Virtuoso violinist and orchestra director, Sergei Krylov talks to Boyd Tonkin about his double career as both soloist and conductor, his musical journeys across Europe and elsewhere, his friendship with the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich – and the enduring power of the mighty Russian musical tradition. This talk follows Sergej Krylov’s performance in an evening of chamber music on 18 August. It will be followed later the same evening by his performance of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra op. 35.
SERGEJ KRYLOV: Effervescent musicianship, intense lyricism and beguiling tonal beauty are qualities that have secured Sergej Krylov’s place among today’s most renowned performers. The Russian-born violinist brings breath-taking virtuosity to reveal profound expressive insights in his strikingly broad repertoire. ‘Sergej Krylov transfixed the house, fiddling with the kind of effortless lyricism, liquid flow and mercurial tones that distinguish the best violinists’ (The Times) following last year performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko. A regular guest with the world’s greatest orchestras, institutions and conductors, Sergej cites Rostropovich as one of the greatest influences on his artistic life. As Music Director of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra since 2008, Sergej loves assuming the dual role of soloist and conductor and also devotes much time to chamber music projects with leading pianists and in larger ensembles. With a distinguished discography, Sergej recently recorded the Violin Concert Metamorphosen conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki as part of a landmark project to record the Polish composer’s complete works.
BOYD TONKIN is co-presenter of Suoni dal Golfo’s Sea of Stories on the Gulf of Poets. An author, journalist and critic, he is special adviser to The International Booker Prize, the English-speaking world’s premier award for translated fiction (which he chaired in 2016). He writes on literature and arts for international media including The Economist, Financial Times, The Times, New Scientist and New York Review of Books Daily, and contributes to the BBC. His acclaimed reader’s guide to global fiction over 400 years, The Hundred Best Novels in Translation (2018) was published in paperback in June 2019. From 1996 to 2016, he was Literary Editor and then Senior Writer at The Independent newspaper in London, where he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and co-judged it until its merger with the Man Booker International Prize. He has lectured, and spoken at festivals, around the world, and he curated the Italian Inspirations series at the Italian Cultural Institute in London in 2017. Educated at Cambridge University, he is a Trustee of the Orwell Foundation, associate editor of the journal Critical Muslim and reviews music and opera for theartsdesk.com.
This conversation is part of Sea of Stories on the Gulf of Poets. The talk will be in English with simultaneous translation into Italian.