What was the most emotional moment of your trial period?
I think it was the first day. I was nervous and came in very early, which is not necessarily something I am known for. Meeting so many new individuals and arriving in a new country made me quite anxious. However, at the same time, I was filled with great excitement because I find the Philharmonie and its concert hall to be breathtaking. I was prepared to finally have the opportunity to perform. Later, my colleague, who happened to be the first person I met and talk toon that first day, mentioned that I didn't appear as nervous as I might have been. But let me assure you, I was truly nervous all throughout!
Is there a concert from your trial period that particularly stands out?
One of my favourites was performing Mahler No. 6. But, being Russian, I have a deep appreciation for Rachmaninoff, who happens to be one of my favorite composers. Having the opportunity to play this music in such a magnificent hall was truly a remarkable experience for me.
Do you remember your first performance with the Luxembourg Philharmonic?
Yes, I remember. It was a film music project featuring the big screen, and we had the privilege of performing music from a Charlie Chaplin movie. What took me by surprise was the absence of click tracks; even the conductor didn't rely on them. Considering that continuous music is required for Charlie Chaplin's works, it was impressive to witness the conductor's expertise in leading the performance seamlessly. The outcome was splendid, thanks to the conductor's seasoned skills.
Being a former academist at the “Komische Oper Berlin”, what would you say is the biggest difference in joining a full-time orchestra? And were there any experiences from the academy that helped you integrate here?
Throughout my academic year, I had a variety of experiences that significantly contributed to my growth. One noteworthy experience was playing in the orchestra of the opera house, which provided a completely different sensation compared to performing in an orchestra pit. On a grand stage, you can clearly hear all the instruments and observe the musicians, which almost creates an interactive atmosphere within the orchestra. In the orchestra pit, such dynamic interactions are nearly impossible, and you have to strongly rely on your section leader, the Concertmaster, and the conductor. Because hearing the singers is almost impossible in the pit, you must trust your fellow musicians. Overall, the experience of playing symphonic music feels distinct, as it allows me to focus solely on playing the music itself.
I believe the most significant difference is that my life has profoundly changed for the better.
Is there advice you would give to other musicians during their trial period? Or anything they should pay attention to?
I have some advice that I see as more of general life principles. Show respect, be punctual, come prepared, and always give your best effort. As for the trial you mentioned, there's nothing particular you need to focus on; my only recommendation is to be authentic and true to yourself, as people will ultimately sense the kind of person you are. I believe it's challenging to conceal one's true nature because people are perceptive beings.
Do you remember what pieces you played during your audition for the position at the Luxembourg Philharmonic?
This is unforgettable. Don Juan Größte Stelle, orchestra excerpt by Strauss. During the final round, I had to perform the first movement of William Walton’s concerto and various orchestral excerpts, such as Mendelssohn’s Songe d’une nuit d’été, Janáček’s Sinfonietta and Die verkaufte Braut. And I remember Brahms’ Variationen über ein Thema von Haydn.
Do you have a favorite solo part in the orchestra repertoire?
Lately, I've had the pleasure of discovering Ginastera's Variations Concertantes, a composition that showcases challenging solo passages for the viola. Additionally, I am very fond of Don Quixote.
Who has been the most influential teacher for you in your music career?
I must acknowledge the profound influence my teachers have had on me. Each of them imparted invaluable knowledge and left me with something unique to carry forward. That's why I find it difficult to single out just one as being particularly special. Moreover, there are individuals who weren't officially my teachers, but who I still learned a great deal from. Video lessons have also played a significant role in my learning journey. All in all, I am sincerely grateful to every teacher who has contributed to my growth and development.
When did you start playing the viola?
I only started to play the viola in 2008 at the age of 16. But I started learning the violin when I was 5.
Why did you change the instrument?
(laughs) I was kind of forced to change. I was accepted for the viola but not for the violin.
Where did you complete your studies?
My first violin teacher was like a second mother figure in my life. As I progressed, I relocated to Moscow and pursued my studies at the College of Moscow Conservatory, where another influential teacher left a lasting impression on me. Subsequently, I made my way to Saint-Petersburg and finally settled in Berlin. I hold deep appreciation for the professors I had the privilege to learn from during my time in each of those cities.
Are there any other orchestras you particularly enjoy?
The Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker. They are not perfect because perfection does not exist, but they are great in different ways. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is also great but for me the most significant ones are the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker.
Is there a concert hall you would like to perform in with the Luxembourg Philharmonic?
I think it would be great to play at the Carnegie Hall.
Is there anything you love specifically about Luxembourg?
I'm truly relishing my time in Luxembourg. This place has everything one could possibly need, and if you’re in for more excitement, you can easily hop on a tram, drive, or even catch a flight to various destinations, such as Portugal, Paris, or Brussels. So, yes, I have a deep affection for Luxembourg. The captivating nature and the overall ambiance of the city have won me over. Despite being a small country, Luxembourg is an experience I’m thoroughly enjoying. Not to mention the added perk of free public transportation, which is definitely a major advantage.