Matryoshka are the ubiquitous (and charming) conical wooden “dolls” that one finds for sale in Russia. These dolls are usually sold in numbers of seven or eight, they fit inside one another, and get progressively smaller or larger, depending on whether you are taking them apart or putting them back together. Matryoshka are hand-painted with the likenesses of important figures in recent Russian history: authors, presidents, actors, classical composers.

This program from Blair McMillen is, quite simply, a celebration: a sonic matryoshka of great 19th- and 20th-century Russian piano music. These are piano works that are both powerful and beautiful, mystical and transcendent; music that moved the art form in new directions, and will continue to stand the test of time for centuries to come.

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Works to be performed on the “Matryoshka” program include:

Scriabin, Sonata No. 9, Op. 68 (“Black Mass”)
Scriabin, Five Preludes, Op. 74
Prokofiev, Sonata No. 7 in B-flat major, Op. 83
Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition