Music standout at 9

Jessica Ablamsky

They never wanted to raise another musician, but from day one it was “music, music, music,” said Vadim Lando, a professional clarinet player and director of the Great Neck Music Conservatory.

“Who knows what he will do as an adult, but right now he loves it,” said his wife Pippa Borisy, a professional piano player and codirector of the Conservatory.

One thing is clear. Their nine-year-old son Maxim Lando can play piano.

He will have a chance to prove it this winter.

Lando will perform with the North Shore Symphony Orchestra Dec. 3, one of three musicians chosen for the honor, followed by a concert Dec. 12, the sixth annual Piano Showcase at the New York State School Music Association Conference.

The fourth grade John F. Kennedy Elementary School student was one of 12 musicians – mostly high school juniors and seniors – chosen statewide. He qualified to audition last year but was too young.

“Every year I’m trying to push myself to play a little bit more,” said Lando, during an interview at the Conservatory at 625 Middle Neck Road.

Lando has grown up around music.

His parents took over the Conservatory eight years ago.

Piano lessons started as a way to keep a three-year-old boy busy. Borisy started paying attention when he was four “because he had a really good ear.”

“I’m a really good memorizer,” said Lando, before playing Bach’s Italian Concerto with an intensity that belies his age and a beauty shocking from one so young.

“It’s a weird piece,” he said. “Usually concertos are played with an orchestra. In this orchestra, your left hand is the orchestra.”

Lando is eagerly waiting to grow up, so he can master the large octaves of his favorite romantic composers.

His other regret is that there are not more hours in the day. Between homework and one to three hours of piano practice per day, he “never” has time for the violin.

Still, when he grows up he wants to double as a professional pianist and violinist.

“There’s not so many who do both in the world,” he said.

Next year could mean The Julliard School, where they would have accepted him at six except was young.

Borisy said it is Lando’s decision whether or not to give up his one free day, Saturday, for more music lessons.

“It’s in him,” said Vadim Lando. “What can I do, he loves it?”

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Jessica Ablamsky

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