Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.
Where were you born? In Tashkent, USSR.
What piece of music could you hear over and over again? Brahms’s Symphony No. 1.
What is your most treasured possession? My family.
What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? M Restaurant at the Morris House.
Tell us about your instrument. I have a Venetian violin by Sanctus Seraphin, ca. 1738, which was in a collection in Paris for 70 years before I bought it. Prior to that it was owned by Joseph Szigeti and Charles Munch.
What’s in your instrument case? Two bows, rosin, pencils, and a practice mute.
If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? I would ask Ravel if he would consider writing a violin concerto.
What piece of music never fails to move you? The second movement of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major.
When did you join the Orchestra? In March 2002.
Do you play any instruments? Piano, at a completely different level though.
What’s your favorite type of food? I like all Southern-European cuisines.
What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? A hard copy of Staying Connected to Your Teenager by Michael Riera.
Do you speak any other languages? Russian.
Do you have any hobbies? Putting my father’s music manuscripts in Finale printable format.
Do you have a favorite movie? The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin.
Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? Bartók’s Hungarian Sketches, Barber’s Medea’s Dance of Vengeance, Ginastera’s Concerto per Corde, all of Scriabin’s symphonies.
When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? On an LP, when I was probably a few weeks old. I first heard the Orchestra live in 1996, shortly after immigrating to the United States.
Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? There are a few, but to choose one, I like the uniqueness, warmth, and the overall human vibe of the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Photo by Gary Gold