The Winner of 2007 International Web Concert Hall
(Russia - Piano)
Tell us about your musical
I began the piano at age five, and my first teacher was my mother, the
only musician in my family. We had an old piano at home, and I was very
curious about it. When I was eleven, I entered the Central Music School
for gifted children in Moscow. I was to leave my family and live in Moscow
all alone. This was most challenging experience for me, but it also
offered me indispensable experience for preparing the future. Moscow always was a
very important cultural center. In Moscow, I had numerous opportunity
to hear outstanding musicians performing and to have lessons with the
best teachers of our time.
Who were your teachers?
I think I was very fortunate with my teachers because all of them were
extraordinary musicians and wonderful individuals. I started my music
education in Byelorussia where my teacher was Natalia Golubeva. Her
experience and infinite patience working with children helped me to
overcome difficult exams for the Central Music School of the Tchaikovsky
Conservatory. I continued my study with Yuri Slesarev, a brilliant
Russian pianist. The most importantly, I would say it was the meeting of
professor Victor Merzhanov in 1997. Student of Samuil Feinberg,
continuer of the tradition of Rachmaninov and Scriabin, he can be
considered one of the greatest representatives of Russian pianism.
My last school was the International Center for Music at Park University
in the United States, where I studied with Stanislav Loudenitch, the
winner of 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, who not only
helped me to develop my own performing style and find new ideas,
but also became a great friend.
How did your teacher influence you as a musician?
Maestro Merzhanov helped me to understand how to work with the music
piece. Being incredibly attentive to the score, to the ideas of composer
he could always notice something very personal in his student. He plays
with wonderful sound, rich and colorful, beautiful phrasing and rubato.
I was always trying to achieve that in my own playing.
Studying with Stanislav Loudenitch opened a new horizon for me. You
simply canít remain indifferent when you hear him playing! His
performances are always highly professional and innovative at the same
time. He taught me to be more demanding, but also be bold and decisive.
Photo by Ruslan Sviridov
How did your friend, parents, etc. influence you as a musician?
Iím very grateful to my mother. She taught me to work, to practice, to
be persistent and to achieve everything possible. Another person, who
influenced me as a musician was my husband, Davide Cabassi. He is a
talented pianist and a special person. His opinion, his precious advices
and his support are very important to me. Itís always a great present
for me to hear him playing and to have an opportunity to play for him.
Do you have a practicing method you follow everyday?
Usually, I start my work from examining the music score. This helps me to
understand the scope of what I must do, to be able to dissect and to
focus. Then, I practice technically difficult passages and the exercises
based on the material of the piece. Of course, the emotional part is
also important. Therefore, I also practice various parts from the score
expressing my ideas and personal feelings. Usually, I complete my
practicing by playing the whole piece at the end to measure how much I
have achieved on that day.
What period music do you enjoy playing the most and why?
It depends on many thingsÖ Sometimes I organize the program to
different styles, including compositions of various period and
countries. Sometimes I concentrate on the music of certain composer. I
enjoy playing different music; I like Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Liszt.
I think romanticism is my favorite. My interests, events of my life,
people I met, places I visited can influence the choice of repertoire
Itís very important for me to be delighted with the music I select.
How do you select repertoire for your concerto performance?
In this period Iím particularly enthusiastic about the concertos of
Russian composers. Iím discovering the power and beauty from their
music. My next project is the Third Concerto by Prokofiev.
What do you hope to accomplish as a musician? Music can express and display unimaginable
beautyÖ would be great if
my concerts could help people to understand that...
Do you like any other forms of art? I like theatre and adore literature. My
favorite writer is Nabokov.
Iíve read almost all his novels, and Iím researching the subject.
What do you do for hobby, if any? Reading and collecting exotic plants.
What was the music that changed your life? Chopinís 24 Preludes.
What was the event that changed your life?
Meeting my husband Davide and our marriage. We met in America during his
concert tour. He is a good friend with my teacher, Stanislav Loudenitch.
Davide is my home and family.
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a good performer?
Understanding of the composerís ideas, respecting the style, and
understanding of the score.
What are some of your upcoming musical project?
CD recording of Six Moments Musicaux and Variations on a theme by
Corelli by Rachmaninov. Hope itís going to happen very soon.
On be half of the Web Concert Hall, we would like to thank you for your time
and we wish all the success.
With Stanislav Loudenitch and my
Interviewed by Webconcerthall November, 2007