Pianist Elina Akselrud to perform at ModRen

On January 17, 2014, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times
Pianist Elina Akselrud.

Pianist Elina Akselrud.

By Elena Neva

The Museum of Modern Renaissance (www.mod-ren.com) at 115 College Ave., Somerville, will feature a performance by pianist Elina Akselrud during its night of jewelry exhibits and workshops from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9.

Akselrud, who was born and started her music career in the Ukraine, won the 2013 concerto competition at the New England Conservatory, where she is finishing her Master of Music program. She lived in New York prior to coming to Boston.

Elena Neva: How did you hear and find the Museum of Modern Renaissance?

Elina Akselrud: A friend forwarded me an email about the open studio in May of 2013, so I became interested and went to visit.

EN: What age did you start your piano lessons, and how did you like it?

EA: I started playing when I was 3 years old or so. My parents are classical pianists (and teachers), so I heard music all the time. Students came for lessons. I often went to concerts since the age of 2 or 3 with my parents, as well as to theaters, ballet performances, etc.  My mother was a ballet rehearsal pianist, and instead of taking me to a kindergarten, she took me to the ballet classes with her. I realized I wanted to play piano as well and asked my mom to teach me. And thus, it started.

EN: Did you think that you’d be a famous pianist when you’re little?

EA: No. I just wanted to play. Nothing has changed since then.

EN: Who’s your favorite composer?

EA: The one whose work I am playing at any given moment, otherwise the whole concept of piano playing doesn’t make sense.

EN: What music would you like to play and why?

EA: It is important to play what you love.  Even more than that, you should go completely crazy about your repertoire, otherwise it means you don’t love it enough. If you don’t love something, there is no way you can put your entire soul into it, which means that it won’t be lived through properly, the way it should; it won’t be loved enough.  I often think of a piece for years before getting to play it. Sometimes I start learning something suddenly, but usually my repertoire consists of pieces that have lived in my mind for a while.

EN: I know that you have a talent as a photographer, tell us about that.

EA: Thank you for your kind words. For me, photography is not a hobby; it is my lifestyle. When you start taking photos, you cannot stop doing it. You will see images in your mind and will crave making them real. My favorite genre of all is the artistic portrait. I love depicting emotions and moods of a human soul with my camera. When working with my models, I always try to be as precise as possible when we discuss our goals and ideas during the process of creating the style and character of the shoot. More than anything else in photography, I enjoy exploring the spectrum of one person’s expressions.  When I am lucky enough to capture their personality, I feel happy.

EN: What other interests do you have?

EA: Learning languages, reading, singing, Irish step dance, jazz, drawing, traveling….

EN: This is will be your third time playing at ModRen. What you’d like to say about that?

EA: I am absolutely looking forward to it, since it is one of the most magical and inspiring places I have ever performed at.

 

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