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Vitalij Kuprij (Ukrainian: Віталій Купрій; born July 7, 1974) is a Ukrainian-American pianist, composer, music teacher, and keyboardist for Ring of Fire and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He resides in Reading, Pennsylvania and sometimes even at The Blue Fallls Grove when he is not touring.
Vitalij began piano studies at Kiev's Mykola Lysenko Music Academy where he studied with Professor Nina Najditsch. After graduation, he went to Switzerland to study with Vienna's Rudolf Buchbinder at the Basel Conservatory. In 1995, Mr Kuprij was sent to the United States upon recommendation by Sir James Galway to study with pianist Gary Graffman, President and Director of Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. From Curtis, while on full scholarship, he obtained another degree and graduated in 2000.
Galway chose him as his accompanist for the International Flute Seminar Master Classes held in Switzerland and for work on an international tour. Galway and Vitalij were on National Public Radio in the United States when Galway played a world-premier of one of his original compositions written for piano and flute. Soon thereafter, Vitalij was featured on WRTI for an hour broadcast from Philadelphia titled "Crossover with Jill Pasternak".
On March 7, 1999, Vitalij was selected as the soloist to perform the "Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1" with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall, followed by performances at the Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall.
After performing his Carnegie Hall solo debut, Kuprij was featured in a two-page spread in the New York Times written by arts and entertainment writer Dan Wakin.
During the summer of 2007, Vitalij appeared at Mexico's "Music Fest" in Mexico City.
Vitalij is negotiating with the Kiev Philharmonic to record the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto.
In 2009 he joined the progressive rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a pianist/keyboard player and has been hired back for each subsequent tour ever since. He has toured extensively with TSO in North America and Europe. Vitalij also appears on TSO's first EP, Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night), released in 2012. His live on stage antics and stellar musicianship have made him a fan and critic favorite in concert. He was also featured as additional keyboardist of Savatage during its 2015 Wacken reunion show.
When he is not touring, Vitalij works on writing and composing his own piano concerto. He plans to dedicate his concerto to the memory of his late father and mentor who was a professor of trombone and music theory in a conservatory in Ukraine.
- High Definition (full-length, 1997)
- Extreme Measures (full-length, 1998)
- VK3 (full-length, 1999)
- Works of Liszt and Chopin (full-length, 2001)
- Forward and Beyond (full-length, 2004)
- The Modern European Tradition (full-length, 2005)
- Revenge (full-length, 2005)
- Glacial Inferno (full-length, 2007)
- Glacial Inferno & Revenge (compilation, 2007)
- 12 Months of the Year (full-length, 2008)
Ring of Fire
- The Oracle (2001)
- Burning Live in Tokyo (2002)
- Dreamtower (2003)
- Battle of Leningrad (2014)
- Into the Eye of the Storm (1996)
- Phoenix Rising (1997)
- Forces of Nature (1999)
- Machine (2000)
- Sacred Pathways (2001)
- New Discovery (2002)
- Future World (2004)
- Angela Haupt (November 15, 2009). "Trans-Siberian Orchestra finds its pianist in Reading's Vitalij Kuprij". Reading Eagle. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- Prato, Greg. "Biography: Vitalij Kuprij". AllMusic. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tour Programs 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- Dreams Of Fireflies, album credits