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Two Innovative New York City Musicians Collaborate in Their City for the First Time at the National Opera Center, Friday, June 3rd, 2016 at 7:30pm

April 17, 2016 | By Jonathan Levin
Mr
Two innovative New York City Musicians collaborate in their city for the first time at the National Opera Center, Friday, June 3rd, 2016 at 7:30pm

It is often said that music is the most universal language. It brings together disparate people and cultures with unparalleled facility. Soprano Nikoleta Rallis and concert pianist Azamat Sydykov, though from different sides of the world, share similar musical goals.

Nikoleta Rallis grew up in Wrightsville Beach, NC and after attending Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, moved to New York City in 2010 to study and expand her career, recently making her debut at Stern Perelman Auditorium at Carnegie Hall as a soloist in John Rutters Requiem. For the past few years she has impressed audiences all over the world from Italy and Greece to premiere venues in the United States with her beautiful voice and dazzling presence - Koini Gnomi (Greece). An incredibly versatile artist, she is equally at home with major operatic roles, the art song repertoire as well as musical theater.

For much of his life, since leaving his homeland of Kyrgyzstan at the age of 14, Azamat Sydykov has been committed to using his art as a catalyst for positive change in the international community, striving to build global connections through music. He accompanied the first Kyrgyz President during state visits, performing in front of many heads of state, working to conserve and develop the rich musical traditions of his country. After studying for 7 years at the famed Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, he moved to the U.S. where he went on to make history in May of 2014 with his solo debut recital at Weil Hall at Carnegie Hall, the first appearance of a Kyrgyz musician at this great hall. Following the success of this concert he has become a regular performer at Carnegie Hall in addition to extensive tours throughout the U.S.

Their performance at the National Opera Center will mark a special point in their collaboration. Weve performed together many times in other places throughout the U.S. but this will be our first time collaborating on a concert in New York City, commented Sydykov. I feel like, in a way, this is the culmination of all our work together so far. We are challenging ourselves with this tremendous program. In addition to sensational art songs by Schubert, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Obradors, the concert will also feature some of the most artistically and technically demanding music for piano such as Fantasy in D minor K397 by Mozart, Schuberts Wanderer Fantasy and Liszts Rhapsodie Espagnole. We wanted to create a program which not only reflects our common musical interests, but has a unifying theme, says Rallis. I think there is a searching quality to much of the music, particularly in the case of both of the Schubert selections, where both are actually titled, wanderer. Theres also an incredible amount of variety. We wanted to explore the musical styles of many different cultures.

The concert will take place at the National Opera Centers Scorca Hall. Its one of the most inviting and intimate halls in Manhattan and the audience will enjoy a warmth and connection with the music and performers there which they may not experience in larger spaces, Rallis explains. It was very important for us to share our concert with the audience in this way, which is why we chose to present it there, says Sydykov. We wanted to be close to our listeners while sharing this personal musical statement and were very excited to see everyone there. Attendees will be invited to a reception at the National Opera Center immediately following the concert where they will be able to visit with the artists.

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