A Rising Pianist is Making His Debut in Canada

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Photos courtesy of Music & Beyond

Concert pianist and composer from Russia, Arsentiy Kharitonov, will be making his debut in Canada on July 13th at 2:00 p.m. for Music & Beyond.

Kharitonov has performed solo and with orchestras in Russia, Asia, Europe, and the USA. He is a unique composer, who brings something new to his repertoire and his outstanding debut at Carnegie Hall, which has gained him recognition world-wide.

He didn’t have a typical start into his music career compared to other musicians. In fact, he hated the piano when he first played at five years-old, and didn’t reconnect with the piano until he was sixteen.

“As soon as I realized it required a lot of work I hated it tremendously. I hated everything except my bicycle and my free time. I resurrected my piano at age 15-16 and then I went to music college in St. Petersburg. That’s when my music career started, where I considered my beginnings.”

Since he had a late start, he had to work harder than most musicians at St. Petersburg.

“In music you have to start early to learn something, and that is a common strategy. I was definitely, not developed at my age, but I suffered throughout because I felt like I was in the last tail of all the students. Everyone would start at five, like me but keep going. I had to catch those years and the first years when the student is getting to know the instrument, those are the most important. I guess I was fortunate enough, because I was probably very delirious and thought I could catch up quite quick.”

Kharitonov practiced for eight to nine hours a day, but he said he practiced the wrong way.

“When you are practicing for eight hours a day, you are getting a habit. Imagine if you’re practicing the wrong way, then you are getting the wrong habit. What I’m saying by wrong practicing, is that many people think practicing the piano or any other instrument means you just practice over and over, this is the wrong practicing. If you’re practicing right you will ask yourself the right questions; what is the problem? What am I fixing? and how do I make it better, in the shortest amount of time? That’s the correct practicing, I call it smart practicing.”

He says he had to work twice as hard to fix his bad habits, which he is still recovering from. However, it does not take away from his performance. Kharitonov has been described as a maverick pianist and his music has been compared to magic.

“When I’m performing other composer’s music I’m striving for the truth, the essence, or the most important content they implied. When I play my own music, I’m more free about it, because I’m not going to be offended of my own self.  I have more possibilities for free style, inquisition, and spontaneity.”

His mother recently found his journal from when he could only play a few bars. In his journal, he wrote a repertoire list of the concerts he wished to perform. Kharitonov crossed off some of those dreams he made when he was young, like playing at Carnegie Hall, performing his own works, and playing music by other composers. Now, Kharitonov has decided to not dwell on his dreams. 

“Some of those dreams happened, but recently I decided I shouldn’t make big plans because we get upset when these dreams don’t become true.  We get upset, and we’re tempted to drop the whole thing. I try to not make dreams but make little plans.”

None the less, Kharitonov let Ottawa Life in on his little plans. “My plans are I need to complete my piano piece I’m writing, my violin piece I’m writing, I need to write my orchestra music. My plan in term of performing music, I plan to reach at least every continent to perform and to have an audience and share my views on music.”

Arsentiy Kharitonov will be performing July 13th at 2 p.m. at the Horticulture Building at Landsdowne and July 14th for a pizza concert at 11:30 a.m.  at the Pavilion Cabaret Hall. You can expect him to perform works by German, and Russian composers, and even his own works.

Don’t miss this maverick pianist and his piano magic when he makes his debut in Canada!