Topchii and Dukić at Carnegie Hall

The final concert of this season’s D’Addario Performance Series featured the Carnegie Hall debuts of soloists Marko Topchii and Zoran Dukić.

Marko Topchii. Photo credit:  Sham Hinchey.
Marko Topchii. Photo credit: Sham Hinchey.

Marko Topchii, who is from Kiev, Ukraine, has won over 50 awards in international guitar competitions during the course of his career. After earning a Masters degree at the National University of Arts in Kharkov in 2011, he is currently pursuing his doctorate at the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in Kiev. Topchii performed his own transcription of Kazuhito Yamashita’s arrangement of Modest Musogorsky’s epic, ten-movement piece, Pictures at an Exhibition.

The music conveys the imagery of the composer strolling through an art gallery and viewing ten distinct works. The range of artwork encompasses a nutcracker, a singing troubadour, children playing and squabbling in a park, a heavy wooden ox-cart, hatching chicks, women haggling with vendors in a marketplace, and an argument between two Warsaw Jews of divergent economic class and temperament. Other images include the dank catacombs beneath Paris, a shack belonging to a fearsome witch of Russian folklore and, lastly, a design for the gate to the city of Kiev.

With each movement, Topchii transformed his guitar through an evolving palette of color, from a sweet-sounding harp to a playful skip of second notes and an echo of a choir followed by a rousing orchestra. Pictures at an Exhibition is a vigorous, demanding and elegiacal piece, which Topchii performed expressively with good modulation, dynamics and excellent technique, though a bit restrained compared to Yamashita’s version.

Zoran Dukić.  Photo credit:  Sham Hinchey.
Zoran Dukić. Photo credit: Sham Hinchey.

Croatian guitarist Zoran Dukić, a graduate of the Music Academy of Zagreb and the Hoschscule für Musik in Cologne, performed a program of mostly Serbian and South American music, which he conveyed with confidence, mastery and enormous projection. Dukić clearly enjoyed himself onstage as he performed Dušan Bogdanović’s Six Balkan Miniatures, Agustín Barrios’ Julia Florida, Atanas Ourkouzounov’s Sonata No. 1, Sergio Assad’s arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s Invierno Porteño and Miroslav Tadić’s Song and Dance. His Julia Florida was particularly haunting, delicate and impeccable and he gave each piece in his program beautiful texture, contrasting color and dramatic interpretation.

The 2015-16 D’Addario Performance Art Series will open November 6th with soloist Ekaichai Jearakul, winner of both the 2014 Guitar Foundation America International Competition and the 2015 Koblenz International Guitar Competition.

Sheet music for 24 Caprichos De Goya by Zoran Dukic…

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