Award-winning pianist Katya Grineva is coming to Tuckahoe. The accomplished performer will grace students at Cottle Elementary with two special concerts. Typically, you could see Grineva performing at venues such as Carnegie Hall's Isaac Stern Auditorium or Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. But next week, Cottle students will be all ears when she performs for them.
This is the third year that Grineva has visited Tuckahoe students. William E. Cottle School's Principal George Albano told Patch how he got the idea to invite Grineva into his school.
"I have introduced students to the world of classical music for over 30 years during my career as a public school administrator," said Albano. "In fact, at Cottle over 200 parents and their children went to see Ms. Grineva perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City last year. If you know the Mozart Theory, exposure to music benefits children in the academic area also."
Grineva did not come from a musical household. Her father was a cancer researcher and her mother was a historian. But when she went with some of her friends to their music lessons, she found her passion at age six. After that, her mother rented her a piano and she practiced regularly. Grineva then went on to attend the Moscow Music School.
Audiences, including the students at Cottle who will get a chance to hear Grineva's music, are often amazed by her performances.
"Students love the performances and are amazed at the connection between classical music and modern music," said Albano. "Many of Disney's songs and sitcom songs have a classical music base. Ms. Grineva will compare her love of classical music to the modern generation's love of groups like One Direction and the Backstreet Boys."
After moving to New York in 1989, Grineva attended the Mannes School of Music, where she studied with Nina Svetlanova.
Grineva's American debut happened in 1993, when she performed with the Baltimore Symphony. The New York Times describes her performances as "liquid and dreamlike."
As Tuckahoe's Cottle School awaits Grineva's performance, they are also looking ahead to other events and performances.
"We have already had a program called the American Songbook Project which introduced students to Broadway tunes," said Albano. "And in February we are bringing in a program called Faces of Black History, where children are introduced through music to the contributions of great African American leaders and artists like Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Jackson. This program is donated by the McDonald Corporation free of charge to Cottle School."
Grineva's concerts will be held on January 17. There will be a 9:30 a.m. concert for third through fifth-graders. And at 1 p.m. there will be a second concert for middle school students.