent for a new bright star of Ukrainian music, and a start of his successful concert career.