Maksim Velichkin

Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Maksim Velichkin - Homage to Bach

Maksim Velichkin is an accomplished cellist, pianist, and harpsichordist who has been active as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra artist among an international circle featuring venerable conductors and headlining classical stars. He has worked with James Levine, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, Yuri Temirkanov, Wolfgang Sawallish, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Sarah Chang, Maxim Vengerov, Yuri Bashmet, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Joshua Bell, Martha Argerich, Gabriela Montero, Renaud Capucon, Lynn Harrell, Misha Maisky, Frans Helmerson as well as many others. Maksim’s performances have been featured on Radio Swiss Romande, WQED FM in Pittsburgh, National Radio and Television of Uzbekistan. Moreover, as an improviser and interpreter of contemporary and popular music Maksim’s performance and recording career includes credits with noted musical celebrities Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea, Billy Childs, Burt Bacharach, Bobby McFerrin, Dwight Trible, Bitter:Sweet, Chris Botti, Bob James, Josh Groban, Red Elvises, Bernadette Peters, Natalie Cole, Alan Silvestri, Richard Thompson and many others. He performs and tours frequently with the Verbier Chamber Orchestra throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Maksim Velichkin has also been active as a collaborative pianist having performed numerous recitals with instrumentalists and singers. As a duo pianist, he has performed J.S.Bach's Concerto for Two Pianos in c minor at Carnegie Hall in Pittsburgh, and Saint-Saens's Carnival of the Animals in Sydney, Australia.

Maksim has also collaborated with Los Angeles Sacred Fools theatre on the production of "Claire Z" , the music for which he had created and performed on both cello and piano. As a film composer, Maksim has participated in the creation of the soundtrack for the short film "Through The Air To Calais Or The Wonderful Cruise Of Blanchard's Baloon", the music for which he improvised on the harpsichord and the cello.

Maksim’s recent projects include a recording project for EMI with Maxim Vengerov and Verbier Chamber Orchestra, participation as a harpsichordist at the Bachwoche festival in Berlin, where among other pieces he performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #5 with members of Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic, USA tour with the Hutchins Consort, European tour with Martha Argerich and Verbier Chamber Orchestra. He has released 3 albums of his piano improvisations, one of which was recently featured on KPFK’s Global Village show.

Maksim is a member of the Hutchins Consort and the Divan Consort.

Concert Dates

  • May 4th, 2014 - The Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale California

15 one-minute selections for Maksim Velichkin

Concert program
  • Valentine to Bach

    Adrienne Albert

    Award-winning U.S. composer Adrienne Albert (ASCAP) has received grants from the NEA, ACF, MTC/Rockefeller Foundation, ACF Subito Award, MPE, and ASCAP. Her music has been recorded on Naxos, Navona, Centaur, Little Piper, ABC Records and published by Kenter Canyon Music. For more info, visit:

    “Valentine to Bach” is dedicated to cellist Maksim Velichken, and loosely based on thematic material from the beautiful song, “My Funny Valentine”, which has always been a favorite of mine. It has the notes, AB and C in it. I thought it suitable for this Homage to Bach.

  • Peter R. Birkby

    Fleeting Glance

    Peter Birkby is a passionate composer, performer, arranger, conductor, publisher and educator with over thirty years experience in the music industries, with his works performed by school and professional musicians, to parents and the Queen. He is as enthusiastic now as he was at the beginning of his musical career.

    The initial concept was to use combinations of two semitones from BACH as the main melodic idea throughout the composition with the A harmonic as a point of reference. This develops into a longer theme in the last section of the work.

  • Fragments on B-A-C-H

    George N. Gianopoulos

    A resident of Los Angeles, Gianopoulos’ music has been performed throughout Europe and America, including premieres in Israel, Spain, England and Greece and regular performances in Southern California. George has been commissioned by the Glendale Philharmonic, The Helix Collective and The Akropolis Quintet, among others. Mr. Gianopoulos is the currently the Composer-in-Residence for the Symbiosis Ensemble and concert series Music @ MiModa.

    Fragments on B-A-C-H was written for cellist Maksim Velichkin and Vox Novus in April 2014.

  • B-A-C-H: When Johann Met Anton

    Elliott Goldkind

    Elliott is NYC native, living in Los Angeles. He was educated at Sarah Lawrence College, Ecole Normale de Musique, Hochschule fur Musik, and UW-Madison, where he helped revive the UW Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. His teachers include Chester Biscardi, Meyer Kupferman, Stephen Dembksi. Elliott is also MacDowell Colony fellow.

    B-A-C-H: When Johann Met Anton treats the B-A-C-H motif in a rather unconventional, decidely un-Bach-like manner, more akin to how I imagine Anton Webern might treat this musical material. The brevity constraint (under 60 seconds) suggested this to me and somehow it all seemed a logical manifestation.

  • Towards B-A-C-H...

    Rocco Harris

    Rocco Harris is a relatively young-ish composer based in Los Angeles. Steeped in jazz, r&b and rock & roll from an early age, he more recently learned to read and, hence write music at Los Angeles City College. This began is formal exploration of classical styles and his love for contemporary music. He is continuing his studies in music at California State University Northtridge.

    "Towards B-A-C-H..." is a minute-long study for solo cello using the B-A-C-H motif as its core element. The S-E-A motif developed in hommage to Bach by Toru Takemitsu in his piece "Toward the sea" is also loosely referenced here ("S" being the pronunciation of E flat in German musical nomenclature). After quickly travelling through a few contrasting musical textures, the piece ends with a fusion of the B-A-C-H theme and the popular medieval requiem theme "Dies Irae."

  • Bach Straight and Mixed

    Matthew Hetz

    Matthew Hetz, a Los Angeles native, began piano lessons at age 16. Hetz began playing the violin at age 23, and is primarily self-taught. He studied composition with Marshall Bialovsky, Cal State Dominguez Hills. He is president/executive director of the Culver City Symphony Orchestra. He is an environmental and mass transit advocate.

    B-A-C-H is played straight at the very beginning, then the name/notes are scrambled, inverted, retrograde, and ends with H-A-C-B/B.

  • Homage to Bach

    Dmitry Kitsenko

    Dmitry Kitsenko studied composition with Solomon Lobel and Tiberiu Olah, listed in the Musik Geselschaft und Gegenwart (Germany), The New Grove of Music and Musicians (England), a complete biographical reference work "International Who's Who in Classical Music 2003", Encyclopedia of the Modern Ukraine, and The Ukrainian Musical Encyclopedia. Master of Arts (2000).

    Homage to Bach for solo cello was written on 14th of January, 2014. This work was composed specifically for Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame project and cellist Maksim Velichkin. Homage to Bach is based on the pitches BACH and it seems to imitate baroque form chaconne, although the development of a free form is certainly presented here, and the

  • Valse triste

    Mark Robson

    Mark Robson is a freelance pianist living in Los Angeles; former assistant conductor for Los Angeles Opera and member of the series Piano Spheres. His musical output includes orchestral pieces, two trios (piano, clarinet and cello; three bassons), song cycles and 24 left-hand preludes. USC and Oberlin College graduate.

    Our musical motto immediately situated itself for me in the Bachian key of G minor. A melancholic tone informs the piece in which several transpositions of the motto are woven into the melody. The line moves restlessly through harmonic changes until it finally regains the home key.


    Veronika Krausas

    Composer Veronika Krausas is of Lithuanian heritage, born in Australia and raised in Canada. Krausas is on faculty at the Thornton School of Music at USC.

    Written for Maxim Velichkin for the VOX NOVUS Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: Homage to Bach concert. The piece quotes the beginning of the Gigue from Bach’s 2nd Cellos Suite in D minor.

  • B. W. Bach

    Warren M. Sherk

    Longtime Culver City resident Warren M. Sherk is a composer, orchestrator, archivist, and author of the comprehensive reference book, Film and Television Music. In the tradition of Charles Ives, by day he manages the Special Collections department at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Margaret Herrick Library.

    B. W. Bach mingles the B-A-C-H motif with boogie woogie, 12-bar blues, and hints of J. S. Bach’s own Prelude in C for Unaccompanied Cello. One minute in duration, it is more than twice as long as my shortest concert piece, the “Gates of Hell” which opens Homage á Rodin for chamber orchestra.
  • Scion of Eisenac

    Samuel Stokes

    Dr. Samuel Stokes teaches in the talent music program for the Natchitoches Parish Schools in Louisiana, and is the music composition instructor at Northwestern State University. He has recently had compositions premiered by the LSU Symphony, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Shannon Roberts, Yumi Suehiro, Thomas Piercy, and Vilian Ivantchev.

    a "Scion of Eisenach" refers to J.S. Bach, who was born in Eisenach, Germany. As a result of Bach's profound impact on music throughout the world, we might all ourselves "scions of Eisenach." The B-A-C-H motive appears as the first four and last four notes of the piece and is developed throughout.

  • Bach

    William Toutant

    William Toutant is Emeritus Professor at California State University, Northridge where he served as both Dean and Professor of Music. He joined the CSUN faculty in 1975 and retired in 2013.

    Bach combines the pitches B-A-C-H and the opening of The Art of the Fugue in a one-minute homage to the composer.

  • Definitely Not Bach

    Blair Whittington

    Blair Whittington is a Los Angeles based composer who concentrates mainly on chamber and orchestral music. He studied composition with Byong-kon Kim and has worked for 18 years as music librarian at the Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California.

    This is a playful piece with a bit of call and response between the different registers of the cello. It uses the B-A-C-H motive quite a bit, sometimes overtly and sometimes obscured.

  • Homage to BACH

    Christopher M. Wicks

    Christopher M. Wicks holds a MM in composition from the University of Montreal, where he studied under Isabelle Panneton, and he is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists. He lives in Silverton, Oregon.

    My "musical offering" uses two motifs: the BACH motif in the middleground, in its prime and inverted form, and also, on a more local level, a very similar motif of my own devising which is, unlike BACH, asymmetrical and therefore subject to more permutation. The piece itself is palindromic.


    Carol Worthey

    Composer/Painter/Writer Carol Worthey began composing at three-and-a-half inspired by family friend Leonard Bernstein. Her mentors include Darius Milhaud, Vincent Persichetti, Walter Piston. Her powerful, lyrical, well-crafted music is performed by world-class performers throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. To listen to her music or see her paintings, visit

    This tribute spells out a message: Bach's music is timeless. The theme derives from pitch names spelling E-A-C-H A-G-E F-A-D-Es B-ut B-A-C-H. The "ut" (in B-ut) is the ancient solfege name for C. The art cover is a sketch by the composer drawn from a portrait of Bach recently discovered.