Alla Voskoboynikova grew up in a small town in Russia near Moscow. She received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance before moving to St. Louis in 1996.
Since 2004, Voskoboynikova, the director of Keyboard Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has seen many of her former students go on to graduate school and successful careers as performers and teachers.
“This is probably the greatest reward for all the hours of hard work,” Voskoboynikova told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday.
Since 2015 is the 100th birthday of noted Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, Voskoboynikova said it would be a good opportunity to invite several of her former students to join her in a concert honoring the pianist they admire.
One of the featured pianists in the concert on April 21 is Daniel Kuehler who is currently pursuing a master’s of piano performance at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
“All four years, every single day,” Kuehler replied when asked about whether he had fond memories of studying with Voskoboynikova
In 2012, Voskoboynikova took Kuehler and three other students to Russia where they performed a series of concerts and became immersed in the culture of the country. Both teacher and student have vivid memories of the trip.
Kuehler was awed by the beauty of the country and the history it represents. “I know now,” he said, “how some of the Russian composers, when they go to their summer homes, and they compose pieces, they’re inspired by all the beautiful countryside that they see - all the rustic browns and oranges and greens. It’s just something that’s totally different from America.”
Voskoboynikova is particularly proud of a comment from a teacher at a Russian academy where her students performed a concert of concertos. Not only did he speak favorably about their level of playing, but also made an observation about the way they handled the second themes which are more lyrical. “I can tell,” he said, “you are not just good musicians, you are good people.”
The concert on April 21 in the Touhill Performing Arts Center’s Lee Theater will also feature pianists David Doran and Tzu-Hwa Ho. The program for the evening will include works by Domenico Scarlatti, Robert Schumann, Alexander Scriabin, Peter Tchaikovsky, Rodion Shchedrin and Nikolai Kapustin. In addition to the concert, attendees can view works by Russian painter Konstantin Kublanov.
UMSL Alumni Piano Concert
- When: Tuesday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: Touhill Performing Arts Center’s Lee Theater
- More information
Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer. The show is sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.