Maestro Bar Haimov delivered an absolutely stellar performance! I was fortunate enough to attend his concert featuring the music of Beethoven, conducted by the great Maestro Bar Haimov, alongside his superb ensemble Kollective366. The concert, held on April 20, 2024, at the well-known church adjacent to the Juilliard School, the Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, provided the perfect setting for such a musical experience.
This concert explored Beethoven’s musical responses to challenges, both internal and external, a theme particularly fitting for the turbulent early 19th century. Maestro Haimov and Kollektive366 took us on a journey through the composer’s triumphs and struggles, starting with the youthful optimism of «The Creatures of Prometheus» to the powerful emotions of the Triple Concerto featuring the masterful trio of Gabrielle Després on violin, Sarah Ghandour on cello, and Lara Saldanha on piano. The program concluded with the exuberant spirit of the Fourth Symphony.
Although I could only make the second half, I left feeling profoundly glad I did.
I owe a debt of gratitude to my multitalented colleague, Mr. Rafael Nektalov, organizer, editor, writer, artist (you name it), who graciously invited me to the concert and who offered me a beautiful opportunity to write my impressions about the event.
Having performed twice at the church myself—the first time was Shostakovich Piano Concerto No 1 under the baton of David Gilbert, and the second was a combo recital with solo piano works and with wonderful soprano Anna Zhukovskaya—I understand the challenges posed by its acoustics. However, Maestro Haimov and his ensemble conquered them effortlessly, delivering a standout performance!
Maestro Bar Haimov, a conductor, violist, and musicologist, embodies not only extraordinary musical talent but also an outstanding personality with incredible power and energy.
His unwavering concentration is like the rock of Gibraltar, anchoring the entire performance with finesse and precision.
I welcome the opportunity to one day hear Maestro Haimov conduct live and record the complete cycle of Beethoven’s Symphonies.
For me, attending performances like these is not just about the music; it’s about the energy—the kind that charges our creative batteries and enables us to excel in our own pursuits—faster and better!
That energy could be felt pulsating through the concert hall, and I am sure the entire audience left feeling invigorated by the great performance.
After the concert, I couldn’t resist shouting «Bravo!» Over the years, I have noticed that some audiences at classical music concerts are afraid to show their appreciation beyond clapping.
I remember what my friend Alexander Zak and his family told me: It is beneficial to shout «Bravo» for many reasons. If the recital is recorded, it will be on the recording and makes it even more impressive. Not only does it show appreciation for the performer, but it also adds to the overall atmosphere of satisfaction and achievement.
In short, when you go to hear Maestro Haimov, do not be afraid to shout «Bravo!» However, an even a greater appreciation is to hear «Bravo!» before the performance! I hope that happens sooner or later for the conductor!

Reflecting on Beethoven’s music, I recall a seminar at Juilliard, where the esteemed pianist and Beethoven specialist, Jacob Lateiner, a Cuban Jew, categorized Beethoven’s output into six periods. There are six periods within Beethoven sonatas and also six periods encompassing his work for all genres and instrumentation.
For example, if we were to take only piano sonatas, the six periods are: No. I – Op. 2 to Op. 22; No. 2 – Op. 26 to Op. 28; No. 3 – Op. 31 to Op. 57; No. 4 – Op. 78 – Op. 90; No. 5 – Op. 101 to Op. 106; No. 6 – Op. 109 to Op. 111. If we were to take all the works of Beethoven, then Symphony No. 4 falls under the area between the third and the fourth periods.
Understanding these periods offers insight into Beethoven’s artistic evolution and emotional landscapes he traversed in his compositions.
Even if you’re new to classical music, you can still appreciate the incredible energy and emotion of Beethoven’s compositions. Beyond the «wow factor» at concerts, understanding a bit about Beethoven’s «musical language» can unlock a deeper connection to his music. In other words, what feelings and ideas is he trying to convey through his music?
Beethoven’s connection to nature was unparalleled, and his ability to evoke human emotions through music reflecting the elements – wind, lightning, storm – imbued his compositions with a raw, elemental power. Even on long countryside rides, his creativity flowed, and some believe we can hear echoes of these journeys by horse-drawn carriage in his music, like aural landscapes painted during his travels.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 with Maestro
Bar Haimov

The April 20th symphony I experienced was triumphant ride in B-Flat Major. The opening movement starts off dark and gloomy, like someone trapped in a cave. Dramatic bursts of music then erupted, portraying the struggle to break free. This mirrored Beethoven’s own deafness, perhaps, a powerful image of his fight against silence.

Suddenly, the music broke open, filled with a sense of liberation. Was this the joy of escaping the cave? Or perhaps Beethoven celebrating the triumph of the human spirit?
The second movement took us on a journey, a peaceful trot in a horse-drawn carriage through the countryside. The mood shifted dramatically in the third movement, traditionally a scherzo or «joke» in Italian. Here, I imagined a lively scene – country folk gathering for a boisterous celebration, fueled by laughter and drink.
The finale capped off the symphony with a burst of energy, like a powerful lightning strike illuminating a storm.
There are very few miraculous musicians in our lifetime. What I witnessed at the concert of Maestro Bar Haimov was nothing short of a miracle—an embodiment of strength and freedom that left an indelible mark on all who attended. Truly, his gift to the world is one to be cherished and celebrated! Amen.
Dr. Maxim Anikushin is a concert pianist who has performed solo in some of the world’s most acclaimed venues. He holds Bachelor (96) and Master (98) degrees from The Juilliard School of Music and a Doctorate (08) from the Manhattan School of Music—all in piano performance. Maxim dreams to one day perform with Bar Haimov.

Dr. Maxim Anikushin