Denis Matsuev and Borislav Strulev Tell How to Become Happy

Denis Matsuev and Borislav Strulev Tell How to Become Happy

Denis Matsuev, Russian musician and public figure, People’s Artist of Russia, awardee of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, and Borislav Strulev, outstanding cellist, visited the Siberian Branch of the Central Music School-Academy of Performing Arts (Kemerovo) and answered questions from young musicians. The visit was part of the All-Russian Festival Project “Denis Matsuev Presents: Dialogue of Generations” which brings representatives of the Russian performing school − from young stars to world-famous musicians − together on stage and is supported by the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives (two concerts will be given as part of the tour in Kemerovo).

Before the meeting with young talents and their teachers, outstanding musicians toured the building of the school-academy and the boarding school. They noted that the guys can be envied, since at the time when Denis Matsuev and Borislav Strulev themselves studied at the Central Music School they never even dreamed of such comfortable conditions. The guests were greatly impressed by musical instruments which future virtuosos have the opportunity to play.

The meeting itself took place in the assembly hall and lasted more than an hour and a half. The guests joked around a lot, talked about tours and projects, willingly answered questions from students. The guys asked to remember how the musicians chose their path. Denis Matsuev grew up in a family of pianists. At around three years of age, he played a tune on the piano he heard on TV during the weather broadcast. This was the beginning of his musical career. Relatives of Boris Strulev are opera singers. It is clear that the boy grew up as a very musical kid. When it was time to choose an instrument, the teacher offered him a choice of violin or cello, and joked that the violinist always stands while the cellist sits. And so the problem of choice was solved.

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One of the students asked to tell if the guests’ children attend a music school. Denis’ daughter is 6 years old. She attends dance classes (this is mom’s influence: Ekaterina Shipulina, wife of D. Matsuev, prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre, People’s Artist of Russia). The three-year-old son of B. Strulev enjoys listening to opera concerts and is already playing his first scales.

A lot of questions were asked about how much time the musicians practice on their own and with the orchestra, how many concerts they give, and how much effort and hours they advise the young colleagues to study. According to Denis Matsuev, the main thing is not how much time the musician spends with the instrument, but how efficiently this time is used. The virtuoso told the guys about his daily routine: in the morning, he practises for about 2–3 hours; in the afternoon, rehearsals with the orchestra; and the culmination of almost every evening is a concert, a meeting, a rehearsal, shooting... The most conservative estimate, he takes part in at least 240 concerts every year. Answering the question if he gets tired of music and such a pace of life, Denis said “I’m happy!”

After the talks, Denis Matsuev awarded scholarships from the New Names Foundation to three students of the school-academy. A real musical surprise for all those present was a small concert the great musician presented to the audience.

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The Siberian Branch of the Central Music School-Academy of Performing Arts with a boarding school, as well as a secondary school with two swimming pools, and the branch of the Moscow State Academy of Choreography with a boarding school were commissioned by Stroytransgaz-Siberia JSC in November 2021.

As part of the Siberian Cultural Complex construction project by
Stroytransgaz-Siberia JSC, the following venues will be built in Kemerovo:
Opera and Ballet Theatre (a branch of the State Academic Mariinsky Theatre);
Museum and Exhibition Centre (a branch of the Russian Museum); Kuzbass Centre
of Arts with Cinema and Concert Complex; Siberian Campus of the Russian State
Institute of Performing Arts with the Creative Industries School and a
dormitory; Museum depository with a restoration centre; 2 buildings to
accommodate educators and performing artists.