Late Night Rehearsal

Pianist Alexander Melnikov practices last Saturday night. Photo: Margaret Rajic

Pianist Alexander Melnikov practices last Saturday night. Photo: Margaret Rajic

Saturday evening I had the pleasure of photographing Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov practicing in the beautiful home of Aaron and Barbara Levine. They graciously offered their home as a practice location to Mr. Melnikov, who requested to rehearse late into the evening. His sense of humor and wit after a day of traveling from Kansas City to Washington, D.C., on top of jetlag, was a delight. Mr. Melnikov told me how charmed he was by Washington, after spending only a number of hours in the city—the majority of which were spent rehearsing. On Sunday he gave a concert at the Phillips with a program including Schumann, Scriabin, and Prokofiev.

Margaret Rajic, Music Intern

The Paint Joy Pianist

Photo of the pianist Roman Rabinovich

Pianist Roman Rabinovich

Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich has been praised by critics for his “vivacity and virtuosity” and his “impeccable clarity of execution.” Rabinovich has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel. He has also gained an unlikely notoriety for his iPad drawings created with the Paint Joy app.

In an interview with, Roman was asked to describe the creative journey that has brought him to where he is in his career today.

“My parents are a huge source of inspiration for me. Both pianists, they were not only active in my musical growth, but in all mediums of art. From a very early age, my mother would take me to many different concerts and play recordings. Some of my favorite recordings that left a deep impression on me include Tchaikovsky symphonies and Horowitz’s 1968 recital at Carnegie Hall. My mother also took me to many museums and galleries, which helped feed my passion for visual art. I was obsessed with French impressionists, Cézanne in particular, and later on, Picasso. Playing the piano and drawing have been equally important to me in my life and seem to go hand in hand.”

Try to guess–by his drawings alone!–which composers works Roman performed at his Phillips recital last Sunday, March 25.

Illustrations of composers by Roman Rabinovich created using iPad's Paint Joy app.

Drawings created by Roman Rabinovich using the iPad and the Paint Joy app. Illustrations courtesy of the artist.