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Press Releases - 2009

CONTACT:  Jana Marcus, Marketing & Communications
(831) 479-5744
jamarcus [at]

January 7, 2009

Cabrillo’s Distinguished Artists Series Presents
Acclaimed Russian Pianist Halida Dinova

Pianist who inspired composition will perform U.S. premiere of local composer
Saturday, February 7 at 8:00 PM, Cabrillo College Theater

“The most breathtaking recital I have heard in more than 30 years...The magical Dinova.” —American Record Guild

“Dinova has all of the equipment to tackle the most demanding technical beasts, but she draws attention principally to the expressive elements that make music so human…She made the instrument sing and roar.” 
—Donald Rosenberg, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Dinova proves a truly astute, inspirational, breathtaking performer, not the least bit out of place in the Olympian company of those like Ashkenazy.”                       
—Howard Smith, Music & Vision

Aptos, CA— The Cabrillo College Distinguished Artist series, sponsored by Staff of Life Natural Foods, is honored to present the return engagement of acclaimed Russian pianist and recording artist, Halida Dinova, Saturday February 7 at the Cabrillo Theater at 8:00 p.m.

Pianist Halida Dinova is known for her virtuosity and exquisite interpretations. She has performed and recorded with Europe’s finest orchestras, and is a champion of rare and unique 20th century repertoire from both Russia and America. Dinova will perform works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn, Liszt, and the U.S. premiere of Dodecafonically by Santa Cruz Composer, Josef Sekon, for which she was the inspiration. 
“What I see is my mission is to deliver the human content, which is the depth of musical expression,” explains Dinova in her thick Russian accent, “It is like poetry, which says so much, in so little words.”

Born in Kazan, Russia, Dinova has performed in North America, Russia, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey and Argentina and is considered to be in the top 5 percentile of word class pianists.  Early in her career she studied at the Kazan Conservatory earning the Russian equivalent of a doctoral of musical arts degree. She went on to win the Geza Anda Competition, which earned her a concert tour and scholarship from the European Mozart Foundation. She continues to be a frequent international competition winner and has appeared at such festivals as Orford, in Canada, and the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland.

In November of 2002, with the symphony orchestra of the State Capella in St.Petersburg, Dinova premiered the concerto "Shadow of the Swan" which was written specifically for her by American composer Dennis Eberhard, released in 2004 by Naxos Records (American Classics series). The concerto was inspired by the memory of those who lost their lives in the Challenger space shuttle and Kursk submarine disasters. The premiere garnered international attention and has since been made into a documentary film by Laura Paglin, which went on to win a prize at the Calgary International film festival in September, 2005.

In summer, 2005, Cantius Classics released Dinova’s solo album "Masterpieces for Children by Bach, Debussy, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky." The CD was made in collaboration with the Chicago and Detroit Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Proceeds from the sales of the recording benefit orphanages in Russia.

Halida has released five albums. Her Scriabin album (Doremi records, 1998) has sold thousands of copies and received resounding acclaim that “[Dovina is] a great Scriabinist destined to lead all others.” Her newest recordings of piano solos by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and Rachmaninoff will be available in May of 2009 from Cantius Classics.

Although Dinova could single-handedly bring down the house, the Cabrillo concert has an added treat with the U.S. premiere of Josef Sekon’s, Dodecafonically. Sekon, a local composer and adjunct professor at Cabrillo College, has had his compositions performed in North and South America, Europe and Japan. Dodecafonically was composed in 2007, as the first of a trio of piano solos based on the writings of Brazilian poetess Maria Davico. Dodecafonically, a musical reflection/illustration of the poem Dodecafonicamente, is dedicated to Dinova. 

“Halida and I met through composer Dennis Eberhard, many years ago, and we all shared an admiration for the poems of Maria Davico,” explains Sekon. “Halida asked me if I had written any piano solo work, and at the time I had only composed ensemble pieces. She said, ‘If you write, I will play,’ so I got busy!” laughs Sekon. “The Davico poem is really a musical creation—truly words that wanted to become sound. It will be a phenomenal experience to have such an amazing pianist as Halida play the work.” Says Sekon.

Dodecafonically's world premiere took place in Salvador, Brazil during the Second International Festival of Contemporary Music on September 1, 2008, performed by the Brazilian pianist Lusa Schneiter.  The Cabrillo concert will bring the eminent Dinova to the stage, playing the piece that was dedicated to her.  Live performances can’t get much more exciting than this!

What: Russian pianist Halida Dinova, including U.S. premiere of local composer Josef Sekon’sDodecafonically.

When: Saturday, February 7 at 8:00 PM
Where: Cabrillo College Theater, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA
Price: Premium Reserved Keyboard Side Seating: $25 general, $22 seniors, $16 students
           General Seating: $22 general, $20 seniors, $14 students

Tickets: 479-6331 or
Information: or

About The Distinguished Artists Series
Established in 1984, the Distinguished Artists Concert & Lecture Series (DACLS) is a premier series presented annually by Cabrillo College. The mission of DACLS is to bring together artists of international and local reputation, various musical and service organizations, educational institutions, and professional and ethnic groups in a variety of diverse and stimulating creative projects that reach a broad cross-section of the community. DACLS provides students or all ages with the opportunity to attend performances by world-class artists from diverse traditions and to learn directly from these artists in workshops and master classes. Artistic Director: Dr. John Orlando, D.M.A.

About Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers more than 100 academic and career technology programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of achievement, skills certificates, transfer to four-year institutions or for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Its mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural and economic vitality of its diverse community by assisting all students in their quest for lifelong learning and success in an ever-changing world.

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