Sunday, August 19, 2018

Marianna Vasileva

Marianna Vasileva (Marianna Vasilyeva, Marianna Wasiljewa) Is a Russian violinist and teacher born (in St Petersburg) on November 25, 1986.  In addition to a fantastic technique and a very expressive style of playing, she is known for performing all 24 Caprices by Paganini in a single recital – currently, probably the only female violinist to do so.  As far as I know, she has not recorded the famous Caprices but probably will in the near future.  (The first female to record all 24 Caprices is Bulgarian violinist Vanya Milanova, back in 1985.)  Vasileva began her violin studies at age five with her father, a professional violinist.  She has stated that even at that tender age she practiced several hours a day.  Her first accompanist was her mother, a professional pianist, with whom she has performed in recital many times.  At age 7, she began her studies at the St Petersburg Conservatory’s School for Gifted Children with an obscure teacher named Vladimir Ovcharek.  At age 11, she began studying with Dora Schwarzberg at the Advanced School for Music in Vienna.  At age 17 she began studying with Zakhar Bron at the Advanced School for Music and Dance in Cologne.  During all those years, she was also (simultaneously) studying at the St Petersburg Conservatory.  (The St Petersburg Conservatory is where the famous Leopold Auer taught for many years.)  Her performing career actually began at age 8, when she played in public for the first time.  At age 10, she made her formal debut in Russia and Germany playing the first concerto (the one in g minor) by Max Bruch.  In that year, she also won her first violin competition in Russia.  In 2001, she actually won a violin in the International Spohr Violin Competition – I don’t know what violin it was but I’m certain it was a high quality instrument.  She was 15 years old.  In 2009, she won first prize in the International Competition for Young Violinists in honor of Karol Lipinski and Henryk Wieniawski in Lublin, Poland (not to be confused with the well-known Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition held in Poznan, Poland, every five years.)  She was 23 years old.  In 2010 she won first prize in the Prague Spring International Music Competition.  She currently teaches at the Music Academy in Madrid, in addition to teaching masterclasses around the world, as so many other soloists do.  Her concert tours span the entire world and she has played in almost all of the important musical venues and concert halls.  Her repertoire is very extensive although her discography is still quite small.  I know Vasileva has played a Guarneri Del Gesu violin from 1724 and a 1752 Carlo Antonio Testore violin on many concerts but I don’t know if those are her current instruments – I will try to find out and post it as a comment below.  Vasileva is fluent in four languages; Russian, English, German, and Hebrew.  Here is a YouTube video where she plays a well-known piece by Tchaikovsky.  Here is a sound file where she plays the seldom-heard Ysaye sonata for two violins – the other violinist is Dmitri Kogan, grandson of the great Leonid Kogan.