Faina Lushtak played the piano in an effortless way at UTEP


Jasmin Campoya

Faina Lushtak performed some of classical piano world’s most favored works at UTEP.

Angelica Gutierrez, Contributor

The New York Times featured Russian Pianist, Faina Lushtak, performed some melodies that delight the ears of the audience, April 16 at the Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall. The program consisted of 17 encores including “12 Spanish Dances” by Enrique Granados, “Humoresque” by Sergei Rachmaninov, and “Nocturne” by Frederic Chopin.  

Lushtak was born and raised in the Soviet Union. She was a faculty member at the Moscow Conservatory until she migrated to the United States in 1978. Ever since, she has performed in many important venues and events such as Lincoln Center, international competitions, and orchestra concerts. Lushtak has conducted masterclasses at various universities now including UTEP.  

“The qualities she prizes the most are clarity of line and transparency of texture,” wrote The New York Times. “Incisive clarity remained her hallmark.” 

“My mother decided that I should play the piano when I was five years old,” Lushtak said. “I had perfect pitch and my mother was a musician, so she thought it was right for me to play the piano.” 

Lushtak enjoys the borderland culture and loves teaching students and working with UTEP faculty.  

“I love UTEP so much, it’s absolutely beautiful,” Lushtak said. “It’s the first time I am in the city and it’s so beautiful and people are so nice and enthusiastic here.” 

The Russian pianist has a new album with her own melodies dedicated to her mother, Evgenia Lushtak, who taught her piano and composition.  

To start the evening, Lushtak performed a piece of her own “My Mother’s Music Box,” a sweet and melancholic composition inspired in her mother’s music box.  

“My favorite song has to be ‘My Mother’s Music Box,’ it reminded me of old memories,” said attendee Maria Soto. “I loved every single moment of the recital, Faina Lushtak knows how to transmit emotions through music.” 

The audience could not take their eyes away from the pianist. An hour and a half of delightful and enjoyable music. No one from the audience took their phone out, not even to record, they were there to be in the moment and hear incredible compositions. 

“The piano is very beautiful, I love the hall, I love acoustic,” Lushtak said. “It’s very nice and not overwhelming and I enjoyed being at the stage.” 

At the end of the recital, Lushtak played two more of her own melodies. One was “Old and New,” which got to the semifinals at the New Orleans International Piano Competition.  

“It’s such a privilege to have Ms. Faina Lushtak play for us,” said attendee Max Garcia. “She is just amazing at what she does and I swear her performance had me in tears at some point.” 

At the end of the recital, Lushtak received a long-standing ovation from the crowd.  

Angelica Gutierrez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]