Ural’s soundscapes with Teodor Currentzis

Air France Magazine – Novembre 2018


“I decided to study in Saint Petersburg in the late 1990s because it still had a kind of Romanticism that was resisting the technological era,” explains the Athens-born conductor, who appears on stage dressed in a muzhik shirt or a gold-embroidered waist- coat to ensure that the atmosphere surrounding the music already creates a certain narrative. In 2011, after founding his orchestra in Novosibirsk, in Siberia, he persuaded the musi- cians to move with him to the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre in the Urals. “In an established city, I would have had to have begun by destroying. In Perm, I had to build,” explains this musician poet, with his enigmatic metaphors and owing ges- tures, who quickly took his young ensemble, musicAeterna, to the most renowned festivals, including Salzburg and Aix, where it will be performing again in 2019. A classical icono- clast in Orthodox Russia? He sees himself as the “servant of composers,” stripping them of the dusty performance accou- terments that have accumulated over the centuries, allowing us to hear them again with the shock of the rst listen in a way that is both disconcerting and riveting. Teodor Currentzis sometimes confesses that he composes, notably vocal music. Is he in uenced by the a cappella singing of the monasteries of Perm? With his sense of the theatrical, he is keeping silent on the subject for a while longer, preserving the secret.

© Cécile Balavoine 2016