Where do young composers have the opportunity to premiere their new works on stage? At the Carol Franc Buck Hall of the Arts at San Domenico.
Virtuoso Program student and cellist Illarion G. ’23 performed his original piece Désolé before a packed house at the most recent VP concert. The SD senior introduced his piece by saying, “The piece you are about to hear was written in the span of a month, and has not been heard by single audience since its inception,” before thanking his teachers Sergei Riabtchenko and Eugene Chukhlov, and in particular Conductor and Virtuoso Program Director Ann Krinitsky. “Without them, I would not stand here before you, as I am [today],” he said warmly with a smile. “Without [Ms. Krinitsky], naturally, this concert would not be possible.”
Krinitsky is dedicated to promoting works by young composers in particular, as well as by composers in general, including women who have been historically underrepresented. She appreciates the support Illarion’s colleagues have provided in premiering his works over the last two years. “I have watched Illarion grow from a precocious young cellist to a talented musician with a promising future,” she says. “He has the gifts, intellect, and imagination to succeed. My fond hope is that he will embrace various influences, perspectives, and opportunities to become a true ambassador for his art and a representative voice for the next generation of composers.”
In describing his philosophy of music to the rapt audience, Illarion channeled the words of the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. “Dostoyevsky once wrote, that ‘There’s immeasurably more left inside, than what comes out in words,’” said Illarion. “In my case, words are replaced by music. To quote Dostoyevsky for a second time, ‘Nothing in this world is more difficult than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.’ Great art, and great music, is profound not because of a piece of paper, nor me standing here before you saying it is so, but because it is honest. In a time where most composers are satisfied with writing hedonistic collections of cacophonous sounds meant to emulate the turbulence of the modern world, I’ve taken it upon myself to write music that is honest, beautiful. At least I try to. I’m not telling you what to think of my music. I only ask that you consider what music means to you and decide for yourselves what to think of my music.”
The audience enthusiastically received the gift of Illarion’s original music. “I was particularly moved by Illarion's composition, which was beautiful and filled with special meaning, being composed by a student reflecting on his time as a musician,” gushed concert attendee and Theatre Arts Teacher Jen Grimes. Added audience member Shu-Chen Lin and her son, “The concert was amazing. My five-year-old son said, ‘I wish I knew how to play instruments like them.’”
We proudly share with you Illarion G.’s Désolé