Nemanja Radolovic brings to Moscow brilliant violin and optimism

Nemanja Radulovic

On August 06, 2016, the Belgrade Philharmonic orchestra will bring to Moscow, in its Tchaikovsky Concert hall, a unique program and an outstanding violinist Nemanja Radulovic. This will be the debut of the famous artist in Moscow.

Nemanja Radulovic (b. 1985) is a Serbian musician born in Nis city, where in the University of the arts he is an Honorary doctor now. A graduate of the Belgrade University of arts, the Higher school of music and theatre (Saarbrucken) and the Paris Conservatoire. Winner of international competitions, including International Revelation of the Year in 2005, “the Best artist” from Victoires de la Musique in 2014. Performed in the best halls of the world: Carnegie hall, Berlin Philharmonic hall, the Paris Salle Pleyel and the théâtre des Champs-elysées and so on, with such ensembles as the Munich Philharmonic orchestra, Royal Philharmonic orchestra, the Montreal and Tokyo Symphony orchestras.

The violist, known for his virtuoso playing and also bright programs and free image, has a special sense of optimism and personal view on music, and we believe the interview will be interesting to all our readers.


E Vesti: Nemaja, it’s nice to meet you. I saw at Website of Belgrade Philharmonic that you’ll have “Pre-Moscow nights”, you attract people with Russian tour. I think this is a note that Serbian people always love Russian people and, the opposite, Russian people love Serbian people. And really, I’m glad you’re coming here. My first question is: what this visit to Russia means for you?

Nemanja Radulovic: Well, it means a lot to me, because I had never played in Moscow before, it will be the first time for me, and I’m happy to come with Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.

I work with them in Belgrade, but this tour will be our first joint concert outside Belgrade. And we’re preparing right now our first tour in Moscow with the orchestra.

EV: Do you have any expectations regarding your concert here? Maybe this is just a start of your collaboration with Moscow State Philharmonic halls? I hope so.

Nemanja Radulovic: Of course, I know the history of Russian classical music culture. It’s very impressive for me to come and to play here all these great creations, which formed my inspirations during my study and work till today. And this concert is important, but we should present ourselves as we are. I think we just have to play and to perform what we would like to perform. Then we will see, if Moscow audience enjoying our concert… We should just present ourselves as we are.

EV: You were born in Nis city of Serbia. This city is famous because Nikola Pašić was born here and also because it is one of cultural centers of Serbia. But now you live in France?

Nemanja Radulovic: Yes, actually, I was born in Nis and lived there until the age of 7 years old. And then my family moved to Belgrade, I lived there until the age of 14. Then, because of Balkan war, we went to France with my sisters to continue our studies. Now I can say I live half of my life in Paris, but I’m still connected to Serbia, Belgrade and Nis. I try to go there even for one night or one day, but then to go back to my family in France.

EV: Voilin – what is it for you? What does it mean for your profession? Does it come from the God, does it come from your soul, or from your family?

Nemanja Radulovic: I’ve started to play violin when I was 7 y.o. What actually made me continue to play? Violin was with me when I first came on the stage. I think on the stage you can be what you want to be. Even you’re not someone in your private life, when you perform the music you’d like to play, this is magical meaning. And it’s not the violin only. The violin is just a simplest instrument for me to express myself, my feelings.

But I think the stage and the music are the most important things. That’s what creates the art. So, this is my answer to you.

EV: So, this is your decision, how you express yourself.

Nemanja Radulovic: Yes, but I think it’s one thing, but art is completely other thing: an object that allows me to create something during the performance.

EV: What about your parents? Are they connected to music too?

Nemanja Radulovic: Actually, they are connected to music, because in our country music is everywhere. It is not in concert halls only, but you hear it in the restaurants – so, music is very popular here. But if we are talking about their profession – my mather is a doctor, my father is computer specialist. Anyway, they know about the music.

EV: And who influenced your choice? Who are the musicians you treat as your teachers? Do you have some?

Nemanja Radulovic: Yes, but it depends on different periods of my life. For example, when I was a teenager I loved Oistrakh… Actually it is my professor Dejan Mihailović too. But I understood that those people, who are artistic, give me the inspiration in any kind of classical music. These are Martha Argerich, Jacqueline Mary du Pré, David Oistrakh and others – different people. Some of them are alive, the others now live in their tradition and art.

EV: You have experience of working with Russian musicians. Kindly specify it.

Nemanja Radulovic: It was always nice. You know, in musical world we don’t have any kind of frontier, we have the only language – music. Sometimes you need to understand some details for work. But if we listen to music, we can get a message from each other. I always have wonderful experience on the stage, but after the stage you also have a lot of nice moments with people, a lot of connection with them with pleasure.

EV: Who are your favourite composers?

Nemanja Radulovic: This is a question I don’t know how to answer.

EV: Let’s start from Classics, then we’ll go to Romantics, then we’ll go to modern music…

Nemanja Radulovic: I love classics because it gives a possibility to go even where your personal is situated, tought by that music.

But when I play Bach, for example, it is different impression, than I get when I play Mozart. At that moment I’m trying to give what I have inside of me to undestand composer why he composed music that way.

EV: And what can you say of modern music, what can you underline here? I’ve read that you also understand rock music…

Nemanja Radulovic: I don’t separate the musing by genres. I separate good music and music which is not so good. I even don’t want to say “bad music”, because I know how much time it takes to create something. So, we all have different periods in our artistic life. And I’m ready to listen to everything, in conservatory and in other places.

EV: There is keen interest in Russia for classical music, we can see it… And musicians see full concert halls. And also our government try to make classical music common for Russian public. And there are the number of programs like: “Underrstandable classics” where famous musicians comment on classical music during the concert or in some special programs. What do you think: does classical music attract even those people who are not prepared for that by special education?

Nemanja Radulovic: I think it is a good way to go to the audience. So many different things we get through Internet and everywhere.

Sometimes you need to explain. Even I’m a classical musician there are some pieces difficult to understand. And maybe someone never heard classical music, he can not understand it from the first time. It’s like in the cinema – you can’t start from some strong movies, which are too complicated to understand. You have exactly the same thinking in classical music. For beginners special concerts are recommended, where they can get used to that kind of sound, that kind of communication.

EV: In Russia it is popular now to combine music with poetry, show or dances.. What do you think of that? Do you practice things like that?

Nemanja Radulovic: Yes, for me the experience of the artist is whatever we recognize at the moment of creation. It’s important for the artist to make different experience to make evolution through the time, because if you do only what you ought to do – you can’t make your own evolution to make your own opinion.

EV: What, on your opinion, music does for a person: for spirit, for soul, for heart? What is the main target of the music and its effect?

Nemanja Radulovic: The main effect of the music… What I’m trying to do in the concert is to be anyone in reality, in my private life. When we play A. Khachaturyan – this music is so visual, we can see the pictures of that part of the world, its characters… You have not black and white only. You have to see colors, you have to paint the life. I think that composers, alive or not alive, would not like to see performance the same each time. It’s very important to give personal tough to any possibilities to perform masterpiece.

EV: It should be live music, music for actual life?

Nemanja Radulovic: Yes.

EV: And what about Serbian music? Do you play Serbian music? You brought here non-Serbian music, but there are also Serbian composers of classical tradition. Do you play them in general?

Nemanja Radulovic: I play in general traditional and classical music both.

I like to work with young genius composer Alexandar Sedlar, who focused on some diffirent vision of classical music, which is out of any epoque. You have some classics there, but also you have some romantics; he knows how to connect everything. His music is contemporary, but it’s out of time. He’s travelling to different times and epoques.

EV: Music – is OK, but you have another things, not only music in your life? What interest in general do you have?

Nemanja Radulovic: I like to spend the time with people that I love, this is my biggest inspiration to spend time and to watch films and to do whatever is done in human being. And I think it’s important to have people who can inspire you. I like humanity and I like people.

EV: And my last question is regarding your program. How do you think, this program is drawn for what public exactly? Of course, I know, that everyone who comes to your concert will enjoy with it, but there is always always some special public you’re waiting for due to composers you included here, because of maybe other things, which group will enjoy with your concert most of all?

Nemanja Radulovic: The program is a question to Belgrade Philharmonic who made the program. The public is those, who come not to judge, but who can enjoy with our concert (because they can just enjoy with our positive energy, the music and our optimism in life). This is the main message we’re going to send to the public. Because this orchestra is composed of people who are very young, very powerful. For this kind of program it is a good match to present what we would like to do.

EV: That’s great because the Russian audience is always waiting for something optimistic.

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