Gayane Shiladzhyan: "We are expanding the borders of the symphony orchestra"
The Moscow City Symphony Orchestra "Russian Philharmonic" is one of the brightest creative groups not only in the capital, but throughout Russia and makes the Moscow audience happy with their performances for seventeen years. In the midst of a new concert season, the correspondent of InterMedia talked with the director and general producer of the orchestra Gayane Shiladzhyan about the premiere shows, the audience of the Russian Philharmonic and contemporary art.
- Gayane, you in this season, as always, a lot of premieres. What kind of new programs are waiting for the Moscow audience in the near future?
- The next premiere will be a new concert from the series "Show Must Go On" - the program "Jackson & Houston show", which we will play on March 25. For the first time we will bring to Russia the best singers of the songs of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson - Belinda Davids and Dantanio. Belinda is the winner of the world competition, she performs these songs from the age of 14 and was chosen from 15,000 contestants, taking first place as the best performer of songs by Whitney Houston.
- Why did you decide to unite Jackson and Houston in a single show?
- Our concert is timed to the anniversary of two stars: in August Jackson would have turned 60 years old, and Houston - 55. These are two musical idols of the same time, which almost simultaneously left. They were very friendly in life, Whitney sang a lot of Michael's songs. I wanted to take the most famous hits for the program, and the combined program allowed it to be done - as a result, I got 12 songs of Houston and 13 - Jackson. In addition to performers, their dancers and rhythm section come here, we add and paint orchestrations ourselves in order to strengthen the rhythm section with the sound of the symphony orchestra.
We signed the contract in the first days of December - of course, it's quite late, we have been negotiating for a very long time. The management to which these artists belong, Showtime, they are in Australia in general. I found Belinda and Dantanio after a long search of many, many performers - and what was my surprise when it turned out that they were in the same agency!
- What is the overall concept of the "Show Must Go On" project?
- This is a whole series of concerts. These are not classical symphonic performances, the very name speaks for itself. This includes the works of our favorite artists who died prematurely - this is Freddie Mercury, and Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson. This is the same classic, but only the classic of our millennium, our century - just another style.
For a very long time I was hatching the idea of a tribute, and the first thing I did was show ABBA Symphony. I specifically found vocalists from Sweden, which I liked and who absorbed all these hits literally with the mother's milk. By the way, it was the same project when I built the entire concert entirely on the work of one group. It was a concert in two compartments, and after it I realized that it's boring, one branch is enough. Later it turned into a show "Queen & ABBA Symphony": in one department - hits Queen, in the other - hits ABBA.
We do not try to attract musicians who somehow parody artists, we do not have a "Toch-to-the-Whip", not a parody - we have a continuation of the life of these works, and this is very responsible and honorable. Therefore, for us the most important thing is quality. How can you sing better than the original? It is very difficult. Therefore, you need to sing 200% better so that you will not be criticized.
- Which premieres you have prepared for the new season?
- In total, I have twenty new programs this year. One of them we are doing simultaneously to the World Cup, to the 85th anniversary of Montserrat Caballe and to the 30th anniversary of the release of the disc "Barcelona". In the first section we completely recreate the recorded album, all nine songs, they will be performed by the Bolshoi Theater soloist Daria Zykov and two Swedish singers - Magnus Baklund and Johan Boding. In the second section we will have Queen hits, and the concert itself is called "Queen & Barcelona". In addition, I am now starting to work on a new project "Classic Energy", which premiered on May 22. We make classics - hits of classical music - Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Russian composers - in various modern styles, from heavy rock and jazz-rock to electronic music.
Program-Tribute Dedication to Muslim Magomayev "No song without you ..." we used to do with "Tenors of the 21st century", and this year I invited the Buzhor Method and Nina Shatskaya - so in a sense this program is also our premiere . We will play it in the Kremlin Palace on March 4.
- And what's in current repertoire from the old programs?
- "Verdi's Requiem" - this is our traditional Easter concert, we almost always put it on Good Friday. This is another great multimedia project. If in the case of "Carmina Burana" the director and art director are me, then there are twice as many pictures, and the entire art collection was handled by Dmitry Yurovsky. More than 200 paintings are involved, this is a very strong impression. There will, of course, be a favorite project of the public - "Mad dances", which the Muscovites are constantly asking to repeat, repeat, repeat. Well, we will repeat them on June 7, and then on the 11th - and this will be the first concert of the "Russian Philharmonic" in the park "Zariadye", in the open air. I hope the weather will be favorable to us, and we will not be flooded! It is really a very incendiary, diverse and insanely positive concert. He was born when they were born, they were only symphonic works, then vocal numbers, a trio of balalaikas, and now dancing couples were added to them ... This is a whole gala show where everything is available - from "Polovtsian Dances" and "Bolero" and ending with a dance potpourri, where there are sirtaki, cancan, and "7.40"!
- Tell us about your grandiose project Carmina Burana. You have been betting him for years, but each time he invariably collects sold out. What is the secret of his success?
- The series of concerts of "Carmina Burana" this year turned exactly ten years old. This is our first multimedia project, and I'm delighted that every year the audience of people who go to watch and listen to it is growing and growing. This is especially evident when you yourself are engaged in selling tickets and you see: last year you had a full house before the concert, and in this - already at the end of January, half a month before the performance.
Initially, the original is ours, all the rest make a pathetic likeness. Everyone calls their programs "large-scale concerts", "masterpieces of music", but with such a grand scale the project is done only by us. This is an incredible show where the entire space of the Svetlanov Hall is filled with Renaissance paintings - from floor to ceiling. The project is very expensive, so we give four performances at once - this is the only way to return the funds invested in content development and equipment rental. Now we already have other similar projects in scope, for example, Verdi's "Requiem" ... And ten years ago "Carmina" shot like this - and continues to shoot so far.
- Since we are talking about the audience: do you know your audience well? Who more often goes to your concerts, youth or the older generation?
- Each program has its own listener. And the person who puts this or that program, takes a certain risk - first of all because it is necessary to pay a hall and make advertising. It's like fishing in troubled waters - you never know what you'll pull out.
There was a concert "Golden hits of rock", at the end of the show the conductor and soloists invited me to the stage - and it was very pleasant for me to see the youth from the stage. I asked the youth to rise to 35 years old - three quarters of the hall came up. Here to you and statistics.
We really wanted to make a holiday for the younger generation, for the modern Muscovites, for the young people - so that they know that it is not always boring to go to symphony orchestra concerts. We are really interested in seeing that the public is rejuvenated. And for this purpose, in particular, our projects - tributes Houston, Jackson, Queen, ABBA. And how can one not prolong the life of such works that Muslim Magomayev performed? It's because the people belong: the same "Wedding", and "The Queen of Beauty", and "Blue Eternity", and "The Devil's Wheel". These are incredibly soulful songs, and I assure you, their young people sing just as well. And it's also very interesting to see how progress progresses, how people at a respectable age - grandmothers, grandfathers - master the Internet. This is also very nice. They call us and ask: how can you buy tickets on your website? And we tell them: come here, choose a place, pay with a card. And three out of ten will say: well, the grandson will come - I will ask him to help. Two people say: "I'll ask a neighbor." And the rest: "Good! By the way, we often visit you. "
- What is the progress, how does it feel in music?
- I always cite an example: in the Soviet Union there were automatic phones, everyone was always looking for two kopecks to call - and now everyone uses mobile phones. But if there is progress here, then it must be in the music sphere too! It should not be the art of music to remain at the same level as it was at the beginning of the last century. So we are trying to arrange some kind of revolution.
Our main goal and goal is for young people to go to concert halls and always listen to live performance. Because it is live music that can be compared to a balm for the soul. This comfort, pacification, this comfort for the soul - a "spa". Very often people do not know where to go, and our task is to convey to them information about our concerts, directly to the listener. And, believe me, going to concerts of the "Russian Philharmonic" is not at all expensive, you can find tickets for five hundred rubles. On TV, there is absolutely nothing to watch now - there are solid murders, criminal investigations, and the same thing, the artists are the same. And where do people find a vent for themselves? Go to a pub and there is not the best quality beer to listen to is not the best music? Let them go to concert halls better. I really want it to be fashionable.
It is very disappointing that we are not supported by the media. Previously, it was much easier when the whole cultural layer was to some extent supported by social advertising - now this is not, we are not given the opportunities for social advertising and are pushing for us to do commercial. And you do commercial advertising - the ticket cost involuntarily increases. But after all, culture is one of those whales on which the nation rests. And, of course, music education should be given more importance from an early age, instill a love for music. Now it is very fashionable and popular to go to art exhibitions - and good music than was guilty? It's also art!
- How do you assess the state of modern culture as a whole?
- Modern culture in general in a rather distressed situation. It is very insulting when you see what quality products are offered to you on television. What should happen in the minds of modern composers who write music that no one but them can understand? Why not write as Tchaikovsky? Talented performers are, but not all can get through.
I recently watched posters, and I was so amazing, I watch - the tribute of Grigory Leps. If this is the way to approach this, then our whole life is one continuous tribute. Well, look: we almost all re-echo, replay! In fact, the first performer, who began to play Rakhmaninov's concerts after Rachmaninov, was already doing a kind of tribute - but that's not bad. Good music should sound forever - which is what we do.
- How do you attract a new audience to the concerts, in addition to the tributes of the performers they know?
- We try to attract young people through social networks, various actions. About four years ago we had a flashmob on shopping malls, when we played in one day at the Manezh, Atrium and White Dacha. Musicians from different ends of the shopping center flocked to the center and performed Vivaldi's "Seasons" for ten minutes, and then just dissolve in this crowd. The purpose of this action was to show ordinary visitors to the shopping center that the symphonic orchestra is played by the same young people as they are. After all, it seems that there should be only absolutely gray-headed people of advanced age who are already tired of it, and in general - who is studying now on the double bass there to play, on the violin, on the piano? For 99% of the population of a metropolis, they are people from another planet. And here they were able to stand by and see that they are exactly the same people as themselves, and people are just as young - and maybe someone after our concert wanted to go to the concert hall and listen to live music.
We are expanding the boundaries of the symphony orchestra - we can play not only symphonies and not only at a concert.
And all to achieve one goal: that the viewer we were interested. I believe that it's possible to leave a mark in musical history not only when you recorded a lot of discs - we do not record discs, but I think everything is ahead - we just produce good concerts for everyone, for a wide audience.
- Of all the projects of the "Russian Philharmonic" what is your favorite?
- And you do not mind losing a finger? I can not say so simply what I like best: Whitney Houston, ABBA or Queen. Or "Barcelona". Or "Mad dances" - they are just more dense. And when you just start making a new project, you just enter it - you still need to infect Muscovites with this same interest and show everyone what kind of quality product you have and good performance.
Everyone knows my approach to work - we must do only the best, our show should be a quality two hundred percent. If you want to do well, look: do you like it? And it's hard to find a bigger judge than me. One of my friend-sound engineer says: we can not just sit down, relax and listen to music, just like ordinary people - we immediately begin to carp: now it's not so played, then it's not right, then emotionally something is missing for you - you are everything time digging, digging ... You need to learn to listen to it as a spectator.
We need to love the audience that comes to you, really love and respect, because we, no matter how trite it sounds, work in the service sector. We serve Muscovites with cultural and mass leisure. And if you want to be treated appropriately - be so kind, serve at the level, give the goods the appropriate quality. I just said a very trivial thing, but it's true. We try to create a good mood among our guests - and this is precisely what the selection of the program, the repertoire of the orchestra is related to each season. True connoisseurs of symphonic music are not so many, and we should not steal the interests of all of Moscow. We need to see as much as possible the creativity of the "Russian Philharmonic" - here we are working in different directions.
- In the program of this season there are, among other things, several concerts in the genre of "live cinema". Tell us about these projects.
- "Live cinema" is a separate genre, films with a live orchestra. We have played quite a lot of such programs: this is the "Godfather", and "Titanic", and "Gladiator", and "The Lord of the Rings." We have ahead of James Bond - on February 25 at Crocus City Hall we will play Casino Royale. And on March 13, we will have the Titanic there.
When you watch a film, you do not attach much importance to the musical material written by the composer - but when you see the story and listen to a live orchestra, then you realize that this music is the most vivid description of what is happening, and no other music could be written for these moments.
We also have a whole program of separate songs included in the movie soundtracks - the show is called "Golden hits of Hollywood", it can be heard and seen at the House of Music on March 22. There will be songs from "Titanic" and "Godfather", tango from the movie "The Scent of a Woman", tracks from "The Bodyguard", "James Bond", "Mission: Impossible." There, by the way, there will be several songs by Belinda and Dantanio.
- How did you start your show in the genre of "live cinema"? Do you remember your first project in this genre?
- The very first our program in this direction was the soundtrack to "Metropolis". Very hard experiment. Since the film is dumb, the focus is on music, and it is very difficult for musicians: the picture is 2 hours and 40 minutes, and all this time the performers are sitting, never dropping the instrument. This is a real test. It was the same when we were playing - it's true, with intermission - a modern film "Artist". He, too, without a single word, and everything carries music on himself. Purely physically, this is difficult.
- What other films would you like to "voice" and with whom else to work?
- I would be very happy to make movies "June 31" and "Bodyguard". This, of course, is a lot of work, but fortunately, I managed to find a performer who can perform everything (smiles). We want to make a rap show on a fairy tale from "A Thousand and One Nights", but for now this is at the stage of a pure idea. I also want to make Bolero dance. We plan to prepare a program from the songs of Alexander Ivanov and "Rondo" with the orchestra. With "Bi-2" we have been cooperating for several years, the next joint concerts in "Crocus" - on 18 and 19 May. And they have a good musical material, and a creative approach. Talented guys, with such a pleasure to work with!
- Do you have any traditions, rituals or superstitions that help to successfully conduct a concert?
To pat the conductor and send him on stage with the words "toi-toi-toi"! But this is generally accepted. A superstition ... You know, superstitions are needed if you do not have a sold-out.
Tatyana Treyster, InterMedia