While some youngsters tend to rebel against the idea of joining the family
business, or following in their parents’ footsteps, Sergei Krylov was happy to
do so. By all accounts it has proven a smart move and, today, the 42-year-old
Russian-born classical violinist and conductor is one of the most sought after
members of his profession.
Later this week, Krylov will demonstrate to local
audiences just how far he has taken his craft when he joins forces with the
Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra for three concerts at the Municipal Center for
Music and Art in Ra’anana (October 31, November 1 and November 3, all at 8:30
Actually, no one really consulted Krylov regarding what he wanted
to do when he embarked on his musical path.
“I was five years old and my
mother was a pianist and my father was a violinist and violin maker. I used to
practice with my mother five to six hours a day, every single day,” he
Does he rue his “lost” days of childhood? “Look, if you wanted
to make progress in the Soviet Union, with the violin, you had to be serious,
otherwise you wouldn’t get anywhere. That’s the Russian way.”
impression that Krylov bemoans his lack of freedom of choice as a kid would be
misleading and, in Krylov’s case, there was at least one very tangible fringe
benefit to be had.
“It is very important to come from a musical
family. My father actually made a violin for me in 1994, and I will
probably bring that one with me to Israel, to play.”
Once he laid his
infant fingers on the instrument, Krylov made rapid progress on the violin. Just
one year later he gave his first public recital, and when he was 10 he soloed
with an orchestra and soon hit the overseas trail, appearing in China, Poland,
Finland and Germany within a short space of time. His TV debut came at 16, when
he played and recorded Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5.
Soon after that,
Krylov and his parents managed to get out of the USSR and settled in Cremona in
northern Italy. At least in sense, it was a natural transition – provided they
could find their way to the other side of the Iron Curtain in one piece – as the
Italian city is famous for its musical instrument building tradition, and Krylov
Sr. soon found his place there. Krylov has been a resident of Italy ever
When he was still in his late twenties Krylov made a very
important contact; Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, considered by many to the
finest classical cellist of the second half of the 20th century.
him was the greatest experience of my musical life,” declares Krylov. “He came
to see me perform and we started a relationship which was wonderful. It was a
duet with a pianist, in honor of the then 75-year-old Rostropovich because he
had been given honorary citizenship of Cremona.”
The cellist was
evidently impressed with what he’d heard from the young violinist. “He
spoke to me after the concert and asked for my phone number, and a few weeks
later he called me.”
That was in 2002, five years before Rostropovich
died, and the two had many opportunities to work and play together.
was quite a boon for Krylov. Not only did he gain firsthand insight into the
cellist’s technique and wealth of performing experience, it also gave him a
direct link to some of the greatest figures of the classical music world of the
first half of the 20th century.
“I loved playing Tchaikovsky, Beethoven
and Shostakovich, and Rostropovich actually knew Shostakovich well, they were
good friends. He was also a friend of Prokofiev. I got information about
Shostakovich, and the way he thought about music, directly. That was very
It was also a unique experience for Krylov to join forces with
“He has such amazing energy, and I am sure anyone who met
him, or played with him, would say the same thing,” Krylov continues. “I feel
much richer in my music, and as a person, because of that
Krylov was also born in the right place at the right time.
Despite the strictures on all sorts of personal freedoms exerted by the
Communist regime in the USSR, culture and the arts were very well supported by
the state. It was often easier and cheaper to get a ticket for a classical
concert or ballet show than to find fresh food at the local grocery
“I would say I am part of the last generation of Soviet
musicians,” notes the violinist. “The musicians who followed me in Russia had to
come up in a completely different world. Yes, in that respect, I was
Krylov has made the most of his good fortune and has developed an
impressive career, appearing with some of the world’s most prestigious
orchestras, such as the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra,
St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Camerata Academica Salzburg, and with such
stellar conductors as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicola Luisotti, George Pehlivanian
and Jutaka Sado. His many international duties include the position of artistic
director with the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra.
Krylov will conduct and
play a program of largely romantic works with the Ra’anana Symphonette Orchestra this week, including Schubert’s Rondo in A major for Violin and String
Orchestra, and his Symphony No. 8 – The Unfinished Symphony – Mozart’s Concerto
No. 5 in A major for violin and orchestra, and Pablo de Sarasate’s
For tickets and more information: (09)
745-7773 and www.symphonette.co.il.