Kyle Farley-Robinson, left, Jon Hays, center, and Dr. Alexander Tutunov play “Romance And Waltz For Six Hands Piano” by Sergei Rachmaninoff during the Juneau Piano Series featuring Tutunov at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Kyle Farley-Robinson, left, Jon Hays, center, and Dr. Alexander Tutunov play “Romance And Waltz For Six Hands Piano” by Sergei Rachmaninoff during the Juneau Piano Series featuring Tutunov at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Look ma, 6 hands: Piano concert begins on unusual note

Recital includes 6-handed performance and classical music’s Mount Everest

Not every piano recital is just some guy or gal at a bench.

Alexander Tutunov’s Friday night piano recital began with a sight you don’t see every day: a six-handed waltz performance. That means that there were three pianists on the same bench sharing space, coordinating and playing a single song.

“We thought to start with something that would be like dessert,” Tutunov said.

Tutunov’s two hands were augmented by Jon Hays, organizer of an ongoing piano series and former student of Tutunov, and Kyle Farley-Robinson, who will play the next installment of the series in February.

Hays said the idea was a lighthearted and unusual way to start the recital, which is part of a monthly series at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

[Juneau favorite shines light on B-Liszt composers]

The playful tone carried through when Tutunov performed a solo recital.

The main course of the recital featured works by Franz Schubert and Franz Liszt, including a piece Tutunov said might be the “Mount Everest” of classical music, Liszt’s Sonata in B minor. It’s about 30 minutes of continuous music with no movements.

Some theorize it is an interpretation of the Faust legend, which concerns a man selling his soul to the devil in exchange for ultimate power and knowledge.

While Tutunov said that interpretation isn’t a certainty, it does help inform his performance of the sonata.

The music alternated between loud and soft, melodic and cacophonous. Over the course of a half hour, it oscillated between passive and arresting.

“Now and then, the music just takes you off into the clouds,” Tutunov said.

When he finished the half-hour piece, first there was quiet, but soon the audience was on its feet to applaud Tutunov, who played one more short piece to close out the night.

The conclusion of the recital also received a standing ovation.


• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenHohenstatt.


More in Home

Mitchell Haldane, Sealaska’s carbon offset administrator, surveys forest land owned by the Juneau-based Alaska Native corporation that has earned more than $100 million since 2016 by putting the property into California’s carbon credits markets, which is paying to keep the land unharvested for 100 years. (Screenshot from YouTube video by Sealaska Corp.)
Could it be easy being — and making — green?

State, Alaska Native corporations among those who see carbon market potential, but questions remain.

David Holmes digs through a pile of boardgames during Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-con over the weekend at Douglas Public Library and Sunday at Mendenhall Public Library. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Good times keep rolling with Platypus Gaming

Two-day mini-con held at Juneau Public Library.

Dane Hubert, Fredrik Hale Thorsteinson IV, Casey Knapp, Alexis Juergens and Finley Hightower, the Fedora Squad, pose for a photo during  the Region V Drama, Debate and Forensics Tournament. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Tournament brims with oratorical talent

On a busy Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School, there was room for debate.

This distinctive peak overlooks Herbert Glacier. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto)
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Superb reader-submitted photos of wildlife, scenery and/or plant life.

City and Borough of Juneau 
This is a photo of the current site plan of the proposed Capital Civic Center. Thursday evening the city was given an update on the project’s concept design which is expected to cost up to $75 million and would include amenities like a theater, community hall, gallery, ballroom and business center.
City OKs steps toward proposed Capital Civic Center

Advocacy group to seek state and federal funds for the project.

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Juneau’s municipal and state legislative members, their staff, and city lobbyists gather in the Assembly chambers Thursday meeting for an overview of how the Alaska State Legislature and politicians in Washington, D.C., are affecting local issues.
Local leaders, lawmakers and lobbyists discuss political plans for coming year

Morning meeting looks at local impact of state, national political climates.

Captain Anne Wilcock recieves the Emery Valentine Leadership Award at the 2022 CCFR awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 14. (Courtesy Photo / CCFR)
CCFR honors responders during annual banquet

Capital City Fire/Rescue hosted its 2022 awards banquet earlier this month as… Continue reading

A resident and his dog walk past the taped off portion of the Basin Road Trestle after it suffered damaged from a rockslide earlier this week. The trestle is open to pedestrians, but will remain closed to vehicular traffic until structural repairs are made, according to city officials. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Rocky road: Basin Road Trestle open to pedestrians, remains closed to vehicles

City officials say repairs are currently being assessed after damaging rockfall

Gov. Mike Dunleavy talks about his second-term agenda with members of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, which is doing a two-day legislative fly-in this week, before his speech during the Juneau Chamber’s weekly luncheon Thursday. The speech and subsequent question period was at the Baranof Hotel to accommodate the extra out-of-town guests spending much of their time at the Alaska State Capitol, rather than the usual location at the Juneau Moose Lodge Family Center. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Big carbon and ‘small nukes’ are state’s future, governor says

Dunleavy sells business leaders on greenhouse gas cash, greenhouses with mini nuclear power plants

Most Read