Add Grammy Award winner to Cal Poly Pomona Music Professor Nadia Shpachenko’s list of accomplishments.
Shpachenko won in the category of Best Classical Compendium for her contemporary classical CD “The Poetry of Places” at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards Premier Ceremony on Jan. 26.
“It was all very exciting, starting with the red carpet and media interviews,” said Shpachenko. “During the ceremony, many musicians I admire very much got awards for their work. Once I heard my name and realized that my album won a Grammy, it was surreal.”
“It was so exciting to be recognized for this work that was more than four years in the making,” she added. “Having it recognized was really a dream.”
The award for Best Classical Compendium also recognized the work of producers Marina A. Ledin and Victor Ledin, and Barry Werger-Gottesman, Shpachenko’s husband and the chief engineer on the CD. All received Grammys.
Shpachenko was previously nominated for the 58th Grammy Awards for her debut Reference Recordings CD “Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013” in the Best Classical Compendium and Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance categories. That album and “The Poetry of Places” were also nominated for Producer of the Year, Classical.
“The Poetry of Places” features eight world premiere recordings of compositions by award-winning American composers Amy Beth Kirsten, Hannah Lash, James Matheson, Harold Meltzer, Andrew Norman, Lewis Spratlan, Nina C. Young and Jack Van Zandt.
The ensemble works on the album were recorded with Los Angeles Philharmonic pianist Joanne Pearce Martin and Los Angeles Percussion Quartet artists Nick Terry and Cory Hills.
Each music work was inspired by a unique building: American Visionary Art Museum (Baltimore, MD), Aaron Copland’s House (Cortlandt, NY), House on Island (Pine Plains, NY), Frank Gehry’s IAC Building (Manhattan, NY), Frank Gehry’s House (Santa Monica, CA), Louis Kahn’s National Assembly Buildings (Dhaka, Bangladesh), Lowell House at Harvard (Cambridge, MA), and Newgrange Ancient Temple (Boyne Valley, Ireland).
Shpachenko said she often feels attuned to the spaces where she performs, drawn to the ornamentation, history, light and sound of a concert hall. Through her most recent project, she found out that she is not alone.
“The music on this album is exciting, diverse and adventurous,” she said. “The composers use many unusual instruments, such as the toy piano in Kirsten’s “h.o.p.e.” or the handmade percussion instruments in “Frank’s House,” all made of materials that Frank Gehry’s house features, including plywood, chain link fencing and corrugated metal.”
The album was recorded at Skywalker Sound and released on the Reference Recordings label.
A distinguished chamber musician, Shpachenko has played with orchestras throughout America and Europe. She frequently collaborates with prominent artists, most recently including Boris Allakhverdyan, Sarah Cahill, Martin Chalifour, Jin-Shan Dai, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Vijay Gupta, Dahae Kim, Jerome Lowenthal, Kathleen Supové, Ben Ullery, and the Lyris and Argus Quartets. Her recent collaborative performances were featured as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Series and the Hear Now Music Festival.
At Cal Poly Pomona, Shpachenko leads the piano performance program and was awarded the 2017 Provost’s Award for Creative and Scholarly Activities.
“I am so immensely grateful to Cal Poly Pomona for supporting my artistic endeavors and especially this project,” said Shpachenko. “I received a RSCA grant and used my Provost’s Award to jumpstart this project, and I used my teacher-scholar release time to work on portions of this project. The enthusiasm, support, and encouragement from my colleagues, the faculty and staff in the music department, my students, the dean’s office, MediaVision, the provost and the president, all helped me develop my vision for this work and bring forth a project I am very proud of.”
For more information about the album, visit https://nadiashpachenko.com/recordings-the-poetry-of-places/.