Kostantin Vilensky – composer, piano (Poland)

General information

KONSTANTIN VILENSKY is a composer, classic and jazz-pianist, professor of piano, harmony and orchestration.

He was acknowledged in the USSR before 1991, and is still well known and is a member of professional Unions in Ukraine and Russia now, after the Soviet Union broke.

Konstantin was born in a family with great music traditions. His grandfather, composer Ilya Vilensky was the first director of Philharmonic Society and the founder of 3 dramatics theatres in Kiev. K.Vilensky graduated from Kiev State Conservatoire and completed the post-graduate course, working with prominent professors like A.Shtogarenko (composition) and R.Lysenko (piano) and being able to consult with well-known composers such as Rodion Shtchedrin, Aram Hatchaturian. From 1983 to 1995 Konstantin taught harmony, orchestration and improvisation at the Kiev State Conservatoire.

Vilensky is a composer and virtuoso concert pianist with a talent for combining classical and jazz performing practice. He plays and writes various kinds of music, from vocal-symphonic and symphonic to theatre, chamber and jazz music. He has given concerts with outstanding orchestras like the Royal Orchestra in Brussels, Jerusalem Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic. He has won numerous prizes at international music festivals such as: “Polish Classic 98” (Opole), Jewish Music Festival (London, July, 92, Jerusalem, August, 96) – the kind of composer, Holosiyevo 88(Kiev), XI International Moscow Festival, Solo-duo-trio (Krakow,1989), “Falsterbo International Music Festival”. Konstantin has made many radio and television appearances and recorded ten personal albums.

Since 1996-2001 K.Vilensky was the music director of dramatic theatre by Stefan Zeromski (Kielce, Poland). He is the author of the “Kopciuszek” musical (“Cinderella”), chosen by the public as the best performance in 1997 (and so was his “King Lear” in 2001).

Being the kind of piano composer he is, he has received great acknowledgement over the last couple of years by many famous pianists all over the world. Many pianists in various countries have played piano compositions by K.Vilensky. Some of his popular compositions include “Variations on the Paganini theme”, “The Devil’s Dance” for two pianos, “Concert-Fantasy on the themes by Gershwin” for piano, jazz-trio and symphony orchestra, the treatment of “The flight of the Bumble-Bee” by Rimsky-Korsakov for piano. In a short time, this work became very popular in many countries.

The attractiveness of Konstantin Vilensky’s musical oeuvre lies in the symbiosis that he achieves between classical and jazz music. Today, this musician’s ambition is to build bridges between jazz and classical music. This is what distinguishes him from among the majority of ”very serious” composers and what makes for his originality … (Ruch Muzyczny, Poland, 19th March 2000).