Berin’s native land

Famous conductor Arkady Berin, who has worked in Belarus for many years, celebrates his 70th birthday with a Minsk concert

Famous conductor Arkady Berin, who has worked in Belarus for many years, celebrates his 70th birthday with a Minsk concert

Conductor Arkady Berin always pleased to meet enthusiastic audiences
Conductor Arkady Berin always pleased to meet enthusiastic audiences

Arkady, we congratulate you. You lived in Germany for a long time, and have successfully toured Europe, so why have you held your birthday gala-concert in Belarus?

I’m glad that I managed to organise the concert in my homeland. So many of my friends and colleagues were in the hall; it was lovely to see them and exchange memories. Last summer, at the ‘Slavianski Bazaar’, I heard Sergey Volchkov and thought he sounded like a Belarusian Muslim Magomayev! Accordingly, I decided to invite him to sing at my concert. Nature has bestowed Sergey with a unique voice. He was born in Bykhov, and gained an excellent musical education in Moscow. He finished his performance with a rendition of ‘My Native Land’ — by Igor Luchenok. For Sergey and for myself, Belarus is our native land, so it was natural to want to celebrate my birthday here.

How is your life in Germany?

In Dortmund, I’ve established the Internationale Symphoniker Deutschland Orchestra, which performs in the best halls across Germany and Europe. It has played at the Yuri Bashmet Festival, and at ballet and opera gala-concerts alongside Bolshoi Theatre soloists, as well as at a concert dedicated to the Great Victory — held at Berlin’s Konzerthaus. I love being a conductor and have been lucky in performing with such outstanding musicians as Jose Carreras, Yuri Bashmet, Giora Feidman, Daniel Müller-Schott, Nikolai Petrov, Alexander Ghindin and Arkady Volodos.

You have so many creative ideas. What’s your programme for the Minsk audience?

In the Palace of the Republic, we’re holding a creative evening with People’s Artist of Russia, composer Maxim Dunayevsky. He has written music for 30 films and is now also 70 years old. We decided to unite our creativity.

Dmitry Kharatyan, Larisa Dolina and Mikhail Boyarsky will perform, accompanied by the State Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus; they joined forces with great success in Dusseldorf, joined by the Zud West Orchestra. German musicians had never played Dunayevsky’s music but they were inspired and did a wonderful job. When Mikhail Boyarsky went on stage and sang ‘It’s Time to be Glad in Our Lifetime’, the whole audience stood and began to sing with him. I hope that Belarusian audiences won’t be disappointed by our creative evening with Maxim Dunayevsky. We’ll try to meet all expectations.

All your concerts are sold out; is Belarus a special audience?

I’ve performed before various audiences and can say with full confidence that ours is unusual, being kind, emotional, and sincere in their feelings. I always await such meetings with great joy.

I managed to organise Belarus’ first ‘Nemiga’ State Brass Band, which I led for four years. Then, at the Belarusian State Academy of Music, I created the ‘Fanfares of Belarus’ brass band. In 1998, it won the Grand Prix as the best youth orchestra in the world, at an international contest in Luxembourg, held by UNESCO. It toured European cities with huge success, finishing with a concert at the Millennium-Centre in London. In Minsk, they still remember me well.

By Eleonora Skuratova
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