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From Russia With Love, on Between the Keys October 5th and 6th

From Russia With Love. Isn’t that a James Bond movie?

Actually, it’s the title of this week’s episode of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, hosted by the Classical Network’s Artist-in-Reisdence Jed Distler.

“Most of the pianists I’m featuring this hour are generally unknown to American listeners,” Distler says. “The career of Edvard Syomin, for example, was blackballed by the KBG.  On the other hand Igor Zhukov’s numerous recordings filtered through the US market, yet somehow were always off the radar. Both Yakov Flier and Viktor Merzhanov were noted teachers.”

One pianist, Maria Grinberg, not only was the first Russian artist to record all 32 Beethoven Sonatas, but also the first woman to accomplish this feat on disc. Distler will feature Grinberg in works by Bizet and Mendelssohn. “When I edited this episode, I realized I had time to kill at the end, so I spontaneously tossed in Lazar Berman playing a Liszt Transcendental Etude. Berman made a huge splash in America when he came here for the first time in 1976. I heard him at the 92nd St. Y, and I remember his huge, piercing sonority kind of pinning me to the wall. Very impressive!”

Tune in to Between the Keys on Tuesday night October 5th at 10, with a rebroadcast Wednesday October 6th at noon, exclusively on The Classical Network and