Competition Artistic Director, Founder & CEO

Message from the Artistic Director

"I am very excited to send my sincere greetings to the participants, Honored Jury members, organizers, guests, press, and audience of classical music.

It's for the fourth time that The George Gershwin International Music Competition is taking place in New York.

The 1st George Gershwin International Music Competition 2013 was a successful event. Officials from the State, New York City and Borough of Brooklyn generously supported this international event. Some of the esteemed invited guests – politicians (Assemblyman Alec Bruk-Krasny and Councilman Mathieu Eugene), businessmen and clerics - were present at the Award Ceremony and the Concluding Gala Concert. Local media – press, TV and radio - were invited to illuminate the competition. Channel 12 made a report on the Preliminary Round of the Competition. Newspapers and journals in various languages from Boston to Washington published articles about the event.

The Second The Second George Gershwin International Music Competition 2015 proved to be even greater international event.The Live Preliminary Round Auditions took place in three States, spanning across New York (3 auditions), New Jersey, and Illinois (Chicago) in the period of November 2014 though February 2015.
Singers and instrumentalists from 33 countries have applied to the Second Gershwin competition. In the United States, competition participants represent 18 states from California to New York.
American as well as international Media and Internet channels covered the competition rounds.
Over 2,000 audience members attended the competition.
The Competition 2015 Jury is comprised from musicians of international importance from The United States, Russia, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, China, South Korea, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, and Colombia.

The Third edition of the the Competition-2017 was held in 4 venues around New York City: The Estonian House, The National Opera Center, and the Kings Bay Library. The Finals of the competition took place at majestic Engelman Recital Hall of the Baruch College. The Awards Ceremony took place at the filled to the brink hall with Celebrities, Sponsors, and musicians sharing the gift of music.
The competition gave career boost to several young musicians, including pianist Ivan Gusev, cellist Liav Kerbel, and soprano Mariya Kaganskaya among others.

The IV Gershwin Competition 2019 focused on piano. Pianists ages 8-35 from Germany, Russia, Canada, Japan, China, South Korea, Ukraine, Taiwan, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Australia, and U.S. cities of New York, Boston, Miami, Cleveland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Portland, Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco performed George Gershwin and other classical composers and competed for top prizes.

As we are getting ready to welcome everyone at the V jubilee edition of George Gershwin competition in New York, I extand my gratitude to all the individuals and organizations, whose tremendous help made The Gershwin International Music Competition, a true Holiday of Music, take place in the "Big Apple", The New York.

Good luck to all, and may the best performance win".

Michael Bulychev-Okser
Founder, Artistic Director, and CEO - George Gershwin International Music Competition.

Hailed by New York Times as "enticing and brilliant", Michael Bulychev-Okser is one of the most thought-after pianists of his generation. Following his acclaimed debut with Manhattan Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jonathan Strasser, Michael has performed thousands of solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts, collaborating with conductors like Kynan Johns, Dmitri Yablonsky, and Robert Lehrbaumer. Critics praise Michael's "imaginative and intelligent style" (David Dubal), "Ellegance and grace the piano is destined to produce" (Cosmo Buono), and "Sheer poetry and panoramic vision" (Las Provincias, Valencia).
Bulychev-Okser's extensive piano career has showcased him in solo recitals in the world's most prestigious stages: Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), La Salle Pleyel (Paris), Wigmore Hall (London), Heichal Hatarbut (Tel Aviv), The Saal Palace (Alexandria), IBK Concert hall (Seoul), and Centermex Theater (Monterrey).
Bulychev-Okser's discography includes recordings of Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata and "Goyeskas" by Granados (RCA label), "Transcriptions from Past to Future" (Neue Sterne, Germany), and "Music by living New York composers", recorded live at the Barge Music Festival in New York. Recordings 2021 include new album for Odradek Records.
Winner of many competitions, including Artists International, Michael has been featured on CBS and Channel 12 programs and WQXR and WWFM radio stations, in addition to international media: TV1 (Russia), TV3 (Estonia), RAI 1 (Italy), and Nippon TV (Japan).
An avid collaborative musician, Michael Bulychev-Okser collaborated with pianists Olga Kern, Dmitri Bashkirov, Daniel Pollack; violinists Pierre Amoyal, Albert Markov, Miriam Davis, Alyssa Margulis, Anastasia Kozlova; cellists Raphael Wallfisch, Borislav Strulev, Colin Carr; violists Hartmut Rhode and Alexander Zemtsov; clarinetist Julian Milkis and Metropolitan Opera soprano, Olga Makarina.
Committed to innovative programming and celebrating world's cultures, Bulychev-Okser has performed rare Italian paraphrases (Ravenna, 2014), presented recitals of music exclusively by Baltic composers (in Estonia and Latvia), and has transcribed Chinese folk songs in a jazzy style; his performance of transcriptions on the bank of Yangtze River was shown to over a million viewers worldwide.
An educator with 20 years of experience, Michael Bulychev-Okser has held teaching positions at Long Island Conservatory, New York University, Rutgers University of New Jersey, and Mokwon University in South Korea. While teaching piano to variety of students aged 7-36, Bulychev-Okser has developed his own method of piano education, which is focused on developing students’ critical thought process. Bulychev-Okser summarized his method in a book “Conversations with students”, which is to be published in 2022 in New York. Bulychev-Okser is a frequent guest at many music festivals, competitions, and concert series, including Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, U. K.; Todi International Music Festival, Italy; Kaufmann Music Center, New York; Latvian Academy of Music in Riga; Changsha Music Competition, China; Valencia International Piano Festival, Spain; Piano Island Festival, Singapore; International piano festival in Universidad de Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University, Israel; Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatory: Tbilisi, Georgia; SUMY International Festival (Ukraine); Rachmaninov Concert Hall in Moscow, Russia; Isidor Bajic Piano Competition – Novi Sad, Serbia; XX Scriabin International Competition – Grosetto, Italy; XVI Compositores des Espagna – Madrid, Spain; Piano Competition “Vals de travers” – Nouchatel, Switzerland; XI MozArte Piano Competition – Aachen, Germany; XI Lyon International Piano Competition – Lyon, France; Palais Auersperg in Vienna, Austria, and Paderewski and Chopin International Competitions in the United States and Poland. Bulychev-Okser’s commitment to initiating multi-cultural musical forums and curating concert series has inspired him to establish George Gershwin International Music Competition in New York, and Alion Baltic International Music Festival, a large-scale annual event, presenting master classes, lectures, and concerts in 4 countries: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Michael Bulychev-Okser has performed numerous online concerts, including the United States premiere of Thin Air by Calliope Tsoupaki on behalf of Festivals for Compassion. Michael’s online concerts in support of New York medical and emergency workers, were awarded Honorary Diplomas by the New York Assembly Member, William Colton. Michael Bulychev-Okser also organized Classical Hugs - Online Music Festival, which supports musicians across the globe with educative and performance opportunities, during the time of health crises.
Concert season 2021-2022 will feature Bulychev-Okser in two orchestral concerts with Shlomo Mintz, a lecture-recital at Raritan Valley College (USA), performances in Tiggiano Conservatory (Italy), Almería Philharmonic (Spain), and EugeneOn Classics Festival in South Korea, and appearance with Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia (Spain).