Staples grad, turned pro violinst, returns to roots for performance


Aaron Hendel

Pikazyen, accompanied by his mother on the piano, performs in front of the student audience.

A few weeks ago, social studies teacher Carol Avery was talking about a former student, Igor Pikayzen ’05, in one of her A.P. European History classes. She knew he was a professional violinist who traveled extensively around the world, playing with multiple orchestras as well as solo concerts. But when Avery found out he was in New York City, she decided to e-mail him asking if he would like to play for her classes.

That led to today’s performance in the choir room, where Pikayzen performed for two Euro sections as well Luke Rosenberg’s choir class.

“It was a lot of fun; the students were really great listeners,” Pikaysen said.

Pikayzen, accompanied by his mother, Tatyana, on the piano, played both Beethoven and Brahm’s “Sonata No. 3,” as well as “Ravel’s Tzigane.”

“We feel pieces the same way,” the younger Pikayzen said on playing with his mother, who still lives in Westport and gives piano lessons in the area.

In between the pieces, Pikayzen answered trivia questions on European history asked by students currently enrolled in the same course he took nine years ago at Staples. He promptly answered every question correctly, with the exception of mixing up one of the King Henrys.

“If he reads (something), he knows it,” Avery said of Pikayzen’s stellar memory, which she noticed when he was one of her pupils. “But I did not think he would know these questions.” She also recalled his fantastic sense of humor, which he displayed on a few occasions.
Pikayzen, who moved to the United States from Russia when he was in elementary school, also played soccer at Staples in addition to the violin. He still follows the team through their website, and hopes to make a few of the squad’s upcoming playoff games before heading to Poland in late November.

At the conclusion of the third selection, the Pikayzen duet received a standing ovation.

“That is the point (of music); to play for younger generations,” Tatyana said. “It was a really nice experience.”