ICM’s Annual Signature Event, Stanislav & Friends

Park ICM Alumnus and award-winning pianist, Behzod Abduraimov, with his mentor, Stanislav Ioudenitch.

As the curtain rises on March 8, 2024, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City audiences will witness the musical talents of the world’s best concert soloists in one unforgettable event. The International Center for Music (ICM) at Park University’s Annual Signature Event, Stanislav & Friends, isn’t just a concert; it’s a rare chance to hear and meet distinguished classical musicians face to face and witness the exceptional talent fostered by the ICM, led by the program founder and visionary pianist, Stanislav loudenitch.  

Renowned for his Gold Medal triumph at the 11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Stanislav loudenitch commands the spotlight. Born in 1971 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Ioudenitch has netted prizes at the Busoni, Kapell, Maria Callas, and New Orleans competitions, among others. He has performed in the most renowned halls across the world including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Gasteig in Munich, the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan, the International Performing Arts Center in Moscow, Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and so many others. Beyond his acclaim as a performer, loudenitch stands as a visionary educator who has brought his dream of a conservatory mirroring the intensive training of the former Soviet Union to fruition at the International Center for Music (ICM). The elite program, rooted in the Classic European Master/Apprentice system, pairs great masters with exceptionally talented protégés, sculpting accomplished musicians into national and international phenoms.

The final bow before a rousing standing ovation from Stanislav & Friends 2023. (photo by Damian Gonzalez)

In its fifth year, Stanislav & Friends celebrates those accomplishments and has already evolved into a must-see Kansas City event, uniting loudenitch’s friends, ICM alumni and current ICM faculty and students to showcase some of the best work that the classical music world has to offer. “They all love coming to perform with Stanislav because it’s like coming home,” says ICM Executive Director Lisa Hickok. “They’re coming from all over the world. For them to all be here together, celebrating the Center together, and having a grand old time, it’s just such a celebration.” Setting this year apart is the performance of a two-piano concerto featuring loudenitch and his protégé, ICM alumnus Behzod Abduraimov, accompanied by the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra under the direction of conductor Bruce Sorrell. Breaking from his international tour with stops from Carnegie Hall to The Netherlands, Spain and Australia, Behzod returns to Kansas City for what promises to be an enchanting rendition of Poulenc’s concerto. The Concerto for Two Pianos showcases Poulenc’s unique blend of charm, humor and emotional depth. It has become a cherished work in the repertoire of two-piano concertos and is frequently performed by pianists worldwide. It is a wonderful example of Francis Poulenc’s exceptional talent as a composer, captivating both seasoned classical music enthusiasts and newcomers alike. 

After the show, all performing musicians, including globally acclaimed artists such as loudenitch and Abduraimov, will meet and greet audience members in the beautiful Brandmeyer Hall at the Kauffman Center over dessert. This unique chance allows for conversations and insights from musicians of the highest caliber, rendering Stanislav & Friends 2024 an exceptional event unparalleled in the city.

Stanislav & Friends 2024 is not just a concert; it’s a singular celebration of music’s transcendent power, where the audience becomes an integral part of the experience. Find program information and tickets at ICM.PARK.EDU.

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KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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