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Russian Pianists Perform at Harrison Library

Russian pianists Sergey Krivonos and Svitlana Syrtsova performed a duet concert of classical music Wednesday night at the Harrison Public Library.

“Music is a universal language that connects people soul to soul,” Krivonos said. “As people, we all have the same emotions and the same understanding when we hear music no matter where we come from or what language we speak.”

The duo performed songs from such classical composers as Frederic Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Camille Saint-Sanes. Having performed together as a duet for nearly a year, both Krivonos and Syrtsova said they prefer performing together in smaller rooms opposed to large concert halls. Krivonos even pointed out that there is a reason the style of music the duet performs is called “chamber music.”

“This is the perfect venue for our concert,” Syrtsova said about the library. “When we are in a concert hall, we perform on a big stage which is not so convenient for this kind of performance. This music was originally written to play for a small audience.”

The duet has performed in similar venues throughout the region, including a recent concert just over the Hudson River in Fort Lee, N.J. Syrtsova said she and her piano partner love playing small towns because they don’t feel that cultural events should be limited to big cities.

Former Harrison Mayor Ron Bianchi agrees. Bianchi said it is not about bringing just Russians to Harrison to perform but any people from any country (including the United States) that perform professionally.

“Some people will not listen to classical music because they say that it is boring, which is absolutely not the case,” Bianchi said. “You just have to pay attention and stick with it and can’t just listen to it once. It’s like seeing a painting or reading a great story.”

Krivonos echoed the former mayor’s sentiment.

“Instead of going to an office and speaking to a boss named Mr. Smith everyday, I’d prefer to speak to Mr. Chopin.”

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