Loeffler Alumni Series: Tribute Concert for Irena Orlov
featuring Ralitza Patcheva, Sam Post, and Boris Ivanov

Sunday, May 16, 2021 | 4:00 PM

The Loeffler Alumni Series is sponsored by Robert and Jane Loeffler.


Prelude XXIV in D minor by Leo Svirsky

Concerto in Italian Taste, BWV 971 by J.S.Bach

  1. Allegro
  2. Andante
  3. Presto

Prelude III in G major by Leo Svirsky

Ralitza Patcheva, piano

Dirge (chroma) by Boris Ivanov

Boris Ivanov, piano

(“Waterfall” Etude) for the Left Hand Alone by Sam Post

(Elegy) for the Left Hand Alone by Sam Post

(“Doodle”) for the Left Hand Alone by Sam Post

(Pastoral Etude) for the Right Hand Alone by Sam Post

Sam Post, piano

Irena-2Irena Orlov (1942-2018)

Irena Orlov was a Russian-American pedagogue and piano teacher, and beloved member of the Levine piano faculty for over 30 years.

Orlov studied at the School of Music of Leningrad Conservatory. One of her teachers was the prolific pedagogue Marianna Friendling. Orlov showed interest in teaching piano with noticeable success at age 15, when she was still in high school. She entered the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and graduated in 1970 and established her name as a free spirited and very efficient teacher of music. She taught at a children’s school of music and performed in The Ensemble of Period Instruments under Andrey Boreyko.

In 1980 Orlov moved to Israel, where she continued teaching. She also developed music therapy methods which she used as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals. She publicly showed the effectiveness of her music therapy for patients with dementia and deep depression. In 1986, Orlov moved to the USA and joined the faculty of Levine Music.

For more than 30 years, Irena was a pillar of the piano department and Levine. During her remarkable career, she taught and mentored hundreds of students and faculty, helping each of them achieve their best. She taught students who consistently won in various young musicians’ competitions, many of whom continued their education in leading conservatories of music of the world, including Juilliard School, St Petersburg Conservatory, Royal Conservatory of the Hague, and many others. She enjoyed considerable recognition from the faculty members and musicians associated with those schools.

Irena invested love and devotion into everyone she taught. There was not one Levine competition in the last three decades that did not feature her students. Irena’s alumni are now spread all over the world and often returned to visit and thank her for the enormous impact she had on their lives. These include our accomplished faculty members, Ralitza Patcheva and Sam Post, and they, too, carry forward the legacy of this remarkable woman. 

About the Artists

Boris Ivanov is a Moscow-born, NYC area-based pianist, keyboardist, composer, and producer. In 2016 he earned his Master’s Degree in Music Composition at NYU Steinhardt studying and working with Grammy-award winning composer and producer Michael Patterson. His works have been performed by several groups including the NYU Percussion Ensemble. He is also an active pianist/keyboardist, working in live and studio environments. Boris grew up in the Washington, DC area and received some of his earliest training from Irena Orlov. He went on to complete his B.Mus in piano performance at Montclair State University under prof. Mark Pakman, as well earning as an advanced piano certificate from Moscow State Conservatory under Aleksey Nasedkin.

Boris has composed music for several award-winning films; and has served as composer, sound designer, and score supervisor on several projects by Newarkbased DreamPlay Films. He is currently working as lead composer and sound designer on the highly anticipated Project Borealis video game. Boris currently resides in Newark, NJ, where he works as a studio and live musician and composer.

Dirge (chroma)
Boris’ multi-instrumental electronic project “Lost Horse” released its debut album in early 2021. The track “Dirge”, originally intended as a brief interlude, was later expanded into a longer, piano-centric meditation which includes both fixed and improvisatory elements. Written for electronics and live piano, the piece uses the original theme as a vehicle to explore color, both tonally and spectrally.

Ralitza Patcheva is the associate chair of the chamber music program and a member of the piano faculty at Levine Music. She is also a lecturer at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America. Dr. Patcheva holds advanced degrees in piano performance and art song interpretation from the Peabody Institute, the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and a doctorate from the University of Maryland. Her early training took place at Levine Music and the State Music School in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is a prizewinner of the 51st Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition and the Washington International Piano Competition, as well as the Accademia di Citta di Pinerolo International Chamber Music Competition (in a duo with cellist Vasily Popov). 

Levine alumnus and faculty member Sam Post is an acclaimed pianist and composer who delights audiences with his signature mix of original compositions – ranging in style from neo-Baroque to hip-hop – along with the classics. The Washington Post has praised his abilities at the piano, the Bay Area Reporter lauded his composing acumen, and luminaries such as Renée Fleming have commended his overall musicianship. In 2016 Yo-Yo Ma recommended Sam to Michael Tilson Thomas at the San Francisco Symphony for a string quartet commission. After the premiere of “Sketches from Kazakhstan,” the Symphony commissioned him to turn it into a chamber symphony for their SoundBox concert series. Sam’s 2017 solo album “Dizzy Days” made W. Royal Stokes’ notable jazz releases, was featured on the cover of the Syncopated Times, and No Depression called it “dazzling in its knife-sharp precision and riveting craftsmanship.” Sam co-founded Kassia Music, writing and performing new pieces with the group, which is also ensemble-in-residence at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Bethesda.