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More Elegant than the Violin-Richer than the Cello

Posted October. 06, 2003 23:13,   


Violist Yuri Bashmet(50). He is known to be the ‘best performer since the birth of viola’ and to have upgraded the image of the instrument itself. Bashmet is having a concert in Korea with his chamber music ensemble, ‘Moscow Soloists’ at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on October 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Bashmet is an Ukrainian whose parents’ influence led him to pick up the viola. However, under the greater influence of the Beatles in the 1960’s which swept through Ukraine as well, he concentrated more on his guitar. The turning point of his career as a musician was when his friend advised him to specialize in viola instead “since it requires less technical skills and will allow more time to play guitar.”

Although the playing techniques for the violin and viola are almost alike, since the Baroque age, the viola has been a ‘secondary instrument to violin’ because of its mellow tone. But after graduating from the Music School of Moscow, Bashmet won the Munich viola competition in 1976 and gave successful solo concerts at famous halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York. He was able to make this unfamiliar genre of concert, ‘Viola solo,’ gain popularity. These days, he not only introduces lively viola pieces such as Brahms and Mozart, but also performs traditional cello pieces such as Schubert’s ‘Arpeggio Sonata,’ and Bruch’s ‘Kol Nidrei.’

He first appeared before the Korean audience last year during the World Cup “7 artists’ concert” along with world-renown soloists, including Jung Myung-hoon. This time, we will be able to hear his full-scale viola performance that is ‘more elegant than the violin and richer than the cello’. He will perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.6, Paganini‘s Viola Concerto in A minor, and other pieces. Rising trumpet star of Russia Sergei Nakariakov will perform Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings with the ensemble.

Tickets: 20,000∼80,000 won 02-580-1300, 1588-7890

Yoon-Jong Yoo gustav@donga.com