Mercer Island Presbyterian Church

September 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM

RCMFS presents the Seattle Violin Virtuosi, directed by Michael Miropolsky,
Joined by Pianists Deborah Dewey and Artistic Director Natalya Ageyeva



Under the Direction of Michael Miropolsky
S. Prokofiev (1891-1953) – March (from opera “Love for Three Oranges”)
M. Mussorgsky (1839-1881) – Hopak (from opera “Sorochintsy Fair”)
Eugene Bazhanov, Natasha Bazhanov, Brittany Boulding, Artur Girsky,
Michael Miropolsky – violins
Deborah Dewey – piano

D. Shostakovich (1906-1975) – 5 Pieces for two violins and piano
Artur Girsky, Michael Miropolsky – violins
Deborah Dewey – piano

A. Borodin (1833-1887) – “Scherzo”
N. Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) -“Flight of the BumbleBee”
S. Rachmaninov (1873-1943) – “Vocalise,” “Polka”
Natalya Ageyeva and Deborah Dewey – pianists

S. Rachmaninov (1873-1943) – Prelude (from Prelude for Piano, op.23 No.4)
D. Shostakovich (1906-1975) – Spanish Dance
A. Khatchaturian (1903-1978) – Sabre Dance (from ballet “Gayanech”)
Eugene Bazhanov, Natasha Bazhanov, Brittany Boulding, Artur Girsky,
Michael Miropolsky – violins
Deborah Dewey – piano

Natalya Ageyeva

Natalya Ageyeva has dazzled audiences throughout the United States and internationally, including Italy, Austria, and Israel, as well as on tour in her native Russia. Her performances have also been broadcast several times locally on KING-FM in Seattle and televised in Moscow and Chicago. She has appeared at a broad range of venues, including the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia, Carnegie Hall in New York, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow. Her pianism prompted one reviewer to write “Immediately apparent was a tremendous technique at the command of a sharp musical intelligence and fingers of steel.”

Her artistry has earned her awards and recognition around the world, including the Young Artist Competition in Moscow, Rotary Club Scholarship in Chicago, Brechemin Scholarship at the University of Washington, Solo Competition Award from the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, the Green Lake Music Festival Competition in Wisconsin, Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in New-York, and the Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. An artist of great versatility, Ageyeva has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestras internationally. She has also been an active participant in many music festivals, including the Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Summer Festival, Methow Valley Music Festival in Winthrop (WA), Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series in Seattle, Second City Chamber Series in Tacoma (WA), First Sunday at the Commons Series in Bainbridge Island (WA), Seattle Symphony Chamber Music Series in Seattle (WA), Olympic Music Festival (WA), and Green Lake Music Festival (WI).

Ageyeva began formal piano lessons at the age of thirteen when she was accepted by the prestigious Special Music School for Talented Children in Moscow, and graduated with honors in the Masters Program from the world-renowned Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where she studied with Valeriy Kastelsky. While at the Moscow Conservatory, Ageyeva was offered extensive solo and orchestra appearances throughout the former Soviet Union. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Washington with distinguished pianists Bela Siki and Robin McCabe. She has also worked with well-known pianists John O’Conner, Victor Merjanov, and Helene Grimaud, and collaborated with conductors Vladimir Vais, Alexander Rudin, and Peter Erös. Ageyeva previously taught at Moscow Conservatory and University of Washington, and has adjudicated piano competitions in Chicago, Seattle, and Vancouver BC. Ageyeva is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle. It is starting its fifth successful year of bringing high-level chamber music to the Seattle area. More information can be found at
In addition to growing the Foundation, she is currently focusing on her solo career and chamber music performances. Ageyeva is a member of recently formed Trenta Dita (one piano and six hands) group with pianists Deborah Dewey and Lisa Bergman. For more information, please visit


Artur Girsky

ARTUR GIRSKY, violinist, was born in Riga, Latvia into a family of violinists. He began playing violin at the age of five. He later entered the Special Music School in Riga studying for seven years, and moved to Moscow 1989 where he was accepted in the class of Prof. Maya Glezarova at the Moscow Central Music School. A year later Girsky won the third prize in International Violin Competition of Naples in Italy (Alberto Curci). From 1991 to 1993 he took part in a postgraduate program in Royal College of Music in London, working with Prof. Felix Andrievsky. After returning to Moscow, Girsky became the Concertmaster of the well known Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra under the baton of the world renowned violist Yury Bashmet. In 1997 Girsky moved to the US where he joined Florida Orchestra in Tampa as Principal Second Violin. He has been a member of Seattle Symphony Orchestra since 2006.

Recent tours with the ODEONQUARTET include a trip to Odessa, Ukraine, and appearance with Gennady Filimonov as soloists with the Odessa Philharmonic at the Philharmonic Hall in Odessa, Ukraine.


Deborah Dewey

Deborah Dewey has earned a reputation throughout the United States for her pianistic talent. Critics have praised the “sparkling passage work,” “warm operatic lyricism,” “thoughtful interpretation,” and “sense of dramatic urgency” in her playing. Dewey has performed extensively as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and chamber musician. She was guest soloist with the Oakland Symphony, Flint Symphony, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia and Peter Britt Festival Orchestra, among others. She has performed at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Methow Chamber Music Festival and with the Soni Ventorum Wind Quintet in addition to participating in duo-recital tours. National Public Radio stations in Connecticut, Michigan and throughout the West have broadcast many of her performances. Together with pianist Lisa Bergman, she formed VENTIDITA (twentyfingers), the celebrated four-hand duo that has performed throughout the state of Washington.
Acclaimed for her sensitive musicianship and technical mastery, Ms. Dewey won numerous national and regional piano competitions throughout her years of study with Margaret Ott, Theodore Lettvin, Donald Currier and John Perry. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Wellesley College and a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the Yale School of Music. Devoted to the development of young musicians, she has been a member of the piano faculties at the University of Washington, Whitworth College, The Cornish Institute and Yale University. She is currently in great demand as a competition judge, lecturer, piano instructor and performer and resides in Seattle, Washington with her two children.


Natasha Bazhanov

Born in Ekaterinburg, Russia, Natasha Bazhanovbegan playing solo violin at age 5. She made her solo debut with Ural State Philharmonic Orchestra at age 9, was later invited to study under professor Belenky at Moscow Central Music School, and was one of five people chosen to participate in Yehudi Menuin’s masterclass during his historic visit to Moscow. After graduating with honors, Bazhanov was accepted to Moscow Conservatory and toured extensively throughout Europe, festival appearances including Schleswig-Holstein, Evian, Bonn and Schloss Ort. Upon moving to the U.S., Bazhanov became a member of The Florida Orchestra’s violin section and later Principal Second Violin. She relocated to Seattle in 2006 to join the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, and plays regularly with the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera.


Eugene Bazhanov

EUGENE BAZHANOV, violinist, was born in Ekaterinburg, Russia. He began to play violin at the age of five at the children’s music school, and later graduated from Ekaterinburg’s State Music School and Conservatory. After relocating to the United States, he played with The Florida Orchestra in Tampa. Now a resident of Seattle, Eugene performs regularly with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet orchestra, Teatro ZinZanni, as well as with various classical, jazz, and world music ensembles.


Michael Miropolsky

The timeline of Michael Miropolsky’s life is marked with major changes, from personal to political to geographical. At age 7, he knew he wanted to be a professional violinist. At age 13, he took a huge step toward this goal: he left his childhood home in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (then part of the Soviet Union) for Moscow, Russia, to continue his studies. He struggles to explain the transition. Moscow is to New York City as Bishkek is to… Yakima? Bellingham? Spokane? The point is, it was a big change for Miropolsky, but it wouldn’t be the last.

“Since 13 I was living alone,” says Miropolsky. It was difficult – his mother, he recalls, was quite sad – but his decision was fruitful for his career. In addition to his passion for violin, Miropolsky had a growing interest in conducting, but his state-sponsored university education only allowed him to have one focus. Two majors? Nope. “You couldn’t even have a major and a minor,” he says. So he stuck with violin, graduated, and later sat in on conducting classes when he could, learning as much as possible about life on the other side of the baton. His postgraduate endeavors in Moscow laid the foundation for his current balancing act as a professional conductor and violinist.

For ten years, Miropolsky made a living as the Assistant Principal Second Violin of Moscow State Symphony, with which he performed in over 25 countries. He even found time to serve 20 months in the Russian army in a military music ensemble. “I was fortunate not to hold a weapon in my hand,” he says. “The violin was my weapon.” In 1990 came another big move, much bigger than that from Bishkek to Moscow. This time, the relocation had less to do with professional ambitions and much to do with personal safety.

“I am a Russian Jew,” clarifies Miropolsky. He recalls how after the fall of the Soviet Union, anti-Semitic sentiment and actions became more noticeable and often violent. Miropolsky�s wife  had her own struggles. She and her parents had been denied the right to emigrate from Soviet Russia in the late ’70s, thereby becoming refuse-niks to the KGB.Because of this stamp in their dossier, her parents lost her jobs, and she, a violinist who had earned the highest degree in her field, was “lucky to find work teaching at an elementary school.” In 1990, with the Russian economy in ruin, anti-Semitic violence on the rise, and the lack of quality medical care, Miropolsky and his wife finally immigrated to the U.S.

After an 18-month stay in San Fransisco with a sponsor family, Miropolsky got his job with Seattle Symphony, and he, his wife, and newborn daughter moved a final time. Miropolsky is quite happy with his home.“Seattle is known for its standard of living, for nature,” he says. “It’s a great place to raise kids. People here are so nice!”

Obviously, he’s done well at Seattle Symhpony, having held his post for 20 years. He’s also been able to follow his passion for conducting and is Music Director and Conductor of Seattle Violin Virtuosi, Seattle Chamber Orchestra, Cascade Symphony Orchestra and Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra. All told, Miropolsky has recorded ten CDs with his American groups. He’s so busy that he’s had to start turning down opportunities to conduct. He’s humbly thankful for these opportunities, though: “It’s very exciting to feel needed, to know that people want you to lead them.”


Brittany Boulding

Violinist Brittany Boulding performs as soloist and Concertmaster all over the country. Her most recent positions include Concertmaster of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta and Associate Concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She has also appeared as guest Concertmaster with the Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Bellevue Philharmonic. As an active soloist, Ms. Boulding can been seen performing in front of orchestras from New Haven down to South Carolina, across the Midwest and throughout the Pacific Northwest. In the upcoming season, solo appearances will include Carmen Fantasy with Auburn Symphony and Cascade Symphony as well as Ravel’s Tzigane, among many others.

An avid chamber musician, Mrs. Boulding is a member of the Finisterra Trio and has been featured in the Simple Measures, Second City, Methow Valley, Auburn and Guemes Island Chamber Music series. During the summer season Brittany performs with the Bellingham Festival of Music and in the past has appeared as Concertmaster and Soloist with the Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Center and Spoleto USA orchestras.

Ms. Boulding received her BM from Rice University as a student of Kenneth Goldsmith and her Professional Studies Certificate from the Colburn Conservatory under the tutelage of Robert Lipsett. Brittany’s violin career also extends past her experience as a classical musician. Since the age of 6 she has been performing with her family the internationally acclaimed MAGICAL STRINGS touring throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and Ireland. She has recorded on five of their sixteen albums and been a featured soloist at their annual Celtic Yuletide Concerts, a celebrated Northwest tradition.


For more information on events organized by RCMFS please see the Events page.

2 Thoughts to “Mercer Island Presbyterian Church”

  1. AJ Bredberg

    The last concert was brilliant, do not miss this one.

  2. Russian Chamber Music in a Light Hearted Vein, With More to Come | The SunBreak

    […] such performance took place Friday night at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, the first in its own concert season of eight concerts, the first of the season for Seattle Violin […]

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