“For a Russian musician – a special significance in the title of People’s Artist”

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Vadim Repin. Photo by Alexander Kazakov

The concert of the Trans-Siberian Art Festival will take place at Milan’s La Scala Theater, the international music community remains friendly despite political escalation, and the pandemic continues to hamper touring.

About this, as well as about the joint program of Yuri Bashmet and Yevgeny Mironov, canceled performances in England and his new title “NoticesSaid the violinist, festival director Vadim Repin immediately after the series of concerts in Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk.

“Musicians are a very friendly people”

– First of all, I would like to congratulate you on being awarded the title of People’s Artist on April 1. When we talked to you four years ago, I asked why you don’t have titles.

You told me then: “I am a freelance artist, I don’t even remember where my workbook is. At one time she was in a philharmonic, now, in my opinion, she is kept in a safe in the festival office… »Has anything changed since then?

– It has changed. There are people who not only turned to the Ministry of Culture with an initiative, but also dealt with the technical part of this case, and I am very grateful to them! As a result, on the eve of my 50th birthday, everything turned out, which I am very happy about.

– What changes the presence of this title for you? Your career went well without him.

– I do not think that something should change in my profession. As I was devoted to playing the violin and the art of music in general, so I remain. But, probably, mentally for a Russian musician there is some special meaning and joy in this. I can’t explain in words…

From my youth, all my idols were announced: “People’s Artist”. Then the Soviet Union, then Russia. Now they will announce me like that. This is valuable.

Vadim Repin’s Trans-Siberian Art Festival continues to build cultural bridges

– You have ended the main phase of the Trans-Siberian Festival. Its holding coincided with dramatic events in the world. Was it harder than before?

– The festival flew by quickly and in some respects even better than in previous years, when everything was complicated by the pandemic. We now had full halls at all concerts without exception, even at documentary screenings.

Absolutely fantastic artists came as guests, and each concert turned out to be a special event for me. Yes, due to logistics problems it was very difficult to build the program. But from concert to concert we learned to act even more mobile, even smarter.

– Which of the guests would you mention? Whose participation was the most valuable for you and to a greater extent shaped the look of the festival?

“I don’t like to single anyone out.” Of course, the Pas de deux project with Svetlana Zakharova is especially dear to my heart – we planned to show it only in Krasnoyarsk, but in the end we brought it to Novosibirsk as a replacement for one of the programs, which was built on Hollywood music and, therefore, , American artists. Let’s see, I think that one day we will still be able to show it.

Special thanks to my closest friends, Yuri Bashmet and Alexander Knyazev. Bashmet had a wonderful program with Yevgeny Mironov – this is one of the original projects that we originally planned.

An unfinished play for the Trans-Siberian Art Festival

– Did any of the foreign artists come?

– Pianist Itamar Golan from Israel, cellist Narek Ahnazaryan from Armenia. They had to endure many hours with transfers to be in Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk – and at the same time they performed excellently!

– And those who still did not come, refused to participate solely because of transport problems or because of politics?

– I think each artist had their own considerations, and it’s not up to me to judge the reasons for their decision. But mostly it’s still logistics, because musicians are a very friendly people. The joy of communicating with the audience and with each other is above all for us.

– As far as I know, you had to hastily redesign some programs and go on stage yourself instead of foreign artists.

– Yes, I had to take some programs into my own hands. Not much. But still there were events that would not have taken place without my participation.

– For you, such emergency inputs – tension or joy?

– When you are in the rage of a festival concert, it is difficult to answer this question even to yourself. And now, when everything is over in Siberia, the only feeling that overwhelms me is the joy that the festival took place in spite of everything and that the concert halls were sold to the last seat.

A look at art from a historical distance

– You say that the audience was very positive. But when you were on stage, you must have felt the anxiety that overwhelms many people now. Was there a feeling that the audience reacted and perceived everything differently than in previous years?

– Maybe the reaction was brighter in something. But in general I would not compare one year with another. Sometimes, even between concerts for two consecutive days, the difference in the audience’s perception is stronger than between two festivals. It depends on the specific audience that gathered for the event. And, of course, from the works.

For example, if we play Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, we try to create an atmosphere suitable for his perception. We not only capture the emotions of the audience, but also share our feelings, thus influencing the audience. After all, the festival exists to share the feelings, emotions and ideas that art carries.

– Major festivals like yours are usually planned well in advance. Are you already thinking about how you will shape the program for next year? And if so, do you assume that the current difficulties will persist?

– While there are concerts in Moscow, Samara, St. Petersburg, there is no time to think about the future. But we really have experience of three or five years. After all, the festival is not like you woke up and did it. We have to plan hard ahead. However, now I can not say what exactly will happen in 2023, and what will have to be postponed to some next years.

– In your opinion, how long will the difficult situation affect music life?

– I do not know. I’m not a seer. This can change very quickly, or it may not change at all.

Across Siberia with love: how major classical music festivals are changing

– Has your own schedule as a violinist changed?

– In the next few months, my concerts are practically not canceled. So, on May 16 we will play in Milan – there will be a joint concert of the Trans-Siberian Festival and the La Scala Theater. We will present the works “Dialogue: Me and You” by Sofia Gubaidulina and La Sindone by Arvo Pert. They were written at my personal request especially for our festival and in recent years performed in Novosibirsk. Now their European premiere will take place.

– Did Italy not abandon these plans due to sanctions?

– No, everything has to happen. I repeat: the music community is very friendly. Art builds bridges, and we demonstrate this with our example, with all our activities.

– Do you plan to intensify touring activities in the eastern direction? There is a lot of talk now about cooperation with China, India and other major Asian countries.

– I’m going to perform in all these countries. But to say that I will specifically amplify something is probably not entirely correct. The season is going on in different countries, on different continents. And everywhere its circumstances. Some events are canceled – for various reasons, not only because of politics.

For example, right now I had to be on tour in England and play there for two weeks with the Chinese Symphony Orchestra, but everything was canceled due to a pandemic – logistically such a project is still very difficult to implement. China is also tightening restrictions, with some cities closing. Although everyone has stopped talking about the coronavirus, it still exists.

“They did not need to cancel, she canceled them herself. Anna will start work in May ”

– That is, you have not yet felt any “culture of abolition»?

“I didn’t feel anything.” But I was in Siberia all this time. And the plans are still in force.

Sergey Uvarov, Izvestia

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