Xavier Music Series: Michael Chertock

By: Patrick E. Phillips

Professor Polina Bespalko is kicking off Xavier University’s 2013-14 Music Series by featuring well-renowned, classical pianist Michael Chertock.

The Xavier Newswire had a chance to talk with Chertock about his upcoming performance and colorful career.

Xavier Newswire (XN): What exactly is an orchestral soloist and how did you get your start in this field?

Michael Chertock (MC):An instrumentalist who performs concerti with and orchestra is often referred to as an orchestral soloist.

My first significant performance with orchestra was as soloist in the Rachmaninov third Piano Concerto with the Arlington, Virginia Symphony when I was 17 years old.

After studying at the College- Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati with Professor Frank Weinstock, I became the keyboardist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

XN: Could you share your experiences as a youth music program director and a piano professor at the University of Cincinnati?

MC: I assist the artistic directors of the Linton Chamber music series by organizing concerts of chamber music for very young children during the school year. The programs are called Peanut Butter and Jam.

XN: Having performed internationally, could you share what it’s like sharing your music to such a broad span of people?

MC: I still enjoy traveling to perform. This year I will perform with the Cologne Radio Symphony in Germany on a tour of the southwestern United States with the Boston Pops and with the Grand Rapids Symphony Michigan.

XN: What is the most fulfilling aspect of your profession?

MC: The most fulfilling aspect of being a musician is witnessing the power of music mesmerize a room or auditorium full of people.

It is definitely an honor to perform on the Xavier Series, which has done so much to bring the art of the piano to the people of Cincinnati over the years.

Michael Chertock will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1 in the Gallagher Student Center Theater.

You can order tickets by calling 513-745-3161 or by filling out a ticket order form at http://www.xavier. edu/musicseries.