Violin Is My Happily Ever After Poster

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In April, world number one pianist, Martha Argerich, will open the InClassica International Music Festival in Malta (one of the major classical music events in Europe) in a duet with the renowned Swiss violinist, Maria Solozobova. Their concert programme will include “Seascapes” by the festival’s resident composer, Alexey Shor, and Prokofiev’s “Second Sonata in D major”, which was originally written for flute and piano but rearranged for the violin with help from David Oistrakh. In this interview, the violinist talks about her amazing duet with legendary Martha Argerich, Alexey Shor’s varied music, unconventional teaching methods and two coinciding anniversaries.

– Maria, together with Martha Argerich, you are set to open the anniversary InClassica International Music Festival in Malta. How do you feel about this?

– Martha and I are delighted to be performing and we are excited by the program schedule. Stylistically, both “Seascapes” by Alexey Shor and Prokofiev’s” Sonata D major” complement Malta and I consider it an honour to perform at the InClassica opening together with my unique musical partner. Incidentally, by coincidence it is a double celebration, as not only is it the tenth anniversary of the Malta InClassica festival but it’s also Martha’s 80th birthday!

– Is it true that you often perform in duet with Martha the Great?

– Yes, quite often, indeed. We met quite by accident, The stars must have been aligned or something. At one time I had a recital with the South German Philharmonic Orchestra in Konstanz and a friend of ours, a lawyer, introduced me to a young pianist backstage. He said that we absolutely needed to get acquainted, as she was a really great performer. That person turned out to be Cristina Marton-Argerich, who is married to Martha’s nephew.

Cristina and I immediately became friends and started playing music together and this eventually led to me meeting Martha. I have the Zurich Classical Highlights concert series, but it’s not easy to meet an artist of Martha’s caliber so I asked Cristina to give me an introduction. At the time, Martha’s festival was still being held in Lugano, so I went there, and after being introduced, we decided to meet and play a couple of pieces together just for pleasure, at home. We met at her place in Geneva. This is how it all began.

– What music did you play during that very first meeting with Martha?

– It was Franck’s “Sonata”. There is a story to go with this meeting: I got stuck in a traffic jam and was two hours late. Martha is a very unusual person: she hardly ever answers the phone, so she waited for me on the street – I mean, she stood there all that time, the small, fragile woman that she is. I was terribly embarrassed, as we hardly knew each other at the time and hadn’t yet become friends.

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Violin Is My Happily Ever After Poster

When we first played the piece together it sounded so natural I could hardly believe it. We performed it perfectly from beginning to end on the first attempt and then she said, “Let’s go to the kitchen for some treats”. I was lost for words and couldn’t help but ask “Could we play it once more?” She turned around and asked: “What for?” I was again speechless but quickly came up with the answer, “Couldn’t we… Just for pleasure?”

 

 

 

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