ABOUT US

YAROSLAV SENYSHYN
pianist

 

 
IAN HOBSON
 

Widely praised for his charismatic stage presence, probing musicality, and for the breadth of his repertoire, pianist Yaroslav Senyshyn has performed worldwide to great critical and audience acclaim.

A Steinway Artist, Mr. Senyshyn commands a large solo and concerto repertoire of the great classical and Romantic eras, but takes particular pride in working with living Canadian composers such as Larysa Kuzmentko, Reeves Medaglia-Miller, David Smith, Donald Cochrane, Catalin Ursu and the Japanese composer, Atsushi Yoshinaga. He has recorded most of these artists on Albany Records and world premiered some of their works on the concert platform. Mr. Senyshyn has also collaborated with and improvised on Indian classical music with acclaimed virtuoso-sitarist and ethnomusicologist Dr. James Hamilton and Dr. Sanjoy Bandopadhyay.

In addition to his concert engagements, Dr. Senyshyn is Professor of Music and Moral Philosophy at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. He frequently performs with his wife, Dr. Susan O’Neill, a virtuoso flutist and internationally renowned scholar who serves as Professor and Dean at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Education and President of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). They both record for Albany Records. In August 2019 Gary Lemco of Audiophile Review hosted a two-hour radio program entitled “A Tribute to Senyshyn’s Art” on “The Music Treasury” in affiliation with Stanford University. Most recently Mr. Senyshyn was featured in a program on Canadian pianists aired by Georgetown University Radio.  Fellow artists included Glenn Gould, Angela Hewitt, Louis Lortie, and Anton Kuerti.

Mr. Senyshyn has numerous recordings to his credit; most recently Albany Records released a new disc entitled “Senyshyn Plays Chopin and Liszt Concertos,” which features the Czech National Symphony under conductor Oliver von Dohnányi.  In a glowing review in Audiophile Audition (July 28, 2019) Gary Lemco writes:

The rhythmic pulsation that will dominate the expansive first movement already informs the  tenor of Senyshyn’s boldly resonant entry. That Senyshyn possesses a fluidly suave  jeu perlé reveals itself early, supported by an innate sense of tempo rubato. The exquisite, solo roulades and lyrical chains of poetically rhetorical flourishes proceed in a manner easily reminiscent of the past world of Malcuzynski and Cortot.  Senyshyn does not mind injecting a chordal thunderbolt or percussive cluster when the impulse strikes him. The roulades and trills of the Larghetto become absolutely organic to the tissue of the nocturne’s melodic structure, as to render the Steinway B a totally operatic instrument.

Senyshyn’s bell-tones enjoy a music-box clarity. The movement proceeds to an intimate and       grueling climax.Senyshyn achieves much by way of gossamer dynamics and canny manipulation  of Chopin’s interior colors. The result: a refreshed, sonically crisp performance of nuance and power, easily recommended to those for whom this splendid work had become a moment of complacency.[In the Liszt,] both pianist Senyshyn and conductor Dohnanyi embrace the thunderous and the pesante approach to produce a mighty urgencv into their performance. 

Reviewing the concerto recording in the November/December 2019 issue of Fanfare, Jerry Dubins had this to say:

Senyshyn is not alone, of course, nor certainly the first, to give Chopin’s concerto its able-bodied due. Performances by Ashkenazy, Rubinstein, and Argerich have taken a similar approach, resisting temptations to sentimentalize the music with excessive rubato or feminize it with undue swooning. Senyshyn belongs in this august company.  

Elsewhere, in a record review of selected Rachmaninoff  Preludes and Études-Tableaux, Mr. Dubins writes: “One has only to listen to the thunderous bass …and the crystalline clarity of the tolling bell-like figuration...Yaroslav Senyshyn demonstrates technical fluency, mastery of the composer’s unique keyboard style, and an understanding of the music’s underlying complex emotional makeup, which, in my opinion, are the equal of any pianist who has played these works, and which give Senyshyn’s performances a truly authentic feel.” (Fanfare, March/April 2014)

A prolific writer, Mr. Senyshyn is the author of “The Artist in Crisis: Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Stage of Existence and Live Musical Performance.” The book was reviewed in The Library Bookwatch: Philosophy Shelf : “Art has inspired and channelled philosophy all on its own. The ‘Artist in Crisis’ is an academic and scholarly study of the philosopher’s work… Discussing Kierkegaard’s views on anxiety, the artist in the bigger world, criticisms, gender issues in art, and much more, this scholarly dissection of the work seeks to open minds on the ways of the world and what they mean. ‘The Artist in Crisis’ is quite the text, a must for any community or college philosophy and art collection.” This work encourages all performing artists to persevere in their artistic work through the aesthetic lens of the great Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard. Mr. Senyshyn explores implications of anxiety through punishment and despair, the artist, the public and newspaper critics, subjectivity and objectivity in interpretation of composers’ texts, the equality of the sexes in the performing arts and the aesthetic stage of existence with a focus on ethics and Kierkegaard’s own personal crisis. Mr. Senyshyn has also published numerous papers in prominent academic journals of philosophy of music and education.

Born in Canada of Ukrainian ancestry, Yaroslav Senyshyn studied with the late Antonina Yaroshevich, herself a contemporary of Vladimir Horowitz at the Kiev Conservatory.  Both Ms. Yaroshevich and Mr. Horowitz were pupils of the legendary pedagogue Felix Blumenfeld, so Mr. Senyshyn’s artistry is informed by exposure to this great tradition.