“Nutcracker Blues” was performed by jazz pianist Eyran Katsenelenbogen during the first half of a historic concert which took place in the landmark Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory in Boston, on May 24, 2009. The concert, titled “Pictures at an Exhibition – Classical Meets Jazz” featured the American premiere of jazz pianist Eyran Katsenelenbogen and classical pianist Andrei Ivanovitch’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s masterpiece, which was performed during the second half of the concert.
In the first half of the concert, Eyran and Andrei performed short independent solo recitals. During his solo performance, Eyran played a selection of improvisations on themes by Tchaikovsky. “Nutcracker Blues”, Eyran’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “Russian Dance” (Trepak)” opened Eyran’s recital. It was followed by “Sleeping Beauty Meets a Prince”, “Nutcracker Swing”, “Swan Lake” and “Nutcracker Sombrero” – all improvisations on themes from Tchaikovsky’s ballet music.
About the Music of “Classical Meets Jazz – Pictures at an Exhibition”:
Eyran and Andrei's two-pianos onstage dialogue weaves together classical and jazz styles in a revolutionary reworking of Mussorgsky's timeless masterpiece. “Pictures at an Exhibition” is performed as one organic and unified piece, with all thirteen movements presented in their original order. Each movement is approached differently as the two distinguished international pianists demonstrate how composition and improvisation can work together.
About the History of “Classical Meets Jazz - Pictures at an Exhibition”:
“Classical Meets Jazz: Pictures at an Exhibition” was conceived by philanthropist and concert producer Gerhard Hummer of Sossmar, Germany. Mr. Hummer met Andrei Ivanovitch during Ivanovitch's tour in Germany in 2004. The following year he met Eyran Katsenelenbogen in Rome following Eyran's concert at the Teatro di Marcello. Gerhard first invited both pianists separately to perform at his Culture Salon in Soosmar. In 2006, he organized a tour for both pianists in Germany during which they performed the world premiere of “Classical Meets Jazz: Pictures at an Exhibition” at the Bechstein Centrum in Hamburg. The following year the program was played at the Auditorium Maximum in Hildesheim. The concert sold out two months in advance. In 2008, Eyran was invited by the St. Petersburg Concert agency to perform the program with Andrei in St. Petersburg, as part of the Piano Express Festival featuring pianists from various European countries and the US. The Russian premiere was a tremendous success. The New England Conservatory hosted the American premiere of “Classical Meets Jazz: Pictures at an Exhibition” on May 24, 2009. The event was attended by 897 people and was recoreded and videotaped.