Alexandros Petrin is performing on our 3rd Spotlight concert this year along with our Principal Bassoonist, Nanci Belmont. You can hear him on Saturday, April 22nd at 3:00pm at Fort Washington Collegiate Church.
Ariel: Where did your love of music come from? Are their any other musicians or artists in your family?
Alex: I was born into a musical family so it was natural for me to grow in a musical environment. My parents are pianists and from a very early age I was surrounded by sounds. Often they would teach their students at home and since my mom is in the chamber music faculty at the Conservatory I was fortunate to hear other instruments as well. I think that's where my love for music came from and what made my brother also choose a musician's life. My parents and brother are the reason I am here and have grown to what I am today.
What is your favorite part of being a musician and what made you want to pursue it professionally?
With the passing of years my concept of music has changed and it's something that will keep evolving in the years to come. One phrase that I keep in me forever is my father's saying "Music is between the notes." My favorite part of being a musician is to spend a lot of time with a piece and to be able to say something meaningful through my interpretation. No matter how long the piece of music is, I have to be able to grasp it and present it in such a way to the audience that it will create that special connection between us. And that's what I cherish the most about being a musician.
Do you have a favorite piece or composer?
There is music I come back to and I definitely have all-time classics that will never fall off the shelf of favorites! But it really depends on the time period I am in. As Yuri Temirkanov once said: 'My favorite composer is the one I am playing at the moment', and that is true because one has to give himself totally to the music he plays at the moment. In the first three weeks of April, my mind and heart are focused on the upcoming WHCO recital where I have chosen pieces that I really want to share with the audience; therefore they are my favorites!
Well, is there a piece of music particularly fascinates you?
At the moment, Kevin Puts's "Millennium Canons". To me, it is freedom; it makes you want to live life to the fullest. (You can here a recording of Put's piece here!)
What advice would you give to aspiring young musicians?
Work hard and be open minded.
Listen and learn from your mistakes.
Is there anything that you would like the audience to know about the program for your upcoming recital?
The first piece in the program is by Washington Heights-based composer Kim Sherman. 'Invocation' is a beautiful piece for soprano, solo violin and string quartet. The quartet consists of Ani Bukujian, Michael Eby, Daniel Lamas and Kate Dillingham and Stephanie Leotsakos will be our soprano. The second piece is by my teacher and mentor David Noon who wrote the challenging 'Cadenza Variations' in memoriam of Pierre Boulez so I took the initiative to be the first to perform it. Copland's 'Two pieces for Violin and Piano' is undoubtedly the center of this recital; and Kevin Puts's Aria can be summarized in one word: magic. I will be performing both pieces with the talented pianist Semra Amiraslan. The last two pieces in the program, Estrellita by Manuel Ponce and Besame Mucho by Consuelo Velasquez are the icing on the cake! Joined by soprano Nicolette Mavroleon and my parents Igor and Eirini, I hope that these songs will particularly speak to the Hispanic population of Washington Heights.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra for allowing me to perform on their season and I hope that I will see many faces at Fort Washington Collegiate Church on April 22nd at 3pm!
By Ariel Kurtz, Social Media Manager