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MUSIC ‣ Musician of the Month, June-July, Rachel Koblyakov, Violinist

Phil Cartwright, Founder

This month, we proudly introduce you to Rachel Koblyakov, Violinist.

Preferred Music: I take inspiration from a lot of different composers and styles; especially when discovering new music, I enjoy getting to know that particular composer's musical language.

My inspirations from specific "classical" composers range from Brahms to Alban Berg and to Wolfgang Rihm - no matter how many times I may play their music there is always something new for me to discover and interpret. Über die Linie VII - Rihm's only known work for solo violin thus far - can be heard on the solo disc I just recorded, out later this year.

As a sidenote - my personal playlists definitely don't exclusively feature classical music!

Most Memorable Moment as a Professional Musician: That is a tough question! Frankly, each and every performance is memorable to me, as each is unique - that is the beauty of live performance! I enjoy being moved by the audience - their presence - whether it is a private performance in a retirement home, or the Philharmonie de Paris. To me the memorable moments are simply when I feel like I've communicated with the audience through the music, transmitted not only the composer's wishes the best I can but also sharing this experience with a room of people - which essentially is a big reason for why I do what I do!

I have to add that it has been really special being a member of the Ukho Ensemble Kyiv since 2016 (a malleable ensemble of about 15 soloists based in Kyiv, Ukraine, conducted by Luigi Gaggero and managed by curator Sasha Andrusyk). Playing in Kyiv - discovering a totally new city and culture, meeting new musicians and sharing a lot of new music together is always a dream. Alongside more known works of 20th century repertoire, we do a lot of premieres of freshly-composed music, and the people who come to the concerts seem to me about as enthusiastic as I was to discover it!

Describe Your Dream Performance: Two things - having the chance to play chamber music with close friends is always very special, and, concerts where I realize the music has touched someone in the audience in some way. Those two things combined make for an incredibly fulfilling time!

Violinist Rachel Koblyakov appears regularly as both soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and abroad. Equally passionate about performing classical as well as freshly-composed music, she has given concerts in a number of halls, among them Printemps des Arts Festival of Monte-Carlo, the ElbPhilharmonie Hamburg, the Philharmonie de Paris, Lucerne Festival and various venues in New York and the US.

Her solo debut took place with the Central Illinois Youth Orchestra at the age of 12. She has since appeared as soloist with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France under the baton of Pierre-André Valade, Hof Symphony, Aeon Ensemble New York, and Ukho Ensemble Kyiv under Luigi Gaggero, among others.

Dedicated to exploring and cultivating new compositions, she has had the good fortune to work closely with a number of composers, including Wolfgang Rihm, Matthias Pintscher, Stefano Gervasoni, Samuel Andreyev, and Stuart Saunders Smith, and as guest with various new music ensembles, including Ensemble Modern and Ensemble Intercontemporain. As soloist and first violinist of the Ukho Ensemble Kyiv (Ukraine) since 2016, she has given countless premieres of new works, many especially written for the ensemble.

Her musical education includes Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Juilliard School of Music, New York, as a full scholarship student of Ronald Copes; two Artist Diplomas from the Conservatoire Supérieur National de Musique de Paris, one focusing on classical violin repertoire, the other specializing in contemporary music with scholarships from the Or du Rhin and Tarazzi Foundations. She has also benefited from a full scholarship to study with Igor Volochine at the Ecole Normale de Musique - Salle Cortot.

Passionate about collaboration between the arts, she has curated and taken part in a number of productions with visual artists and choreographers such as Rainer Ganahl and Massimo Gerardi, and a theatre production with actor/director Mehdi Dehbi. On the front of musical education, she is co-founder and performer of the musical show “Tubalirum” for a young audience series in conjunction with the Barenboim-Said Academy at Boulez Saal, Berlin.

She can be heard as first violin soloist of the Ukho Ensemble on discs for Kairos, Winter & Winter, and EMI Vinci, as well as in duo with pianist Orlando Bass for Triton.

Read more about Rachel and her work at Rachel Koblyakov


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