Russian pianist Ilya Rashkovskiy has been one of the busiest pianists in Korea since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The 36-year-old is holding a solo recital for the first time in four years. The title is “Romantic Sonata,” which will take place at IBK Chamber Hall in Seoul Arts Center at 8:00 p.m. on February 27. The Dong-A Ilbo had an interview with him at a café near the arts center.
Having played with musicians of various instruments, Ilya has been exposed to different repertoires. “I am just happy to be able to stand on the stage and share my thoughts on music with different performers,” he said. “I want to evolve through those new experiences.”
This journalist contacted some of the performers who played with Rashkovskiy before if he asked them to play together first. “Not at all. We’ve proposed the idea as we wanted to play with him,” a musician said. “He checked his schedule and readily accepted our request.”
For this solo concert, the Russian pianist is premiering a piano sonata written by Korean composer Ryu Jae-jun for the first time in the world. “It’s an epic work as large as life itself. It tells a story of pains and struggles,” Ilya said. “Ryu is an artist who can make his voice heard in any work.”
Chopin’s Sonata No. 3 and four numbers from Mazurka Op. 24 will also be played at his solo performance. “Indeed, the title Romantic Sonata is an homage to Ryu Jae-jun’s sonata,” Ilya said, explaining how other songs are placed around his sonata.
The Russian pianist has been playing in South Korea since 2006, and he moved to Seoul when he became professor at Sungshin Women’s University in 2013. He is living near the school with his Japanese wife. “I want to live in South Korea as long as possible,” he said. “I’ve got passionate audiences from different generations, performers with different characters and talented students.”