Pianist Tutunov to perform at UAS Friday

Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Nov. 13 Evening at Egan will feature pianist Alexander Tutunov, widely recognized as one of the most outstanding piano virtuosos of the former Soviet Union.

Tutunov, artist in residence at UAS, first came to Juneau about six years ago after being invited to performas a soloist with the Juneau Symphony Orchestra.

"I love it," Tutunov said about Juneau. "If you haven't been to Alaska, you haven't lived."

Tutunov also teaches at Southern Oregon University and at the Chinese-American International Piano Institute in Chengdu, China, where he is associate director. Though constantly on the move, he said he doesn't let the strain of travel faze him.

"You get used to it," Tutunov said. "If you do something a lot you get better at it. What is challenging is to not lower the standard (of your performance)."

Tutonov awards include first place in the Belarusian National Piano Competition and the Russian National Piano Competition.

He said his aunt inspired him to try and play the piano for the first time.

"I was about four years old and my aunt was practicing for her graduation from the (Moscow) Conservatory. She got up to get a snack or something, and I went to the piano and began playing what she had been playing," Tutunov said. "My grandmother said she couldn't tell the difference between (my playing and my aunt's)."

Tutunov's Evening at Egan performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the Egan Lecture Hall.

• Mallory Millay is staff writer at the UAS publication, the Whalesong.

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