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VOL. 22, NO. 16FEBRUARY 28, 1997


Columbia College First-Year Invited to Play in Moscow's Grand Hall

Beliavsky Insists He's No Prodigy, Just a Product of Hard Work

By Stephanie Ogden

Daniel Beliavsky, CC'00. Record Photo By Eileen Barroso
With a full class load and 6:00 A.M. crew workouts, Daniel Beliavsky, CC'00, barely manages to squeeze in three hours of piano practice a day.

Since he was 5 years old Beliavsky has been practicing piano 5 hours a day. That is, until he took on the academic rigors of Columbia.

"When I first came to Columbia I was so afraid that my playing would deteriorate if I could not practice five hours a day," he said, "but it brought me to a new realization--I had established enough of a base as a pianist that it didn't seem to effect my performances."

He will soon be put to the test: At the invitation of the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Beliavsky flew to Russia this week to play in the Grand Hall Conservatory.

Beliavsky began performing publicly at age 8, playing with his father, violinist Yuri Beliavsky in Milwaukee, Wis. He has since played in piano concertos with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and with the New Jersey Symphony. He has given solo recitals in Milwaukee and Chicago. Some of his repertoire's highlights include Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and works by Chopin and Brahms.

He explains that he is not a prodigy, but rather the product of hard work and a supportive family.

This is Beliavsky's second invitation to perform with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra. "It's a great honor for me to receive a personal invitation from head conductor, Maestro Dmity Orlov, and to play in the Grand Hall, Moscow's version of Carnegie Hall." He is also preparing for a Milwaukee recital in June commemorating the bicentennial of Schubert's birth and the centennial of Brahms' death.

"Who knows if my piano career will take off," Beliavsky said. "I'm already 18, and after you hit 16 there isn't quite the appeal--that's why I came to Columbia instead of a music school. I want to diversify, perhaps even become a professor of Russian literature."

Beliavsky's talents and interests are many: He was on his high school's varsity swim team; he speaks Russian fluently, and he recently joined a fraternity on campus.

Given the chance, he would love to give a piano recital at Columbia.

Until then, you may catch him practicing at Steinway & Sons on 57th Street or on one of the grand pianos in the Graduate Student Lounge.