Professor Emeritus Roman Rudnytsky’s life rests on 88 keys.
On Monday, the former Youngstown State University piano instructor performed a guest artist concert in Bliss Hall. Some of the selections included music by Mozart, Chopin, Stravinsky and Debussy.
With both of his parents being musicians, it was natural that he began playing piano at age 4. By the time he was 7, he played his very first concert.
Throughout his teen years and into adulthood, Rudnytsky won numerous awards and attended the Juilliard School of Music, studying piano. Rudnytsky received his master’s degree from Juilliard as well.
“My nicest memories come from Juilliard,” Rudnytsky said. “Because I was at such a prestigious conservatory, I had to belief in myself and not be rattled.”
After graduating from Juilliard, Rudnytsky taught at YSU for 39 years and retired in 2011.
Dianne Yazvac, a YSU piano instructor, said she was glad to see her former colleague again.
“To say Roman is a genius is an understatement,” Yazvac said. “I’ve known him for almost 30 plus years now, and he ceases to amaze me and the department.” Over the course of his lifetime, Roman has performed his concertos in more than 95 countries. Even though Rudnytsky has played across the globe, he can’t pick a favorite.
“There is no place in the world I do not like to be at,” Rudnytsky said. “Everywhere is so unique and mysterious, especially the Easter Islands. So much mystery lies within the islands and it is so beautiful.”
Marissa Dell’Arco, a sophomore psychology major, attended the concert and said she was impressed by Rudnytsky’s extensive resume.
“A lot of people don’t like it here at all,” Dell’Arco said. “After being in that many different countries and coming back for something small, it makes me really excited to see it. Many people wouldn’t do that.”
Although Rudnytsky has accomplished so much over the course of his life, he is still learning every day.
“No matter how good you are at something, you can always better yourself,” Rudnytsky said. “Even to this day, I am trying and learning new things, and I am improving myself.”