Alexander Tutunov & Patti McCoy

Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 3:00PM

tutunov-mccoyJC Concerts 4th concert of the season presents a rare opportunity to hear two famed pianists paired together in concert on the same stage: classical virtuoso Alexander Tutunov and legendary jazz pianist Pat Moran (now known as Patti McCoy).

tutunov2Click image for sample recording

Alexander Tutunov is widely recognized as one of the most outstanding virtuosos of the former Soviet Union. First Prize winner of the Belarusian National Piano Competition and winner of the Russian National Piano Competition, Tutunov’s playing was described by Soviet Culture, Moscow, as “exhilarating and inspired, and which demonstrated a unique talent”.

Dr. Tutunov maintains a busy performing schedule in Europe, China, Mexico, and the United States as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and on radio and television. Dr. Tutunov is also in demand as an adjudicator for piano competitions.

tutnovTutunov’s recording of the Abeliovich Piano Concerto was featured as part of the Emmy award winning soundtrack for the History Channel documentary, Russia: Land of Tsars, and his CD of the Tchaikovsky Concert Fantasy with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra was produced in January 2008. Other recordings include: Concerto for Piano & Orchestra by Peter Sacco with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (Albany Records) and the solo piano works of Lev Abeliovich Sonatas & Frescoes, Trio, Songs (Altarus Records).

Tutunov graduated magna cum laude from the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory (studies with Anna Artobolevskaya and Lev Naumov) and University of North Texas (piano studies with Joseph Banowetz).

tutunov3Awarded his doctoral diploma with honors in concert performance from the Belarusian State Conservatory, Dr. Tutunov has taught at the Minsk College of Music, the University of North Texas, and Illinois Wesleyan University.

Alexander Tutunov now lives in Ashland, where he is Professor of Piano and Artist in Residence at Southern Oregon University. A successful piano pedagogue, he continues to prepare award-winning students. Dr. Tutunov is Artist in Residence at the University of Alaska Southeast, Artistic director of the SOU International Piano Institute, and was recently named the Director of the Chinese-American International Piano Institute in Chengdu, China.

This is Pat MoranClick image for sample recording

Pat Moran is one of the great jazz pianists of the late 20th Century. In her own words:

“My career started when I was studying piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory. I used to go downstairs and play the piano in the parlor in the evenings. Some of the students suggested I get a manager and play professionally.

“One evening a man who was the booking agent for Doris Day said he could book me in a piano bar in downtown Cincinnati. I would have to change my name from Helen Mudgett to a more ‘show business’ type name. So I became Pat Moran—the name of a cellist at the school I admired.

“One thing led to another and I quit school. I started playing small bars, but I wasn’t very good at it. The owners mostly wanted me there to attract men, I suppose. I had been listening to bebop, and I spent most of my time teaching myself to play it. Therefore, I got fired quite frequently!

“Finally I hooked up with a girl singer from the Conservatory, Bev Kelly. We headed for Chicago, signed with a big booking agency, added a bass player and drummer and started singing four-way vocals. We started working at a black club on the street level of a hotel on the South Side.

thepatmoranquarteti“We lived in the hotel and played the club for six months. During that time we recorded several albums. We sang with Mel Torme and Duke Ellington’s band on Porgy and Bess (along with a cast of other great singers and musicians). My quartet played all the hottest jazz spots in America, including Birdland in New York and the Blue Note in Chicago—before the agency decided I should just have a trio.

“I met bassist Scotty LaFaro at a jazz club in St. Louis. LaFaro was playing with Chet Baker at the time. It was their last night there, and we were opening the next night. I remember that the night after closing, we were all standing around talking, and some girl asked Chet to sing for her.

“Chet started singing Look for the Silver Lining. It was pretty funny. Chet was missing a front tooth, but he was still a good-looking guy! Scotty and I became great friends.

thegospeltruth“I’ve been thinking about my life as a young jazz musician. I guess the highlight of my career was when I played at the Hickory House in New York City. We were taped live from the club twice a week. It was pretty amazing to be playing to an audience consisting of many jazz greats like Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Erroll Garner, Cannonball Adderley (he always called me ‘Miss Moran’}—and anyone who was anybody was playing in the city at that time.

“After retiring from the road back in the early ’60s, I and recorded a children’s album, Shakin’ Loose with Mother Goose, with Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows (it won the National Book Award), I recorded several CDs, and I have been on National Public Radio with Marian McPartland.”*

(*Patti McCoy quote taken from the liner notes on her 2000 recording, The Gospel Truth.)

Each of these famed artists has a large, devoted fan base, and this concert will sell out, so get your tickets early.