Thursday, February 18, 2010
After completing his education at the Moscow Central Music School, Julliard and Yale, Dmitry Yablonsky began performing as a solo cellist. Then, at just 25, he also began conducting, because, as he says, he simply “could not live without it.” Prodigious talent probably played a role as well.
He has since conducted at Carnegie Hall, Moscow Conservatory Great Hall, and St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He’ll guest conduct The Monterey Symphony’s “Russia Revealed” this weekend, which looks to fit snugly with the current “Hear the World!” season, a slate designed to channel international sounds and focus on the influence of jazz and popular culture on contemporary music.
Yablonsky and Monterey Symphony’s Director Joseph Truskot have decided to present a program of lesser-known Russian pieces. “I think this is a very unusual program, as it is always Tchaikovsky symphonies or Rachmaninoff, etc.,” says Yablonsky. “They are great composers, but sometimes you need something different.”
The concert begins with Glinka’s light-hearted “Waltz-Fantasie,” a very famous piece in Russia but not so well known here, and then moves into two jazz-inspired pieces by Shostakovich.
“Shostakovich is Russian and jazz is an American phenomenon,” Yablonsky reasons, “so I thought it would fit well in a Russian program in America.”
Scriabin’s “Symphony No. 2 in C Minor” closes the performance with its somber, stormy mood.
While Yablonsky chose these pieces because they reveal unknown elements of the Russian musical realm and they are relevant to the jazz movement, he also chose them because they are very dear to him. That will feed his passion for conducting, where he says his goal is simply “to make music and to give a feeling to the audience, whatever it might be.”