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Egor Semenov - Cello

Interview

1- Early on you studied with Larisa Filina and Alexey Seleznev in Nizhniy Novgorod and Moscow. How do you remember these masters?

My time with Larisa Filina was the best start to my musical life I could have hoped for. From the first time I walked into class she recognized the potential within and spent much of her own time, as well as school hours, to help me advance in Cello technique. It is thanks to Larisa I was able to achieve first places in competitions and play with orchestras. Alexey Seleznev was my mentor not for long, but has taught me much about music making and improved my technique immensely. It is thanks to him my technique is now as good as it is.

2- Is your family musical?

Neither my mother or father did music professionally, but both of them took some piano lessons when they were younger. I am particularly thankful for my mother, who has throughout my early years guided and inspired me in practice, and supported me immensely in preparation for competitions and concerts.

3- You won more than 20 local, as well as international and countrywide competitions, culminating in a Grand-Prix in “New Heights”. Does anyone of these successes particularly stand out for you and your abiding memories?

Apart from obvious pride and honour that I felt after receiving the Grand-Prix, I hold very dearly in my memories every competition that allowed me to play with our local chamber orchestra, and it is because of these opportunities that I understood what it means to be a soloist, and can now boast these several performances with orchestra.

4- You were later taught by Natalia Pavlutskaya and Pal Banda at the Purcell School. How enrichening was this experience?

Natalia Pavlutskaya was the mentor who allowed me to come to the UK and enrol into Purcell. While she was my pedagogue for a relatively small period of time, I learned much in her care. She continues to support me in my career to this day with wonderful advice and kind words. Pal Banda was my teacher for most of Purcell, and with his wisdom and guidance I have performed in Wigmore Hall and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as receiving a scholarship for RBC. To this day I use the tasteful and ever meaningful bowings and fingers for Bach suites that Pal entrusted me with.

5- You are currently studying in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where you are currently receiving guidance from Jian Wang and personal tutor Nicholas Stringfellow. How is this progressing?

The Conservatoire is where my professional career saw the most growth, as well as my love for orchestral music. I enjoy the incredibly sensitive and supportive mentorship from Nicholas, whom I thank for my orchestral audition repertoire – every lesson I become one step closer to the much desired principal position. Jian Wang’s masterclasses push me to better myself, and his profound advice betters me greatly.

6- What are your fondest musical memories, privately or performing?

My most treasured memories are from the time I performed Dvorak Quintet No.2 in one of the most prestigious places in London – Wigmore Hall. It was an incredible, sensual journey for me, especially being accompanied by close friends. The thrill of playing in Wigmore as well as the beauty of the music engraved this experience forever in my heart.

7- How often do your practice?

I practice every day, lest my hand loses control of the bow as well as keeping up my endurance. When practice, I try to separate the sessions throughout the day, being a firm believer in short but intense practice sessions.

8- Would you consider teaching in the future?

While my goals lie elsewhere, I would be glad to pass the knowledge down to the younger generations of musicians. I would be glad to support young professionals become a better musician.

9- What advice would you give to young musicians at the start of their journey?

Never give up, and be strict to yourself.

To return to Egor’s profile:

submission July 2021