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15 Questions to Julia Zilberquit

img  Tobias
Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi, I am fine and I am in New York City.

What's on your schedule right now?

I just released a new CD "mystery of Bagatelles" featuring works of Couperin, Beethoven, Sains-Saens, Lyadov, Liszt, Tcherepnine, Bartok and Denissov. I have also premiered an unknown early concerto by Beethoven that he wrote at the age of 14. The premiere took place in Moscow with Yuri Bashmet and the "New Russia" Symphony Orchestra.

If you hadn't chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?

I am really not sure since I have been seriously involved in music since I was four years old.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
My father who is a great musician and musicologist . Right now he is the Head of Russia's largest publishing house "Muzyka". My  teacher Bella Davidovich and all the great musicians and conductors that I was lucky to work with. Yehudu Menuhin was am amazing conductor and Musician that I had the privilege to perform with. Vladimir Horowitz came to Moscow when I was 14 years old and his recital is the memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I also love early recordings by Michelangeli and late recordings and concerts by Emil Gilels.

What's the hardest part about being a musician and what's the best?
The hardest part for me is to always try to  find  a different inspiration
for every concert. The best part is the feeling of joy and satisfaction when I do indeed find that incredible inspiration that brings the whole atmosphere of the concert to a completely different level of communication between the myself and the audience.

What's your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
Even tough we read everywhere that there is a decline of classical music, there is still a huge demand for music lessons, concerts and recordings. In my opinion, classical music was always the art for the lesser masses and it will remain so.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it's all been done before. What do you tell them?
I feel that every artist has a right to his or hers interpretation of any piece of music and that there will always be an interest for a new one. I perform and record a lot of music that had never been recorded and also I make a lot of arrangement of somewhat familiar pieces in different transcriptions. For example, I have made an arrangement of Shostakovich Concertino for Piano and Orchestra (originally for 2 pianos) and also Bach-Vivaldi  2 concerto Grossos for Piano and Orchestra (originally Vivaldi Concerti Grossi for 2 violins that Bach later transcribed for organ).

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What's your approach to performing on stage?

A good life performance in my opinion is when an artist and the audience  really get connected and when the music really "flows" naturally. There are some rare moments when both the artist and the public feel that they are witnessing a miracle.

What does the word "interpretation" mean to you?

The interpretation is the emotional and philosophical base that the artist
is able to bring to a performance. However, that interpretation may or may not find its audience.

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.

True or false: "Music is my first love"

Can you call a first love something you have been doing since 4?
For me it is more a way of life.

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.


You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?

I would program a lot of young unknown artists along with the masters. I would also program a lot of new interesting music and not widely known old masters.

What's your favorite classical CD at the moment?
Pletnev playing Schumann.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
No. I cant imagine playing another instrument


Jewish Music from Russia
(Le Chant Du Monde)
Bach Complete Solo Keyboard Concertos (Musical Heritage Society)
Bagatelles (Russian Seasons)


Julie Zilberquit

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