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Campus mourns musician


Oleg Moston, accompanist in the dance department, died January 3 in a pedestri- an accident on Interstate 87 near Sarato- ga. He was 77 years old.


He started to play piano at age 14 in the former Soviet Union. He graduated in 1957 from the Moscow Conservatory and toured for more than two decades with the Moscow Philharmonic Society. In 1979 he and his family settled in New York City, where he played for 26 years as a principal pianist for such ballet companies as the Joffrey, Alvin Ailey, and American Ballet Theater, as well as


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for Columbia and New York Universi- ties, the New York Conservatory of Dance, Ballet Hispanico, and Ballet Academy East.


When the family moved upstate, Moston worked as an accompanist with the Glens Falls Ballet and Dance Center. In 2005 he joined Skidmore. Prof. Denise Limoli, who frequently taught with him, says, “With him as an accompanist, it was as if there were two teachers in the classroom.” She says Moston helped stu- dents recognize the importance of danc- ing to live, not recorded, music: “He


CREATIVE COLLABORATION


Filene Music Scholar Hanna Tonegawa ’11 joins


dancers Jacob Goodhart ’12 and Gaia Waisbrod ’11 in re- hearsing for a Swan Lake gala. The performance was made possible by the inclu- sion of an orchestra pit and sprung stage floor in the new Zankel Music Center’s Ladd Concert Hall. As soon as the facility opened last year, Profs. Denise Limoli (classical ballet workshop) and Tony Holland (Skidmore Orchestra) began planning for a collabo- ration. After a semester of separate and then joint re- hearsals, in April they pre- sented two performances of the famous Act II of Stravin- sky’s Swan Lake. Along with all the details of mounting “a beautiful ballet,” Limoli says, the cast of 31 learned to dance with an eye to the conductor and an ear to the subtle vari- ations in live music, while the 67 musicians of the symphony orchestra learned to keep their tempo despite the over- head tapping of toe-shoes just behind them. —SR


would open the lid of the piano, and we asked the students to gather around the instrument and put their hands onto the strings while Oleg played. This helped them to feel the power of the music and to recognize that music must be per- formed by an artist before it is recorded onto CDs or MP3 files.” His survivors include wife Nina, daughter Oxsana, son Maxim, and a grandson. Grandson Nicholas Naumkin had been killed just two weeks earlier in a shooting accident with a schoolmate. —AW, SR


SPRING 2011 SCOPE 9


STEVE J. NEALEY


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