We're thrilled that Vasilisa Luschevskaya, the winner of the Ksenia Erdely International Competition 2012, will give a solo recital after Jana Bouskova's masterclass at l'Espace Camac on December 16th. To give you a taste of the treat you have in store, our Camac Voice for December is a clip from Vasilisa's live performance at the competition's laureates' concert, playing Zabel's Fantasy on Gounod's Faust.
The final of the Ksenia Erdely Competition 2012
A student of Milda Agazarian since 1996 - firstly at the Gnessin Special School of Music in Moscow, and now at the Russian Academy of Music in the same city - Vasilisa already has an impressive collection of competition prizes. These include the Young Harpists Competition (Moscow, 1997); Lily Laskine International Harp Competition (Junior Division, 1999); the 'Classical Heritage' International Competition (Moscow, 2005); and the Bronze Medal at the USA International Harp Competition (Bloomington, 2010). As a soloist / concerto soloist, Vasilisa has already appeared in concert throughout Russia (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Nigniy Novgorod, Lipezk, Kaluga and many others), and further afield in Europe (Spain, Greece, Finland, and Switzerland). If you attended the HarpMasters summer academy in 2011, you'll have heard her give the Young Celebrity Master recital there. There'll be another chance to hear her at HarpMasters in 2014, as Vasilisa also won the Harpvision prize at the Erdely Competition. This prize includes a solo CD recording for HarpMasters Records, as well as a recital at the 2014 Academy. In the next season, she'll also be appearing at the Belgrade International Harp Festival.
Vasilisa is not the first outstanding harpist to emerge from Milda Agazarian's class, and we never cease to be impressed by the artists from this wonderful school. Vasilisa's beautiful sound, musical clarity and refreshing absence of distracting mannerisms immediately draw you into the heart of the music. We were spell-bound during her performance of Zabel's Faust Fantasy during the competition's second round.
If you need any more persuasion to come along to l'Espace Camac on December 16th, Vasilisa will be playing the Faust Fantasy again, plus JS Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565, Daquin's The Cuckoo, Liszt's third Liebestraum, Auguste Durand's Valse Op. 83, the Godefroid Carnaval de Venise, and Paul Patterson's Spiders.
As Harpblog is hammering the case for performing transcriptions, it must be Friday. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about the transcription issue, and it is true that fabulous artists show you how much there is actually to be found in pieces one might have previously underestimated. Isabelle Moretti and Magali Mosnier did this in Geneva with the Saint-Saëns violin and harp fantasy Op. 124, for example. But as the performance of classical music is essentially a recreative art - about the spark between the artist and the composer, the score - great artists also need great music to express the full range of what they have to say. That is why the best harpists gravitate, not exclusively, but certainly notably towards transcriptions. The harp cannot be taken seriously in the wider musical milieu if we only get to hear its potential in the limited number of original works that have enough depth. In turn, a brilliant performance of a transcription can shed new light on that original itself.
We're really looking forward to the chance to hear Vasilisa again, and hope it will be the first of many occasions in the near future. Participation in Jana Bouskova's masterclass is already booked out, but there are still some seats to listen to both masterclass and Vasilisa's concert. There are however not very many left, so don't delay to save your space with Claude at firstname.lastname@example.org!