The Downman / Eminent Scholars Trust Fund Chair in the Performing Arts
" . . . The qualities she prizes most are clarity of line and transparency of texture . . . Powerful, direct performances . . . an incisive clarity remained her hallmark."
--New York Times
" . . . Elasting phrasing and hallucinatory poetry."
"Vibrant, dynamic readings, delicate expressiveness and a dazzling virtuosity"
"Her technique is sure and ample . . . her tone varies from a beautiful, singing lyricism to a more matter-of-fact solidity"
"The piano seemingly changed into a magical spinning wheel on which she wove the most imaginative musical ideas. Two hours spent basking in her glorious music making was not enough"
--The Salt Lake Tribune
Born in the Soviet Union, Faina Lushtak began studying piano and composition at the age of six. She graduated from the Stoliarsky School for Musically Gifted Children in Odessa, Ukraine under the instruction of her mother and later earned degrees in piano performance and composition from the Moscow Tchaikowsky Conservatory. Her teachers were the distinguished Eleonora Levinson, Genrietta Mirvis and Yakov Zak in piano, and Tikhon Khrennikov in composition. She later became a faculty member of the Moscow Conservatory until emigrating to the United Stales. She is currently Professor of Music at the Newcomb Music Department of Tulane University, where she heads the piano division, holds the Downman Chair, and is the music director of Tulane's Concert Piano Series and Tulane Piano Trio. Professor Lushtak is on the faculty of the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy.
The lyricism and romanticism of Ms. Lushtak's performances have brought her love and affection of audience and critical acclaim. Since her debut at the age of ten, Ms. Lushtak's performances have inspired audiences throughout her native Russia as well as those in Western Europe, Canada and the United States. She has performed under the batons of Klauspeter Seibel, William Henry Curry, Maxim Shostakovich, Alfred Savia, John Paul, and Larry Cullison. She has also been featured in numerous solo recitals, including Lincoln Center and in major cities throughout this country. Ms. Lushtak can be heard on the Centaur label performing the works of Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. In October, 2004, Centaur Records will release her new CD featuring Fryderyk Chopin's Mazurkas.
Prof. Lushtak makes frequent guest artist appearances and conducts master classes on university campuses such as Emory University, San Francisco Conservatory, Oberlin College, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, University of North Texas. Ms. Lushtak performs as a guest artist for state conventions and festivals including Pro Mozart Society in Atlanta, The Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition Festival and Piano Month in Utah. She participated as a judge in the New Orleans International Piano Competition, Shreveport Symphony Nena Wideman Piano Competition, The Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition, The Canadian National Music Competition and Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition and Festival.
As a composer, Faina Lushtak has written works for chamber groups, voice, and violin, but her main focus has been on music for her first love, the piano. Her music has been performed in the USSR, United States and Western Europe. Ms. Lushtak's compositions were chosen for the LMTA piano tournaments and the New Orleans International Piano Competition. Her music has been published by Boosey & Hawkes Publishers LTD. (London), The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (London), Willis Publishing Co.(USA) and by Marsile Music Co. (New Orleans). Commenting on Ms. Lushtak's own Sonata in C, the New York Times described it as "a striking, eclectic essay... that embodied hints of jazz and a touch of bittersweet Russian humor."
A dedicated teacher, who is highly regarded for her master classes, she has presented master classes throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Ms. Lushtak's students have participated successfully at local, state, regional, national and international competitions and festivals. In 1989 one of her students became the youngest ever to participate in the Van Cliburn Festival in Fort Worth, Texas.
Prof. Lushtak is Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and active participant in the following professional associations: Music Teachers National Association; National Guild of Piano Teachers and New Orleans Music Teachers Association. Ms. Lushtak is currently under the Albert Kay Concert Artist Management. Albert Kay Associates, Inc.