Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Natasha Korsakova

Natasha Korsakova is a Russian violinist and writer born on January 24, 1978 (Itzhak Perlman was 32 years old and Jascha Heifetz was 77 years old.)  She is the only concert violinist that I know of who is fluent in five languages.  (The only other violinists who were fluent in that many languages were Henryk Szeryng and Otakar Sevcik.)  She is also the only one who has an exclusive concert dress designer (Laura Biagiotti) and the only one named artist-of-the-year in two different countries (Italy and Chile.)  It is noteworthy that while female concert violinists are moving towards more glamorous fashions, (witness Sophie Mutter, Sarah Chang, and Akiko Meyers), the males are becoming more ungraceful and casual, perhaps even grotesque (witness Joshua Bell, Leonidas Kavakos, and Nigel Kennedy.)  It has been said that Korsakova is very bold and charismatic.  Her violin studies began at age 5 and her first public performance took place at age 7 in Moscow.  However, her first teacher was not her father but her grandfather (Boris Korsakov), although she later studied with her violinist father (Andrej Korsakov, who studied with the legendary Leonid Kogan.)  She later studied in Germany with Ulf Klausenitzer and Saschko Gawriloff (at the Advanced Music School – Musikhochschule - in Cologne – 1995-1999.)  Nevertheless, her orchestral debut was back in 1985 with the Voronezh (Russia) Orchestra.  (This orchestra has been associated with several leading Russian conductors, including Evgeny Svetlanov, Kiril Kondrashin, Emin Khachaturian, Neemi Yarvi, and Alexander Dmitriev, and regularly plays in Moscow and St Petersburg.  It has also accompanied innumerable major artists: among them, Emil Gilels, Gidon Kremer, Vladimir Spivakov, Igor Oistrakh, Yuri Bashmet, Alexander Zhukov, Maxim Vengerov, and Mikhail Pletnev.)  She spent the first seventeen years of her life in Russia where her musical lineage goes back about six generations and includes composer Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), her great-grand uncle.  Korsakova has already toured (practically) the entire world and, of course, played in most of the world’s prestigious concert halls, with top conductors and major orchestras.  She has recorded several CDs which are available on the internet at ArizonaRecordings (and through ITunes and other electronic download venues) and there are several videos of her playing on YouTube.  She also delves seriously into chamber music and far flung music festivals, as do all concert violinists nowadays.  In the year 2004 she performed the Tchaikovsky concerto in Berlin for the 15th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.  In 2008, she played a special concert in Vienna the night before the official opening of the European Football Championships.  She has also been invited to play for the Italian State President and his guests at the Palazzo Quirinale in Rome.  In 2010, she premiered and recorded (with the Czech Philharmonic) two concertos written for and dedicated to her – one by Robert Vinson (Concerto in F) and the second by Daniel Schnyder (Mozart in China.)  Korsakova has played a Vincenzo Panormo (also known as Vincenzo Trusiano) violin but is currently playing a Giovanni Pressenda (Turin, 1843) from the collection of Giovanni Accornero, Italian expert on luthiers, author, and instrument collector and dealer.  In 2011, she and Swiss violinist Manrico Padovani (the first Swiss violinist to have recorded the 24 Paganini Caprices) will record several double concertos by Alfred Schnittke, J.S. Bach, Arvo Part, and Antonio Vivaldi. 


  1. According to a very reliable source, Korsakova has recently acquired a magnificent 1851 JB Vuillaume violin which she is using for performances as well as recordings.

  2. Natasha Korsakova published her first novel (by Random House) in September of 2018. She now joins the ranks of violinist/novelists. You can find a link to it on the right hand margin of this blog.