When listing romantic composers, one would be hard-pressed not to include the Russians - Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, to name a few.
It's undeniable these revered composers have made major contributions to classical music, but few western audiences have the opportunity to hear the lesser known works by some of these great musicians.
So when Richmond music instructor Denis Khvatov had the chance to expose Richmondites to unpublished works of 20th century composer Dmitry Kabalevsky, he knew it was too important to pass up.
"The Russian piano school has always been something special," said Khvatov, who recently wrote a new method for students learning the piano. "We wanted to bring the traditions of the Russian piano school to Richmond, to expose audiences to it."
Khvatov, who moved to Richmond from Russia about five years ago, has invited an old music school colleague Vasily Scherbakov to play a concert in Richmond this Friday, Feb. 1 at the Richmond Music School.
Russian composer and pianist Scherbakov comes from a family of Russian musicians, including Kabalevsky, known for his consistent efforts to connect children to music through his teachings and compositions.
It will be Scherbakov's first performance in Canada and he will perform a Sonata for Violin and Piano by Kabalevsky, which has never been heard by Canadian audiences.
"He'll bring us pieces written by Kabalevsky that are in a different style than his published works," said Khvatov, a former Richmond Music School teacher who works for Victor Shevtsov, president of Richmond Music Festival Society.
"It's a chance for audiences to discover another side of the music by Kabalevsky."
Friday's repertoire will also dazzle the audience with works by Mozart and Rachmaninov. Scherbakov attempts to blend the emotional with the technical in his piano playing, with "his fingers of steel and heart of gold," said Khvatov.
"My motto is to have a hot heart, but a cold mind," said Scherbakov, who has been playing the piano for 37 years, since the age of six.
The concert takes place at the Richmond Music School, 11371 No. 3 Rd. at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door only, and are $20 for adults and $10 for children.