Classical music up close and personal

Welcome to...


the Absolute Music Chamber Series - classical chamber music with a difference!  Come enjoy an eclectic experience unlike any other in the Lansing area. Concerts are held in the intimate and acoustically superior Absolute Gallery in Lansing's Old Town.


The audience sits among works of art and only a few feet from the musicians who perform favorite selections with great passion and skill. In fact, a number of patrons have said the Absolute Gallery setting has allowed them to "connect" with the performers in ways not experienced elsewhere.


As in the European soirée tradition, light refreshments are served following each concert giving patrons the opportunity to meet and talk with the artists.

An Evening of Russian Masters: Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev

October 23, 2015

Suren Bagratuni

Dmitri Berlinsky

Richard Sherman

Ralph Votapek

Winner of the silver medal at the 1986 International Tchaikovsky Competition while still a student at the Moscow Conservatory, Bagratuni has gone on to a distinguished international career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In addition to performing throughout the former Soviet Union, he has toured worldwide, earning enthusiastic praise in both traditional and contemporary repertoire.

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Mr. Berlinsky arrived on the International scene as the youngest winner in the history of the Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, Italy. This victory led to his performance on Nicolo Paganini's own Guarneri del Gesú instrument, a privilege shared by only a handful of artists in history. Subsequent triumphs at the Montreal International Violin Competition (Grand Prize), the International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels, led to appearances with major orchestras in Europe, Russia, the Far East, North and South America.

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Richard Sherman is professor of flute at the Michigan State University College of Music.


Active as a soloist, orchestral musician, and recitalist, he is a dynamic performer of outstanding dramatic power. He received a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music, a master of music degree from Northwestern University, and had postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music in London. Sherman is former principal flute with the Rochester (New York) Philharmonic Orchestra, and is principal flute with the Chautauqua (New York) Symphony Orchestra and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra.

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Pianist Ralph Votapek’s early triumphs — as winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award and gold Medalist in the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — were an auspicious prelude to an even more remarkable career. Votapek’s compelling keyboard style embodies all that is best in twentieth-century piano traditions, combining the fire, poetry and tonal warmth of the grand-manner prewar era with the modern-day virtues of fastidious clarity and electrifying rhythmic flair.

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Program Notes

Meditation  Op. 42, #1 for violin and piano



Valse Scherzo Op. 34 for violin and piano



Sonata in D Major Op. 94 for flute and piano



I. Moderato

II. Scherzo: Presto

III. Andante

IV. Allegro con brio







Concert Sponsors:  Richard and Joan Witter

Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 for violin, cello and piano



I. Pezzo elegiaco. Moderato assai - Allegro


II. Tema con variazioni: Andante con moto -

    Variazioni finale e coda



Concert Guide  ……… Kevin Bartig

Associate Professor of Musicology

Michigan State University College of Music