Moscow, RUSSIA - Conductor of Russian Style Folkestra
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in July 2017
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Frankly speaking, I have been dreaming of becoming a musician all my life. So I headed for it, I learned to play balalaika and took part in different contests. I had no other ideas at all at first.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
I would drink a cup of coffee with different people in different periods of my life - right now I guess I would drink some coffee with Mathew Bellamy, lead singer of Muse.
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
I think it would be great, if music were taught in every school worldwide, but in terms of the folklore sound. For instance, Russian students could learn about balalaika, dombra and accordion, while students in Italy would learn mandoline and other instruments, students in Japan could be taught samisen. If kids were given lessons in their folklore national musical instruments from youth, it would change the world to a great extent I believe.
To you, what’s the main characteristic that all human being have in common?
It is inquisitiveness I think. I could say love or some other feelings of course, but I think it is curiousness. And it is the extent of this inquisitiveness that makes us different.
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
I’ve mentioned this person today already. I think it is Mathew Bellamy (lead singer of Muse).
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
To remove all sanctions to Russia of course…
What do you need?
I think I need luck in its major and most global aspect. I got all the rest.
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
First, I'd thank you for your generous proposition. Second, I think I would spend all this money on my orchestra and its development, on the instruments, road tours, music-making and recording - everything, which has to do with my orchestra.
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
It would be great, if space transportation was invented. Transportation in time is another question. It is cool as well, but…Imagine that there is a gate, I enter it and arrive somewhere in Mexico. And another thing is to find yourself in the place, which your eye can reach. For instance, I saw a mountain, and - bang! - I am there. I saw a planet and - bang! - I am there. On the Moon, let's say. That would be cool.
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
Frankly speaking, all the news about my country that is outspread around the world, especially online, frequently does not reflect the real situation in my country. Everything is much calmer, simpler and saner, than the news I see in the headlines of the Western newspapers. So, nothing matters to me, frankly speaking. Nothing.
Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?
I think it is simpler. Life has become easier nowadays, and maybe calmer than it used to be.
Can you draw something beautiful?
Here is my drawing; I think it is very beautiful. Anyway, it looks splendid to me. It is a balalaika, Russian national instrument, which I play.
What are you afraid of?
I think my answer would not be very original. I am afraid of war and everything having to do with military collisions, especially between two countries.
What is your dream?
My dream is to see people around me and especially in my country healthy. I mean healthy relations, physical health and healthy respect with each other. I wish to see normal and humanistic health without any extravagancies everywhere. And personally I wish happiness and well being for my family.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
To tell the truth, I do not see anything good in 2100. I closed my eyes and no nanotechnologies appeared. Devastation all around. No, I don't see anything good.
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
It is two things I guess. Globally, it is Russian nature. I travel quite often, and I really enjoy Russian landscapes. They are fantastically beautiful. Although, basically so are all landscapes worldwide: I just like landscapes. And in regards to something personal, I think that my daughter is something beautiful in the world.
If you had to write a book about the current world, what would be the title?
"The Meaning of Music as a Factor Uniting People Worldwide"
Who is God for you?
It has always been difficult to talk about God - difficult for all people at all times. I think my answer will be like this: God is a miracle that helps people to have hearts.
Which of your country's cultural specificities are you the proudest of?
Russian culture has plenty of beautiful things - ballet, art, literature…and music of course. But since I am a musician, I will choose music, because I think that no other country in the world has so many composers recognized worldwide. Moreover, apart from really great composers like Chaikovskiy, Rakhmaninov and Prokofiev there are many other composers, not so well known, but really remarkable; simply brilliant. That’s why I say music.
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would it be?
The second job I would do if I hadn’t become a musician would be an aircraft pilot.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien, what would you say?
I'd say that it’s not such an interesting place to visit. We have enough fun here without aliens.
And you, which question would you like to ask the world?
What does national music mean to you?
Does the folklore traditional sound become more actual for you or more up-dated?