Edge, Music

Frost pianist to perform on NPR

Dasha Bukhartseva

Photo Courtesy Dasha Bukhartseva

Practicing in a run-down hostel in a small Ukranian village, 8-year-old Dasha Bukhartseva had no other dream for her future besides playing piano.

Now, as an up-and-coming pianist, Bukhartseva, 22, a second-year master’s student at the Frost School of Music, will be featured on NPR’s “From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley,” a program dedicated to showcasing the stories of classically trained, young musicians.

“I’m so excited, I can’t breathe,” Bukhartseva said. “They’re doing such a great thing of spreading this love for music in all generations.”

NPR will host a private recording on April 29 at the Gusman Concert Hall and will include performances and stories from young, classical musicians.

Bukhartseva will appear as an alumna of the show, having previously been profiled in 2008 after participating in the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. She was also featured on the show in 2009 as part of the “Shapka Trio,” alongside Christopher Pell and Madeline Fayette to represent the Juilliard Pre-College Division.

She has performed in prestigious venues such as Merkin Hall, Paul Hall, Millenium Hotel Hall in New York City, National Opera Theatre, the Odessa Philharmonic in Ukraine and the Kremlin in Moscow.

Bukhartseva has competed in more than 40 national and international competitions. Among them, she has placed in 35 and won 30.

“When you’re on stage, you finish playing, and people are applauding and seeing that,” she said. “I mean, it’s really difficult to talk about these things, especially about response. … It’s all about doubt. Am I doing something right? Are they going to like it?”

Bukhartseva’s journey began when she enrolled in her first piano class at 8 years old. She instantly fell in love with piano and knew this was what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.  Later, she began to compete and gain national and international recognition.

She has been referred to as a prodigy, but she does not like this label.

“When someone says prodigy, it doesn’t mean hard work, it’s just like it came upon you, and it really doesn’t,” she said. “It really takes a long time to make it work, musically and technically, and you sit and you have ideas and you try to make this world a better place with your music.”

While Bukhartseva faced her challenges practicing her music, she and her mother also had a difficult situation, at one point living in a music school because they were homeless.

During a performance in Odessa, she caught the eye of an American couple, Dan and Lynne Levinson, who were so impressed with her performance and skill they helped her come to the U.S.

They were later joined by Mieke and Hendrik Smit, and together they refer to themselves as “Team Dasha.”

“We invited the head of the Aspen Music School to watch a DVD of her playing piano, and she was offered a full scholarship for the summer,” Dan Levinson said in an interview with NPR.

That moment was life changing, according to Bukhartseva, who had never dreamed such a trip would be possible. She then performed at the Apsen Music Festival and later attended the Juilliard Pre-College Division at 16. She attended the Peabody Institute, a conservatory in Baltimore, for her undergraduate degree.

“I am probably the luckiest person in the world, and they’ve been always helping me and I get so much, I mean, it’s something so many people believe in you,” she said.

She is pursuing a degree in piano performance and pedagogy at UM under the direction of Associate Professor Tian Ying. She will attend Stony Brook University in the fall to pursue her doctorate of musical arts.

“She is incredibly talented,” Ying said. “She worked very hard. You can have the talent, but if you don’t have the discipline, nothing’s going to work your way. So she really has both, extremely diligent and determined.”

April 22, 2015

Reporters

Ashley Martinez

Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology, which have sharpened her people-watching skills. She has worked as a staff writer, copy editor, assistant editor and is now the Edge arts and entertainment editor at The Miami Hurricane. She serves as the president of UM's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her work has been featured in The Hurricane, Distraction Magazine, The Communique, Gables Home Page and The Miami Herald. When she's not working on a story, she loves going to the theatre and singing show tunes.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.