Yana Reznik brings piano prowess to Marina del Rey Symphony’s culminating free summer concert

By Michael Aushenker

Yana Reznik

Yana Reznik

A couple of years ago, conductor Frank Fetta was readying his Redlands Bowl Orchestra when his pianist fell out. With only six days to go, he needed someone to play Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

In a pinch, he phoned Yana Reznik. She had played “Rhapsody” before, but ages ago.

“We sat down at two pianos. She played it gorgeously,” Fetta recalled.

The concert went off without a hitch.

“She just wowed everybody,” Fetta said.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, Reznik reprises her “Rhapsody” performance at Burton Chace Park when Fetta’s Marina del Rey Symphony Orchestra plays its final free concert for the summer.

In keeping with the night’s movie music theme, Reznik also performs a less obvious choice: Richard Addinsell’s “Warsaw Concerto” from “Dangerous Squadron.”

Born and initially trained in Moscow, Reznik obtained music degrees from USC and the Manhattan School of Music. She also studied at the Colburn Conservatory.

And while the theme to next week’s concert is cinema, Reznik is no stranger to television. The pianist, who has performed at Carnegie Hall, also shared a stage with skeletal robot Geoff Peterson and “horse” Secretariat on “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”

On the PBS-broadcast American Country Music Awards, Reznik backed up Carrie Underwood on a classical interpretation of her song “Temporary Home,” about human beings’ fleeting time on the planet.

“It was amazing to work with her,” Reznik recalled. “In rehearsals, she couldn’t get through the piece because she was crying, she got so emotional. She just held it together on the live broadcast.”

The good news for Reznik, who married and moved from L.A. to Chicago earlier this year, is that for next Thursday’s performance, she’s had more than six days to rehearse “Rhapsody.”

“She’s the kind of pianist who provides power and grace when she plays,” Fetta said. “She knows how to handle the classics well, but she’s exceedingly contemporary in her
approach.”

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. Free. Call (310) 305-9595 or visit visitmarinadelrey.com.

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