Cliburn Competitor: 'Kiev. I Know This Place, Every Corner Of It. It's A Battlefield.'

Feb 27, 2014

Pianist Alexey Koltakov was a finalist in the 2001 Cliburn International Piano Competition. Back in Fort Worth to play in the memorial concert for Van Cliburn, he took time to talk of his native country, Ukraine, which has recently been on the world’s front pages.  

Although he lives in New York City, Koltakov has family in Ukraine, but they're far from the turmoil threatening the nation.

He said that what's happening there seems unreal. 

“It sort of reminded me of the feelings I experienced when 9/11 happened," he said. "It was also something sickening, something unreal, something horrible. And, Kiev, I know this place, I know every corner of it, I’ve been there many times. Now it looks like a battlefield. Just horrible. Unbelievable.”

Listen to Koltakov's conversation with KERA’s Bill Zeeble.