Stories » Nadia Shpachenko's 'Poetry of Places' is a surprising and refreshing collection, nominated for two 2020 GRAMMY awards / Claremont Courier

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Nadia Shpachenko's 'Poetry of Places' is a surprising and refreshing collection, nominated for two 2020 GRAMMY awards / Claremont Courier

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Claremont resident Nadia Shpachenko's new record "The Poetry of Places" has been nominated for two 2020 Grammy Awards, for best classical compendium for the album, and for producer of the year, classical, for producers Victor and Marina Ledin. Ms. Shpachenko has been on the faculty at Claremont Graduate University for nine years, where she teaches doctoral piano students. She has also led the piano performance program at Cal Poly Pomona for 14 years, where she was awarded the 2017 Provost's Award for creative and scholarly activities.

She and her husband of 20 years, Barry Werger-Gottesman, who is on the staff of the music department at Pomona College, have lived in Claremont for 14 years. They have twin nine-year-old boys. This is Ms. Shpachenko's third Grammy nomination. She was also nominated in 2015 for her first album, "Woman at the New Piano," which was recorded here in Claremont at Bridges Auditorium.

"The Poetry of Places," is a surprising-and refreshing-collection. "It's contemporary classical music," Ms. Shpachenko said. "There are many different styles, but you can definitely say it's avant-garde classical. It's all ‘new music.' All of this music was written in 2015 and 2016 for this specific project."

The project itself is also unusual. The 10 tracks were commissioned by Ms. Shpachenko from eight different contemporary American composers, all inspired by a different piece of architecture. "So each composer found the building that they chose to be inspirational to them, and used different means to describe their imagination and emotions in the pieces they wrote," Ms. Shpachenko said. "There are some pieces with electronics, some just piano solo, but they all have a very different style to them, and I think that's what makes it compelling."

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