The press of Virtuosos of the planet 2007

Interview with the participants

Interview with the participants of the IInd International Music Festival “Virtuosos of the Planet”

Interview with the participants of the IInd International Music Festival "Virtuosos of the Planet"


Wong Wai Yin (China), a prize - winner of the VII International Competition for Young Pianists in memory of Vladimir Horowitz Intermediate Group:

"Chopin's music opens heart"

How has your concert life changed since the participation in the VII International Competition for Young Pianists in memory of Vladimir Horowitz?

I have started to tour a lot. In October I'll perform in several concerts in such cities of the USA as New York, Chicago, Washington. Then I'll go to Egypt and Paris with recitals. Now I feel much more confident.

Where is it easier to play - on the Competition or on the Festival?

It's difficult to say. As for me, it's almost the same, though I feel much calmer on the Festival.

What does scene mean to you?

Everything! It's my life!

Who is your favourite composer?

Chopin. His music opens hearts.

Jan Depreter (Belgium), a Prize Winner of the International guitar competition "Printemps de la Guitare":

"Among all republics of the former Soviet Union Ukraine was the most open thinking country."

Do you know anything about the Ukrainian culture?

I don't know a lot. I know Shevchenko.

Generally, I remember that among all countries of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Ukraine was the most open thinking country, which apprehended new ideas very easily. I know that people in Ukraine are open, emotional and have great heart. Your culture is so original, ancient and unique - it is enough to look at old buildings, churches and works of art.

I feel comfortable here. 

Who of our performers have you listened to?

Once I listened to Mykola Luganskyi, he played Rachmaninoff - It took my breath away! I also remember the Moscow concert of Vladimir Horowitz in 1986. It was fantastic! 

Have you specially chosen the Concerto de Aranjuez for guitar with orchestra for this Festival?

No, I haven't. It is just the most famous concert for the guitar in the world. Besides, it is very vivid, emotional and, to my mind, close to Slavic heart. I played it for the first time when I was 16 years old. I was a very little boy, rather a thin one.


How does a career of a musician in Belgium look like?

Belgium is a very small country. That's why, apart from concert performances with the National Orchestra of Belgium at home, I have tours with the Orchestra of Saint Petersburg. My case is special. My career of a Belgian musician is successful. Except my tours, I am intended to work with a film composer Pedro Almodovar. He is a very renowned composer here in Belgium. Recently, he has received an "Oscar" Award for music to one of the films. He performs with the National Orchestra of Belgium and has asked me to play the guitar with him on TV. It's a great event and honour for me.

What do you do in your free time, if you have such?

From time to time I play chess, watch films, walk into mountains, and go in for sport - tennis, pin - pong. I look after my 12-year-old daughter. On the whole, the most pleasant way of spending time for me is to drink a glass of good wine, to read an interesting book. I can say that I am a happy person. 

Amaury Coeytaux (France), Prize Winner of the Premio Rodolfo Lipizer (Italy):

"The most important thing in life is to do your favorite job"

Are you in Ukraine for the first time?

Yes, I am.

Have you managed to see anything in Kyiv during these days?

Yes, I've been in St. Sofia Cathedral, walked around at the centre of the city.

What is a secret of success?

First of all, you should do your favorite work but in general, all your deeds should be from your heart.

Have you got a favorite composer or performer?

It's a difficult question. I like classical music. Of course, it is Bach.

Alexandra Grot (Russia), Prize Winner of the Carl Nielsen International competition (Denmark):

"Except music, I am really fond of programming."

What impressions of Kyiv have you got?

I constantly compare Kyiv with Moscow. I think that atmosphere in Kyiv is friendlier, calmer and less strained. People are pleasant and outgoing.

Is the concert by Ibert, which you have played here, one of your favorite pieces of music?

Yes, it is.

Have you got any authority in your sphere?

I started to play the flute when I had attended the concert of Sir James Galway (one of the most renowned flutists in the world). Years passed and I stopped considering him an authority. But, of course, I still remember great impressions of that concert. So I think there is no authority for me amongst flutists at the moment.

Do you have any hobby in addition to music?

Yes, I am really fond of programming on "Macintosh".  

Antonio Pompa - Baldi (Italy), Prize Winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition (the USA):

"I especially like Slavic music"

Why have you chosen Concerto No.1 for piano with orchestra by Tchaikovsky? Is it your favorite piece of music?

I played this concert in the Carnegie Hall in New York. I think that Tchaikovsky is the most suitable for such arrangement.

Who is your favorite composer?

I like many composers and it's difficult to distinguish one. But I should say that I especially like Slavic music.

What do you do in your free time?

Frankly speaking, I have a little free time. But if I really have it, I dedicate it entirely to my 2-year old daughter.

Sergey Koudriakov (Russia), Prize Winner of the Geza Anda piano competition (Switzerland)

How did you find out about the Festival "Virtuosos of the Planet"?

I was invited.

Where have you toured? What impressed you most of all?

I have toured in many countries. I've got a lot of vivid impressions. Straight after the Festival I am going to Switzerland, then - to Germany. Because of such a tight schedule I usually don't have enough time to walk around to acquaint with a city, a country.

Was Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3 for piano with orchestra chosen especially for the Festival?

Not exactly. I played it three days ago in Vladimir.

Pieces of what composers do you like to perform?

There are many great musicians whose example young performers should follow. It's difficult to distinguish the only one. It's also difficult to say who your favorite composer is. It's much easier to say whom I don't like. Generally, I like diversity in music.

How do you manage to combine your teaching practice with concert tours?

Both activities are interesting. I've been doing them for 8 years. I am not intended to change anything. Of course, to tour is much pleasant when you are invited.

Ji-Hyun Park (South Korea), Prize Winner of the Pretoria Voice Competition (SAR)

Who is your favorite composer?

It's Verdi. He is simple and challenging at the same time. I think that his aria of Gilda (my favorite one) is a top of his art.

What do you do in your free time?

I like cooking very much. Though I am not very good at it but I know and like cuisine of various countries. I also like to look after my puppy. Frankly speaking, I adore animals. When I have free time, I go to pet shops.

Taras Shtonda (Ukraine), Prize Winner of the Maria Kallas Grand Prix (Greece):

"I like to die on the stage"

Who is an example for you?

I like Borys Gmyria very much. But in a very "Borys Godunov" and in a "Faust" an authority for me is still Shaliapin. Though unconsciously, but I follow him. I am not afraid of it because Shaliapin remains unreachable height, ideal for me.

What kinds of aria do you prefer?

I undoubtedly prefer dramatic arias, though with great pleasure I sing a comical aria of Don Basilio from the opera "The Barber of Seville".  There is something devilish - calumny that controls the world. But anyway, self-expression isn't so full like in a dramatic aria. However surprising it may sound but I like to die on the stage. Borys Godunov is my favorite part.

Are you religious person?

Well, I am not an atheist but my faith is, first of all, understanding and respect. Sometimes it seems to me that I commit blasphemy - I sing Jesus Chris and Devil. I succeed in both parts. So does it mean that I am cunning? But anyway, I am an opera singer. I think that a person should either have an implicit faith or not to believe at all. I get used to rely only on myself.

What do you feel after you finish singing the opera?

If a play is successful, I feel exaltation. It seems to me at the moment that I could repeat everything what I've just sung.

Do you have any hobbies, except music?

I'm never completely free of music. I can't help thinking about it. When I am doing something, I am crooning, making up some images. I used to play football and go in for heavy athletics.

Antti Siirala (Finland), Prize Winner of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition (Great Britain) and Yuri Zilberman, General Director of the Festival

Iryna Polstyankina, Executive Director of the Festival, Antii Siirala, Alexandra Grot and Anton Pavlovsky (Russia), Prize Winner of the Prague Spring International Competition (Czech)

Interview was prepared by

Festival's press group:

Interviewrs: Ganna Reshetniak, Anastasia Gladkaia, Tetiana Tsypan, Iryna Zhdan'ko, Olga Kolomiei

Coordinator: Olesia Naidiuk

Translator: Alla Kyslenko


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