Our Founding Musician, Lukas Geniušas, Receives Glowing Review in Quebec

We’re delighted to share this exceptional review by one of the most challenging Quebec critics about Lukas’s performance there last week.

https://www.ledevoir.com/culture/musique/560466/lukas-geniusas-pianiste-d-exception

English translation below:


The amazing recital of Lukas Geniušas at Pro Musica in December 2016 did not hold momentary grace. The 29-year-old Russian-Lithuanian pianist confirmed on Saturday in Orford that he is one of the few great keyboard lords. Geniušas is not an “excellent young pianist anymore”. He is a very talented artist, walking in the footsteps of keyboard alchemists named Arcadi Volodos or Sergei Babayan. We must bless what our era offers us. If we look back four decades, we certainly had huge pianists, like Arrau, Serkin, Guilels at the end of their career or Brendel and Moravec at the top of their art, but in the category of the magicians of sound, whose art and palette defied the understanding, alone, or almost, a young Romanian, Radu Lupu, appeared really singular. Perahia too maybe, but not at this level …

Today, the “unusual” side of Lukas Geniušas, particularly in relation to his age, is not a unique case. In the younger generation, Benjamin Grosvenor, Pavel Kolesnikov, Lucas Debargue and even Charles Richard-Hamelin, with whom Geniušas shares the destiny of having finished 2nd at a Chopin Competition (in 2010), is a much more interesting artist. as the laureate (Avdeeva in the case of Lithuanian).

An incredible sound palette

A recital by Lukas Geniušas is sound in the service of musical expression. It is, from this point of view, the antithesis of Olga Kern, who appeared in this room a few weeks ago, since the touch palette of Geniušas is infinite. While often very detailed pianists compensate for a lack of sound weight, Geniušas has an amazing density in the forte and the left hand. Note that the sound emission never gives the impression of verticality or “typing.”

In this game, everything is organically linked because nourished by a supreme art of phrasing and transitions. The miracle of Chopin’s 3rd Sonata, touched by a breath, is there. Who heard this sonata by Geniušas (in particular a 2nd fluid movement where the pianist seems to float on the keyboard), Richard-Hamelin and on the CD of Alexeï Volodin has probably made the tour of what was made more thought , more concentrated and more poetic in the last 20 or 30 years.

Everyone understood from Scarlatti Sonatas K. 544 and 450 that this artist was unconventional, in his manner of touching the piano and hemming phrases. In the second part, Geniušas explored Tchaikovsky’s folklorism and the “human-faced minimalism” of Leonid Desyatnikov (born in 1955), a Ukrainian composer of his friends. Desyatnikov’s music explores atmospheres (No. 1), Ukrainian rhythms (No. 4 and No. 12), memories of French music (No. 15 and left-hand ones in No. 17) through sometimes simplistic cells (Prelude No. 11). ‘to the trepidation of Prelude No. 23 placed at the end of the selection.

Orford Music Festival, Saturday, August 10, 2019
Recital by Lukas Geniušas
Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas K. 544 and 450
Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 3
Tchaikovsky: Dumka
Desyatnikov: 12 Preludes, excerpts from 24 Preludes “Songs of Bukovina”

New Brochure

As part of upgrading the Foundation’s branding, we’ve been working with our very creative friends at Barrett and Welsh to create a new brochure that tells our story in a fresh and engaging way. We’re delighted with their work and look forward to more great creative projects with them in the near future. Thank you for your support!


 

[UPDATE] 2019 Event Schedule – Fall Series

We’ve begun to receive confirmations from our proposed Fall Series venues. Follow us on Facebook for more updates as they become available.


September 18 Fall Fundraiser
Toronto  (details TBD)

October 10
Grand Valley Institution for Women, Kitchener
(Lukas Geniusas, piano)

October 11
Millhaven Maximum Security Institution, Bath
(Jonathan Crow, violin; Lukas Geniusas, piano; Joseph Johnson, cello)

October 11
Bath Medium Security Institution, Bath
(Jonathan Crow, violin; Lukas Geniusas, piano; Joseph Johnson, cello)

October 15
Archambault Medium Security Institution, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines
(Lukas Geniusas, piano)

A Special Gift to a Very Special Supporter

Photos from our 30-minute visit to Baycrest Centre in Toronto with a musical gift for Mr. Roberto Martella, a most enthusiastic supporter of Looking at the Stars for a very long time.

The string trio (Katrina Chitty, Bryan Holt and Jeremy Pitts) included among their classical repertoire a soulful rendition of Roberto’s favourite composition, O Sole Mio.

[REPORT] April 2019

NEW LOGO

Today we are more conscious about who we are and what we do – our purpose and our impact. Our new logo was designed to reflect just that – bringing Classical Music to the Hearts of the Neglected People in the Darkest corners, inspiring them to Look at the Stars again. I would like to thank my dear friend and extraordinary painter Mr. Mark Kanovich for producing the unique graphics and our marketing mentors and helpers from Barrett and Welsh for integrating the text. The previous transitional logo, created by our technical director Mr. Mychol Scully has served us well and we appreciate Mychol’s ongoing support.

We’re going to British Columbia!

[UPDATE] 2019 Event Schedule

We’re pleased to present these confirmed musical gifts for 2019. We will continue to add more dates and venues as we are able to arrange them.

(Editor’s note:  Millhaven Maximum Institution has confirmed our attendance on April 25.)

April 9
Bath Medium Institution (Bath, ON)
String Trio (Katrina Chitty, viola; Bryan Holt, cello; Jeremy Potts, violin)
Program
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto
Beethoven – String Trio No. 5, Op. 9 No. 3
Handel – Largo from ‘Xerxes’
Haydn – String Trio
What a Wonderful World
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 6
Handel – Selections from ‘Water Music’
Piazolla – Libertango
West Side Story – “There’s a Place For
Us” and “One Hand, One Heart”
Dohnanyi – Serenade, Op. 10d

April 11
Collins Bay Medium Security Institution (Kingston, ON)
String Trio (Igor Gefter, cello; Mark Skazinetsky, violin; Katrina Chitty, viola)
Program
Mozart – Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Bach – Brandenburg No. 3
Haydn – Emperor Variations
Rachmaninov – Vocalise
Beethoven – Serenade Op. 8 (1st mvmt)
Mozart – Rondo – String Quartet No. 6
Bruch – Kol Nidrei
Gershwin – I Got Rhythm
Shostakovich – Romance
Bartok – Romanian Folk Dances
Piazzolla – Libertango
Charlie Chaplin – Smile
Jay Unger – Ashokan Farewell

April 11
Collins Bay Minimum Institution (Kingston, ON)
String Trio (Igor Gefter, cello; Mark Skazinetsky, violin; Katrina Chitty, viola)
Program
Mozart – Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Bach – Brandenburg No. 3
Haydn – Emperor Variations
Rachmaninov – Vocalise
Beethoven – Serenade Op. 8 (1st mvmt)
Mozart – Rondo – String Quartet No. 6
Bruch – Kol Nidrei
Gershwin – I Got Rhythm
Shostakovich – Romance
Bartok – Romanian Folk Dances
Piazzolla – Libertango
Charlie Chaplin – Smile
Jay Unger – Ashokan Farewell

April 12
Grand Valley (Medium) Institution for Women (Kitchener, ON)
String Trio (Katrina Chitty, viola; Bryan Holt, cello; Jeremy Potts, violin)
Program
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto
Beethoven – String Trio No. 5, Op. 9 No. 3
Handel – Largo from ‘Xerxes’
Haydn – String Trio
What a Wonderful World
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 6
Handel – Selections from ‘Water Music’
Piazolla – Libertango
West Side Story – “There’s a Place For
Us” and “One Hand, One Heart”
Dohnanyi – Serenade, Op. 10

April 16
Warkworth Medium Security Institution (Warkworth, ON)
String Trio (Katrina Chitty, viola; Bryan Holt, cello; Jeremy Potts, violin)
Program
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto
Beethoven – String Trio No. 5, Op. 9 No. 3
Handel – Largo from ‘Xerxes’
Haydn – String Trio
What a Wonderful World
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 6
Handel – Selections from ‘Water Music’
Piazolla – Libertango
West Side Story – “There’s a Place For
Us” and “One Hand, One Heart”
Dohnanyi – Serenade, Op. 10

April 25
Millhaven Maximum Security Institution (Bath, ON)
String Trio (Katrina Chitty, viola; Bryan Holt, cello; Jeremy Potts, violin)
Program
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto
Beethoven – String Trio No. 5, Op. 9 No. 3
Handel – Largo from ‘Xerxes’
Haydn – String Trio
What a Wonderful World
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 6
Handel – Selections from ‘Water Music’
Piazolla – Libertango
West Side Story – “There’s a Place For
Us” and “One Hand, One Heart”
Dohnanyi – Serenade, Op. 10

April 30
Pacific Institution Regional Treatment Centre (Abbotsford, BC)
Lukas Geniusas, piano
Program
Rachmaninov
Chopin
Gershwin

October 11
Bath Medium Security Institution (Bath, ON)
Piano Trio (Lukas Geniusas, piano; Jonathan Crow, violin; Joseph Johnson, cello)
Program TBD

October 11
Millhaven Maximum Security Institution  (Bath, ON)
Piano Trio (Lukas Geniusas, piano; Jonathan Crow, violin; Joseph Johnson, cello)
Program TBD

Official Endorsement by CSC

We are very excited to present this official endorsement by Commissioner Anne Kelly, Correctional Service Canada. This formal acknowledgment of the value and impact our musical gifts provide to federal prison inmates is a welcome validation of Vision and Mission of Looking at the Stars Foundation.

Excerpt:

“CSC is pleased to acknowledge the laudable efforts of the Looking at the Stars Foundation’s classical music concert initiative in recognition of the value it has brought to the offender population.”

Read the full letter from Commissioner Kelly HERE.


Commissioner Kelly also sent a personal note to our Board Chair, Mr. Bob Rae.

Excerpt:

“According to CSC policy, the Warden is responsible for establishing procedures for the approval and implementation of special events. In light of the value this initiative brings to the offender population, I will be encouraging Wardens to consider welcoming a Looking at the Stars concert at their institutions.”

Read Commissioner Kelly’s letter to our Board Chair, Mr. Bob Rae, HERE.