By Paulina Gajewski
Fingers skirted across a plane of black and white on Oct. 19 as Alexei Tartakovsky took to the piano inside of the Don Buchwald Theater at Brooklyn College. As notes ricocheted across the walls of the Theater, audience members watched as Tartakovsky’s laser focus allowed him to play with ease. As a part of a series of faculty recitals that are put on by the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and its faculty members, virtuoso and BC Music Professor Alexei Tartakovsky delighted the audience with his talents.
The Russian-American pianist has captivated audiences worldwide with his performances, in which both his technique and his artistic approaches leave him renowned for his skills. In 2006, Tartakovsky won three top prizes. Down in Florida, he won the Rolf and Brigitte Gardey International Competition. Following this triumph, he swept the competition at the New York Piano Competition and the American Fine Arts Festival, also in New York.
Soon after, he became a laureate in the United Kingdom after participating in the International Piano Competition in Manchester in 2008. Tartakovsky’s victories have allowed him to perform in both solo performances and performances with an orchestra. His international influence has spanned across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Europe, Japan, and China. He has performed alongside some of the most prolific orchestras, including the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Jacksonville Symphony, and the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn in Germany.
In 2015, Tartakovsky performed at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, Poland. Named after one of the masters of Romantic music, Frederic Chopin was a Polish-French virtuoso pianist. The competition was initiated in 1927 and is held every five years. This competition, in particular, is one of the more difficult ones, starting off with a pool of 160 pianists in the preliminary round, slowly trickling down to 90 competitors by the second, 45 by the third, and ultimately resulting in the final 12.
Tartakovsky was one of the pianists who made it to the final round, his prowess as a pianist weeding him out as one of the best of 160. More recently, Tartakovsky was named the laureate of the 2021 International Beethoven Competition in Bonn, Germany.
The faculty recital was a full circle moment for Tartakovsky, whose educational career has its roots in CUNY. He completed his undergraduate education at Queens College and Julliard. He went on to receive his Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland, and an Artist diploma from the Yale School of Music.
Tartakovsky is currently a doctoral candidate under the mentorship of American classical pianist Richard Goode at the CUNY Graduate Center. Additionally, Tartakovsky is a professor at Brooklyn College, teaching undergraduate students the fundamentals of music.
Each of his sways, swells, and trills were heartening, playing for an audience of students aspiring to reach such a level of expertise, an audience that Tartakovsky had more than certainly once inhabited.