Thursday, April 10, 2008

Musical nepotism

I hate it! In Eastern Europe it's all around us - in Lithuania there are huge musical dynasties, the Dvarionas, the Ciurlionis, the Armonas, the Geniusas, the Domarkas, the Rinkevicius [trying hard, bringing out his daughters all the time] families (and that's in a small country)....but at some stage the talent runs out/dilutes (though musicians tend to marry musicians). Perhaps two of these families have young musicians of some promise....
People do not always realise this and children are under huge pressure to become musicians; I commented on that a bit here. In Russia I once heard an at least third generation offspring of the Kondrashin dynasty playing the cello very beautifully (first cellist of the Bolshoi), but he'd brought his flute playing sister along. She... played the flute.

The Georgian conductor Vakhtang Kakhidze is reported here to be returning to Israel with his daughter Anna who went to business school and now studies composition at the Tbilisi conservatoire. Naturally she will be soloist in the concert as a singer and player of the ...er... synthesizer (though she is described as a pianist; and why not, Geringas has been known to play an electronic cello in concert). It reminds me of Bashmet, who brings his daughter Ksenia along to concerts to play the piano. She's a lovely young lady, who ...plays the piano. All the right notes in the right places, totally and utterly reliable, especially as an accompanist - but does she play with soul, or passion?

The problem with music is that unlike the children of factory owners, who have their whole childhood to make a decision about their future, the children of musicians are caught up in the music business from the age of about 5, and before they know it, they are predestined to the same career. I congratulate every musician who allows his/her children to freely choose who they wish to be. And sometimes those children want to be like mum and dad....