Igor Pikayzen: Westport’s violinist virtuoso to play the WAC
Published 10:33 am, Thursday, November 2, 2017
WESTPORT — For the first year she lived here, Tatyana Pikayzen didn’t know there was a beach in Westport.
In fact, Pikayzen, an accomplished Muscovite concert pianist, came to the coastal Connecticut town almost totally by chance.
“It was 1998. I knew nothing about America. I moved a lot because I traveled for concerts, but I never had been to the states. I didn’t know what was good, what was bad. I asked around where schools were good and I was pointed to Darien, Weston, and then Westport,” Pikayzen said.
Ultimately, she decided Westport would be the best place to raise her 9-year-old son, Igor, who from an early age had shown a propensity for excellence on the violin that granted him acceptance to the preparatory division of the Manhattan School of Music.
The move came after a four-year sojourn in Ankara, Turkey, during which time Pikayzen taught university classes and Igor honed his budding skills.
“I started the violin when I was five,” remembered Igor, now 29, an award-winning violinist and graduate of Juilliard and the Yale School of Music. “I was never really given a choice, it was just kind of assumed. I would practice regularly with my grandfather and like any other kid, I’d be watching the clock, waiting until I could read or play ball.
Date: Nov. 03
Time: 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Description: Join the Westport Arts Center for a performance by Igor Pikayzen, a prize-winning young virtuoso violinist and a Westport resident, in an amazing program dedicated to the solo violin.
Pricing: WAC Member Purchased in Advance: $40; Non-Member Purchased in Advance: $50; Members & Non-Members at Door: $60; Senior Ticket: Each ticket purchase of $50 includes one complimentary tickets (Two-for-one), for ages 65+
Igor’s grandfather is the Russian violin virtuoso Viktor Pikayzen, a one-time member of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and a winner of musical competitions throughout Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.
The early exposure to music offered to Igor by his mother and grandfather would prove influential.
“I can’t remember a time I didn’t have music in the house,” Igor said. “I was always practicing or had an LP on since before I can remember. I couldn’t imagine it being any different.”
“Igor assumed music was everywhere, he didn’t realize that everyone’s house wasn’t the same,” said his mother.
Igor made his concerto debut at age 8 and has since appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America
Though Igor’s career has taken him around the world, Igor still spends a significant amount of time in Westport. When his schedule allows, he teaches Masters Classes for the Staples High School orchestra. He also began a four-concert Westport music festival, called Edelio, earlier in 2017, at which Igor played alongside a group of musicians that included his mother.
On Nov. 3, Igor will again perform for a hometown crowd, this time at the Westport Arts Center. His performance will include compositions by Bach, Bartok, Ysaye, Paganini and Corigliano.
“He’s put together an amazing program. I feel so grateful that he’s working with us,” said Alexander Platt, curator of music programs at the Westport Art Center, who through the art center learned recently of Igor’s abilities.
“I was just amazed by his playing and incredibly impressed,” Platt said.