A voice from Russia

Western classical

A voice from Russia

Her notes are like drizzles in a draught. Right from composers like Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, Russia has always had a rich tradition of music to be proud of; be it the structured, harmonic Western classical, fun-loving folk tunes or bucolic songs from the variety of ethnic groups scattered in the ‘grads’. Adding to the largesse of famous soloists that Russian conservatories and schools were able to churn out is Maria Cherednikova, who can easily be classified as one of the top contemporary violinists.

The violinist, composer and music educator was recently in the City and unravelled evergreen classics of Bach and Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Grieg in an hour-long concert.

Presented by Harmony School of Music, Maria also collaborated with voice artiste and the director of Harmony School of Music Sandra Oberoi, jazz pianist Marcus Daniel, violinist Kezevi Neihu and the childrens'string ensemble of Harmony, which she described as a “fun and entertaining experience.”

Her second time here, Maria joyfully let the music and noise of the City overwhelm her, the diversity and vast expanse of the space delight her. “It is such a big City,”she says, in a kind, gentle tone. “Hopping from one place to another is crazy. I love the variety of food and tasted some authentic South Indian food like ‘idli’ and ‘sambar’, which is quite different from the Russian roulade. I’m happy that I’m here for a longer time so that I can explore the City more. When I first came to New Delhi, I thought that the rest of India would be like Delhi too but how wrong I was!”

She has travelled earlier to Nagaland to perform at the ‘Kohima Hornbill Festival’ and Shillong, which is considered as the seat for western classical in India. The art scene in India inspires her as she recalls, “I find the audience very educated here. I went to Chennai once and heard a traditional, Carnatic concert for the first time. It was a wonderful experience. I thought that Indian music was always free style and depended on improvisation but I was surprised to see that the ‘raga’ had a structure to it too. I think there is a lot of space here to co-exist which is encouraging. I also notice that here, people enjoy a live performance more while in Russia, people mainly listen to music on the radio.”

Coming from Volgodonsk, the Rostov region, Maria picked up her first violin when she was eight and attended music college later in 2002. She has been playing music professionally ever since. She says, “I never thought I would take up music as a career but I had a teacher who got me interested in Western classical. It wasn’t easy music to study but she changed everything.” And now, it’s not just Western classical that she aces but the potpourri of projects that she is involved in, such as the recording with the English bands. For her, music is more than just bread and butter.

It’s life as well. “Music stayed with me when Russia went through terrible times, especially during the Ukraine separation. I feel that it’s important to do music as it always opens up one’s mind and inclines them to think differently. It connects people around the world and is the best way of sharing creativity.”

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