The violinist Anastasiya Petryshak

Dress Eleonora Lastrucci

Excellence Magazine interviews the talented violinist.

Your relationship with music is really deep. When did you realize music was going to be your life?
“Music has always been a part of my life. At the age of five I played the piano and attended dance and singing classes. Then, one day, while walking through the center of my hometown, Ivano-Frankivsk, I heard a violinist playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The sound of the violin fascinated me, and Vivaldi became my first musical love. The following day – it was love at first sight – I was already studying with my first teacher, Marta Kalynchuk, who immediately directed me towards the path of competitions and concerts. She made me fall in love with music and, because of her, I have a passion for teaching and a desire to inspire my students. From the very first lesson, I understood that the violin would be my life partner.”

Photo courtesy of Angelina Müller, dress Eleonora Lastrucci

You started performing very young, what were and what are your feelings when you go on stage?
“When you are a child, you don’t understand many aspects of this profession. It’s an adventure that you face one step at a time, like a game whose rules you discover only by playing. Growing up in music, and with music, performing in public becomes more and more natural. It’s like talking or walking, at a certain point it becomes so natural that it seems difficult to think about the years when we didn’t know how to do it yet. The emotion is always there, even today, and it’s one of the best things about this job, because it keeps the passion alive. When I’m on stage I feel alive and useful, almost as if I was an instrument myself, connecting people with something bigger than ourselves. During concerts, a unique relationship is created between the audience and the musician – there is a real exchange of emotions that combine and become one.”

After moving from Ukraine, your studies continued in Italy at the most important musical academies: Cremona, Siena, Parma, up to a Master’s degree in interpretation from the Higher Artistic and Musical Formation Course, with full marks, honors, and an honorable mention, at the “C. Monteverdi” school in Cremona, with M° Laura Gorna. Your guide in the musical world is Maestro Salvatore Accardo, with whom you studied at the prestigious Stauffer Academy. Can you tell us about your academic career?
“Moving to Italy was possible thanks to the courage and tenacity of my parents. For me, it was the country of music and culture, where the greatest composers of all time were born, such as Vivaldi, Paganini, Verdi, Puccini, Rossini…A country that has also welcomed many foreign musicians. It was a dream to be able to study and perfect myself in Italy. The first stop was Bologna. Then, for academic reasons, every two years I moved further and further north, as far as Zurich, Switzerland, where I completed the Master Soloist at the prestigious ZHdK with Maestro Rudolf Koelman. I was also part of the Stauffer Academy in Cremona for eight years with Maestro Salvatore Accardo, who had and still has an important role in my musical life.”

How important is it for you to express yourself through music?
“For me, playing is like eating or talking… Music is good for the soul and the mind, by studying every day I get my daily “vitamins”. Music is an international language, made up of notes instead of words, and it goes straight to the heart. Now it is part of me and my life.”

What relationship do you have with your violin?
“I’m currently playing a 2012 violin, made especially for me by luthier Roberto Regazzi, from Bologna. It grew up with me and I with him. A special relationship that has lasted almost 11 years.”

Photo courtesy of Angelina Müller, body painter Guido Daniele

Can you tell us about your recording projects with Sony?
“The first record, Amato Bene, was released in 2018 and focused entirely on Vivaldi’s music. It included the world-famous Four Seasons and two other concerts, including one recorded for the first time in history. I played on a wonderful 1690 Stradivarius, “Il Toscano”, together with the Archi dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Maestro Luigi Piovano. The second record, Ange Terrible, however, which debuted in early 2023, focuses on French music of the Twentieth century. Together with pianist Lorenzo Meo, with whom I have been collaborating for nine years, I face the great masterpieces of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Olivier Messiaen. It is brilliant music, very charming, with a touch of modernity. This is a 360-degree artistic project: in addition to the music, we have also created videos. I have involved several artists, such as body painters and a ballerina, adding further values to this project. There is also a touch of elegance and beauty thanks to jewels by Chopard and dresses by Pierre Cardin and Eleonora Lastrucci.”

How was your latest record “Ange Terrible” born, and why did you choose this title?
“The title has many meanings and connections. One is about telling my story. I’ve always been told I look like an angel, a comparison I like, since angels are messengers. Angels are not only bright and highly spiritual creatures – they are also very strong, since they must have a lot of tenacity and vigor to share messages, even the most terrible ones. This project is the result of many years of reflection. I’ve always loved French music, especially the composers I’ve recorded. Debussy’s sonata is full of chiaroscuro and mystery, the last work he ever composed. Ravel wrote the second sonata between the world wars, taking five years to finish it. I find it interesting that, for Ravel, the violin and piano are “two essentially incompatible instruments”, each playing on its own, or even against one another, in this composition. A different story for Tzigane, which brought light and fresh air into Ravel’s life – he wrote it quickly and with great enthusiasm. In this composition I can perceive a colorful Ravel, with a thousand hues and feats of technical prowess that highlight the virtuosity, on par with Paganini’s Caprices. The record concludes with pieces composed by Messiaen, who I respect deeply: music that connects us with the spiritual world.”

Photo courtesy of Angelina Müller, dress Pierre Cardin, jewels Chopard
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