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Piano Prodigy Miles Walter to Perform at Pakachoag Music School

Monday, February 11, 2013


Pakachoag faculty member Vladimir Odinokikh (left) with his student and award-winning pianist Miles Walter.

Music lovers in the Worcester area are in for a rare treat on Saturday, March 9. As part of Pakachoag Music School's 30th Anniversary celebration, acclaimed 18-year-old piano prodigy and New England native Miles Walter will give a free community concert of works by Mozart, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Rorem.

Walter has won multiple international competitions including First Place, 2012 Stony Brook Young Artist's International Piano Competition; First Prize, 2012 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition; First Prize, 2012 Williams Chorale Bacardi Fallon Scholarship competition; and he was accepted as one of 20 international participants in the Eastman Young Artist's International Piano Competition in 2012.

"Miles exemplifies the School’s mission in its purest form - high achievement and an understanding of artistry," says Sarah Smongeski, Pakachoag executive director.

"As our recently refreshed mission statement articulates, Pakachoag nurtures musical journeys that cultivate the imagination, inspire creativity, and develop artistry.”

Miles is a young man of many talents. He is currently a senior at Keene High School in New Hampshire where he is very active in the school's theatre program, recently playing Hamlet. He currently holds the position of Choir Director and organist at the First Congregational Church of Swanzey, NH.

Pakachoag sets very high standards for their students and they have not strayed away from this fundamental commitment even in a time when many schools seem to softening their standards in the name of accessibility. For this reason, according to Smongeski, Pakachoag has survived with such strong reputation for 30 years.

"Few students will achieve what Miles has achieved, but by exposing students and community to these types of programs, we help students understand what is possible and hopefully inspire them to work hard to reach their own potential. What level each student achieves is linked to three ingredients: a superior teacher, some raw talent, and -- most important -- commitment and hard work over many years," says the executive director.

Miles indeed has all these necessary ingredients. He has been playing piano since the age of 5 and for the last eight years has had a brilliant teacher named Vladimir Odinokikh, a member of the Pakachoag community and an exceedingly accomplished musician himself.

"Miles’ teacher, Vladimir, exemplifies some of the very finest qualities that make a superior teacher," says Smongeski.

In his long and illustrious career, Vladimir has won numerous awards in national and international competitions. Early in his career, Odinokikh won the First Prize in the Chamber Music Competition of Soviet Composers (1983) in his native Russia. He was a prize winner in the Russia National Competition (1993), and competed in the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition, the Tchaikovsky International Competition, and several other international competitions as a collaborative artist. But despite his incredible talent, it is his other fine qualities that make him an especially ideal teacher for aspiring, young musicians, according to Smongeski.

"He is also able to take that highest level of training and reach young people in a supportive, nurturing way. All of our teachers at Pakachoag have different types of training and styles of teaching, but all are here with one shared goal: a desire to share a love of music with young people," she states.

Odinokikh has taught at some of the most prestigious music schools around the world, from Moscow to Mexico City while also performing at a vast array of concert halls and recording for radio and television. In addition to teaching at the Pakachoag Music School, he is also a current faculty member at the Brattleboro Music Center in Vermont and also owns his own private piano studio.

Without his fantastic supportive efforts of his teacher, Miles could not be where he is today.

Vladimir traveled with Miles to his major Eastman competition; and will also travel to New York City on February 20th when Miles performs there.

His website includes videos of Walters playing Prokofiev and Ravel on the Piano Lessons page. The concert on March 9 will begin at 2:00 p.m. 


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