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Vladimir Leyetchkiss, one of the last students of the great master Heinrich Gustavovich Neuhaus, was active as a teacher and performer mainly in the United States, but was also well known as an arranger. His solo piano version of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” (Schirmer) has been performed by many pianists.
Although Leyetchkiss’ arrangements are highly effective in performance, the scores of his arrangements other than “The Rite of Spring” are out of print or unpublished, and despite the hopes of many pianists, they have been extremely difficult to obtain. In addition, the death of Leyetchkiss in 2016 seemed to have made publication of his arrangements impossible.
However, with the help of pianist Sandro Russo, a project to publish his arrangements has been launched with the permission of Leyetchkiss’ family. As the first volume of this project, Muse Press will publish the score of “Bolero” composed by Ravel and arranged by Leyetchkiss. This arrangement was premiered in Japan on June 20, 2021 by pianist Takuya Otaki, raising many requests for its publication.
Born in Russia on 8th of August 1934. He studied piano with George Sharoyev, the grandson of Anton Rubinstein, and he later went on to study with Heinrich Neuhaus at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1974, he defected to the United States. He taught at DePaul University in Chicago. Leyetchkiss is also known as an arranger, having created solo piano arrangements of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”, Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Suite No. 2”, among others. As a pianist, he has recorded several albums: “Great Piano Transcriptions”, “My Favorite Tchaikovsky”, and “Russian Reveries” on Centaur Records. He passed away on 11th of October, 2016 in Evanston, Illinois.
Born in San Giovanni Gemini, Italy, Mr. Russo displayed exceptional musical talent from an early age. He later entered the V. Bellini Conservatory, from which institution he graduated summa cum laude. He also earned the Pianoforte Performing Diploma from the Royal College of Music in London with honors. Soon after Mr. Russo moved to the United States in 2000, he won the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition, and has ever since performed in such prestigious concert halls as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Weill and Zankel halls at Carnegie Hall, Kilbourn Hall (Eastman Theatre), Salle Cortot in Paris, Teatro Politeama in Palermo, the Konzerthaus Berlin, Stoller Hall in Manchester (UK) and Nagasaki Brick Hall in Japan. His recitals include performances for The Rachmaninoff Society, the Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago, the American Liszt Society, the Houston International Piano Festival, the Husum Festival of Piano Rarities in Germany, the Chetham’s International Piano Festival in Manchester (UK) and the Fernando Laires series at the Eastman Theatre. Mr. Russo has appeared as a soloist with the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava, the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida and the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, among others. His performances have aired on all the major radio stations in the US and abroad.