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A CHANGING LANDSCAPE

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Down with the bow and up with the baton -
Evgeny Bushkov talks to HOWARD SMITH

 

Since Russia's music schools closed their doors and droves of their teachers emigrated following the fall of Soviet Communism, the country's musical landscape has changed beyond recognition.

Last month acclaimed violinist Evgeny Bushkov -- now a busy, much sought-after conductor -- spoke of present-day orchestral life in Moscow.

Bushkov enjoyed a spectacular rise to success, winning several of the most prestigious violin competitions; the Wieniawski (1986), Queen Elisabeth (1989), Tchaikovsky (1990), and the first Henryk Szeryng Foundation Award (1992).

In 1999 Bushkov finally resolved to take up the baton after meeting in Baltimore with Leningrad-born Dmitri Kitajenko, former music director of Philharmonic orchestras in Moscow (1976-1990), Bergen (1990-1998), and Frankfurt (1990-1996).

Evgeny Bushkov
Evgeny Bushkov

Kitajenko had already been impressed by the younger man's remarkable abilities, and fortuitously the Russian violinist and conductor were both making their US debuts with Bushkov performing Max Bruch's G minor Violin Concerto while Kitajenko conducted the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

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Copyright © 24 July 2006 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand

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