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Vladimir let’s go back to the source of your work in the Orchestra of the National Radio ... How did you start? What was the most difficult?

 - I came to this Symphony Orchestra as a crisis manager. It pleases that I can move something. We have to leave the work at 22:00 and arrive early in the morning.

We need either a lot of money or a very strong desire to gather the orchestra together. The second prevails. 

It was a high staff turnover at first. Now all the posts are occupied. People want to work in the NRCU Symphony Orchestra, despite the low payments.


- Today a lot of Ukrainian conductors complain that is very difficult to tour – there is no money, not always in small Ukrainian cities concerts halls are filled with audience for symphonic music ...


- It happen in different ways... For example, during the last four years, the collective toured in 10 Asian and European countries - South Korea, Iran, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland ... We performed in prestigious concert halls: the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), De Doelen (Rotterdam), Queen Elizabeth Hall (Antwerp), Philharmonie Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Philharmonia Narodowa (Warsaw), Auditorio Nacional de la Musica and the Teatro Monumental (Madrid) ... We had 72 concerts in South Korea. Only in Spain were ten times ...


It is a big job. It took a lot of efforts after six years staying in one place. And it gave a profit. And then ... We did a lot in Ukraine. For example, we often have concerts in the National Philharmonic. We played “Viennese balls” in the opera... Also we performed “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff...


- They say you have your own version of “Carmina Burana”?


- Yes, because it's oratorio. This is a product for the choir, orchestra and soloists with the performance at the stage. Carl Orff, composer, did not write what exactly the performance it must be. He only pointed certain “marks” - I give no libretto, you should personalize those things, which my music suggests. So I devised the story, added characters. The ballet “Suzir'ya Anіko” worked with us…


- Continuing the theme of Symphony Orchestra’s tours in Ukrainian cities ...


- Unfortunately, in Ukraine, in mass understanding orchestras are not popular. We have a system of education when working with young people we can see that they are totally unprepared. As you know, there are 500 seats in National Philharmonic. It is usually about 2-3 symphony concerts a week and this is happiness! But the hall is not crowded. And in halls in Korea and Spain 2-3 thousand or even five thousand seats are sold out everywhere!


We played Verdi’s “Requiem” at 11.30 on Sunday in Barcelona... Well, guess who will come? It was “dark” from the audience in the hall of 6 thousands places. Our concert tour in Spain was “shuttle” – Barcelona – Madrid, Madrid – Barcelona ... And we already begun to recognize people that visited our concerts, because we played six days in Barcelona in Palau de la Música Catalana the same program. And tickets for our orchestra were worth twice than the price of the National Orchestra of Spain. Even the Queen of Spain with her entourage visited our concert.


However, many young people from abroad are aspiring to get a musical education in Ukraine?


- Yes, it's a paradox ... Foreign musicians are learning music from us! And how does it survive? It is not clear! The school and enthusiasm will finish one day... I stopped in Sicily to change shoes in a customary car workshop. And my colleague said to me “maestro” ... The usual Sicilian revived immediately. Because “maestro”, “opera”, “tenor” are code for them. They are symbols of national worship of themselves. This is one that presents nation high.


- How many people work in your orchestra today?


- 88. It is a really big collective. Everybody are very good musicians. We have no sponsors and patrons. Everything is building on the enthusiasm and devotion of people that take part in this. Our performances – recordings are holding in the form of concerts, tickets are not selling - there are only invitations and posters.


According to the age of musicians we can say that in general it is young orchestra. And I am glad that the number of male musicians in string group increased rapidly. And it is important. When I came here there was only one male violinist in first violins! The ladies all the rest. But with all the love and respect for the fair sex the male energy is still necessary in the orchestra! Not only in wind, but in string groups. So the balance is observed, many people talk about the good climate in the collective.


- Federico Fellini has a famous film “Orchestra Rehearsal”. The model of the relationship between the conductor and orchestra is shown there...


- I understand what you're hinting about. There is one aspect that rescued as well as it was the scourge of me all my life... I am a big democrat inwardly. And I often say to musicians that I do not want to control slaves, I want to work with colleagues. I have no salary scary ... I always worked with best musicians collectively. At first, because I was young and inexperienced. And then I had to work ten years as chief conductor of the Operetta Theater.


- You also were a trainee at the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia two years. Did you have desire to stay there?


- No, I do not want to Russia. Bolshoi Theatre is a great machine and has no end of trouble. The theater is larger, the production is larger. There are about 3000 people. We have enough work without theater.


- Did you receive invitations from European orchestras to work longer?


- It is comfortable there in creative activity for me ... Italians many times say to me: “You're playing so, teach us music. We did not hear such a performance so for a long time!”. Very often orchestras abroad play well exactly technologically. There are have a director, art director; artists are constantly changing. So with a good composition of musicians they play pretty well ... But ... As a rule, such orchestras have no emotional unanimity like in our collectives. I can not explain what works in our orchestras. I have a pleasure to work with our musicians. They return more than foreigners. Although there are opposite instance... I worked with the Orchestra of Algeria, they came here, we gave a concert at the National Philharmonic. So, the Algerian musicians played the overture from “Natalka Poltavka” that everybody gasped! It was so true, so open and so juicy! But it was difficult to work with them - they are very emotional southern people ...


I had luck with teachers. I studied with Lev Venediktov in a conservatory as choirmaster. And in conducting was the last student of Stephen Turchak. It saved me in my life creatively. Education and skills were my buoy in different conflict situations.