by Denise A. Hunyadi

Unity Church Centre in Girard, Ohio, was filled with the sound of beautiful music recently, but not the hymns and songs of praise common to those attending weekly services. Instead, classical music was performed at the church on Friday evening, January 13, 2006, as part of the Unity Concert Series. Approximately 150 people filled the small church to hear world-renowned classical pianist and GLTS member Roman Rudnytsky play for nearly two hours in a benefit concert for the church.

The Unity Church Centre’s host for the evening began by welcoming everyone to the annual winter concert. He explained that the concert series had evolved from a desire to create a formal social event suitable for the Unity Church Centre’s youth. The series has grown over the years into a free public presentation of classical music for young and old alike. He then introduced Musical Director Kirk Kupensky, a former student of Roman’s at the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. Kirk told the audience about his background and how he came to know Roman at YSU. Kirk assured everyone that they were in for a musical treat!

Roman described the Unity Church recital as “a monster program.” It consisted of eight selections, including Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” a demanding composition originally written for piano but more commonly heard as an orchestral piece. Roman informed the audience that the arrangement they would hear was written by the great piano virtuoso, Vladimir Horowitz, and that this would be the first public performance of that arrangement since Horowitz himself performed it at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1953! In addition to Mussorgsky, Roman performed works by Chopin, Mendelssohn, Gershwin, and Liszt. He ended the evening with two encores: Debussy’s ethereal “Clair de lune,” and a dazzling performance of “The Banjo,” by the 19th century American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. The latter was an amazing demonstration of Roman’s virtuosity as a classical pianist.

After the recital Roman greeted guests and autographed CDs in the church lobby. A dessert reception was held in the church hall where Roman talked with guests about two of his great passions: his love of classical music, and his interest in the RMS Titanic.

Click on each image to view a larger version
Unity Concert Series organizers
with Suzanne and Roman
Roman and his wife, Suzanne Ruth, Paul, John,
Denise, Roman, and Suzanne
Roman at the piano Unity Concert Series Program Reception in the Church Hall
Roman performing at Youngstown State’s
Dana School of Music in March 2006

| Home | Back to Top |