With more than 20 years of piano experience behind him, audience members may expect pianist Martin Kasik to look a little older. But the 26-year-old Czech musician just had an early start.
Kasik will perform at Hope College in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Tuesday, April 2, at 8 p.m. through the college's Great Performance Series.
Winner of the 1999 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Kasik took home several other awards from that prestigious competition. As a result of his performances at the competition, he was offered the chance for his New York debut by performing at the Kennedy Center, where he received critical acclaim.
"Mr. Kasik plays with a resourceful technique, fluidity, a keen sense of color an intelligence," said Anthony Tommasini of "The New York Times."
Kasik has won both the junior and senior divisions of the Chopin Piano Competition in the Czech Republic, and more recently won the Prague Spring Competition (1998), the Akzo Nobel Prize (1999) and the Davidoff Prize (2000).
He has also performed with several orchestras and symphonies, and after his visit to Hope College he heads to Chicago for four performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of an earlier Young Concert Artists competition winner, conductor Pinchas Zukerman.
Kasik's recordings, including a live recording of Schumann and Rachmaninoff, have also received critical acclaim.
His performance at Hope will include J.S. Bach's "Italian Concerto"; the "Nocturne in D-Flat Major, Op. 27," by Frederic Chopin; Vitezslav Novak's "Memories, Op. 6"; and "Sonata I.X. 1905," by Leos Janacek; and he will close with Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Preludes, Op. 23."
Tickets for Kasik's performance will be on sale at the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center beginning Monday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will also be available at the door.
Tickets cost $14 for regular adult admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for children under 18. As a special promotion of Young Concert Artists winners, anyone purchasing a ticket for Kasik's performance will be given a ticket for the Tuesday, April 16, performance of soprano Courtenay Budd, another Young Concert Artists winner who is closing out this year's Great Performance Series.
The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street, and the ticket office can be called at (616) 395-7890. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street.