Sunday, August 25th at 2 p.m., Dzintari Concert Hall (Small Hall)
Alexandra Conunova /Violin/ and Denis Kozhukhin /Piano/
The duet between Conunova and Kozhukhin is the magnetic attraction of two polar opposites - in Conunova’s hands, her 18th century Guarneri 'del Gesù’ instrument becomes a nuanced, deeply considered conversation leader, whose conversation partner is Kozhukhin’s piano playing - passionate, with the conviction that the instrument has no boundaries.
Francis POULENC Sonata for violin and piano op. 119
Richard STRAUSS Sonata for violin and piano in E Flat Major op. 18
“When I perform with an orchestra, inexplicable things happen, a feeling of pure joy, a way of connecting with the divine.” So says Alexandra Conunova (1988), the Moldovan violinist who now lives in Switzerland but whose career has for several years now gained international recognition. She has performed in the world’s most prestigious festivals (Verbier, Montreux, the Proms, Hamburg’s Martha Argerich Festival, Aix-en-Provence, Nantes, Tokyo and many others).
In an interview, Conunova explains: “A technically perfect performance is not enough. It has to move the audience, provoke memories, thoughts about life. Like in therapy. Opera singers have the advantage of words to base this on, whereas we, instrumentalists, have to search for the piece’s meaning, spirit, history, composer’s biography, in order to perform authentically.”
Critics praise Conunova’s full immersion in each piece, her unlimited imagination, the enormous richness and precision in her details. “Good language is nuanced,” said Alexandra in an interview conducted in French. And this certainty is absolutely revealed in her playing, described by critics thus: “It is not her breathtaking technique, but rather the breath of her soul which moves us to the very depths of our being.”
Conunova was born in a family of Chișinău musicians. She studied in Rostov under Petru Munteanu and in Hannover under Krzysztof Vegrzyn.
It’s safe to say that pianist Denis Kozhukhin (1986) is one of the greatest pianists of his generation. His playing is characterised by sensitivity, engrossment in the message of the music, and crystal-clear technique. Critics, praising his playing, use words such as “captivating,” “compelling,” “fascinating”. And also powerful. Listening to him play is said to be an opportunity to experience the most deliberative, sensitive and purposeful piano playing of our time.
Kozhukhin plays with the conviction that his instrument has no limits. With one condition: you have to know what you want to get out of your piano.
With concerts taking place in the historic cities of Riga and Jurmala, the Riga Jurmala Music Festival features four weekends throughout the summer. A leading international orchestra and conductor anchor each weekend, offering a range of symphonic concerts and recitals that feature leading stars and young up-and-coming talent.