Our readers asked the honoured art worker of Ukraine, Dmytro Logvin during our on-line interview why one cannot get the tickets for the concert of his orchestra and how one man managed to be at the same time a conductor of the orchestra and national band, to be the art director of a scandalous exhibition and even a producer of one of the local TV channels.

I have not received a penny from the state for 18 years.

– You told that when you were creating an orchestra with your father, “full house” was an unknown phenomenon in your city. And it was success when more than 50 people gathered in the hall of philharmonic. But, on the other side, classical music has become hundred times more available: Anybody can have an entire “orchestra” in his/her pocket in a walkman or a telephone. Or do people of Dnepropetrovsk listen to the classical music only in the concert halls?

Dmytro Logvin: – In 1993, the year we are talking about, I was working in the orchestra of the Opera Theatre, creating an orchestra with my dad at the same time. And I realized well then that it would not be possible to cheat the audience. There is such a rule in public relations: It is very easy to see poor quality and it is very difficult to see the level of high quality. Audience can just deceive themselves on the level of the good but when there is poor performance then absolutely everybody can see this. And when in the beginning of 90’s 15-20 people sat in the hall with the capacity of 1200 people that was an indication of lack of culture of the Dnepropetrovsk audience. Everybody had just got to the core of tremendous decrease of quality of music programs. And then we turned up with beautiful theatre programmes and amazing concert programs. It was not just a concert happening but hypnosis when an invisible cloud was moving from the stage to the audience and back. But I don’t know the cases when listening to the music out of a concert hall, out of live performance could give an effect like that. Certainly, now there are such powerful devices: iPods, iPhones…I use them myself with pleasure. But they would never replace the concert hall.

– Hello, Dmytro Garrievich! I am your admirer and would like to hear from the first hand of your programme that will be presented by you in our city on October 25.

D.L.: – The program will be very interesting! For this purpose I invited brilliant musicians from the national ensemble “Kyiv Soloists” Miroslava Kotorovich and Sergey Toporenko. We will play “Concerto-grosso” by Alfred Schnittke, and also it will be the first time his “Old-fashioned Suite” played by us. Apart from that we will play “Divertissement No.11” by Mozart that we have not played for a very long time.

– Many people complain that it is absolutely impossible to buy tickets for Four Seasons concert…

D.L.: – This is a perfect complaint that delights me a lot! (Laughing). On the other side, there is such a huge problem in Dnepropetrovsk as lack of concert halls. The two hundred seats of the former cinema theatre with white bleached walls, fixed lamps a-la bra from a dorm and referred to as regional philharmonic, as a matter of fact, has nothing to do with a philharmonic hall. There is not a single hall for chamber music in Dnepropetrovsk. The organ hall is not bad but it is in to location difficult to access. The only, more or less, appropriate place is Gorky Theatre but it has got their own repertoire where it is difficult to “cut in”, though we have been doing this for 15 years by now. There was a beautiful building of philharmonic in the House of Mechanics in Kuibyshev Street, one of the best acoustic buildings in Ukraine, but there is a club there now. There was a not a bad House of Culture named after Lenin but now there is either a warehouse for unnecessary things or a bomb shelter. One can conclude: Dnepropetrovsk residents need it but officials that live separately from the people do not need new halls for classical music.

– Hello, Dmytro. Four seasons is the only orchestra in Ukraine that performs at a private cost. In terms of art and ideas is it freedom or the absence of freedom?

D.L.: – When we were creating “Four Seasons” with my dad, the main condition of our orchestra to have absolute independence from the state. We have not received a penny from the state for 18 years, but it was worth it! I have never been called on the carpet of the government with questions like why you have so much of this or so little of that, and no complaints on incomplete norms – the norms were 5 concerts a week, 25 a month then! What kind of quality can we talk about? Our supporter, namely supporter but not a sponsor has not asked me a single question related to our professional work for the past 18 years.

“At the age of 5 I wanted to be a conductor or a taxi driver”

– Hello, Dmytro Garrievich, my name is Julia. Aged 24 you became a conductor. This means that all young years when all boys were playing football you were spending among the music instruments. Didn’t you want to give up music and join the boys in the backyard?

D.L.: – I grew up in Kharkiv Opera Theatre in the ordinary sense of the word. Dad was a concertmaster; my mom was a ballet dancer. Aged 3 I started going on tour with my parents. I did not have a different choice not because I was forbidden something but because I was not thinking of a different future for myself. Another pair of shoes is that similar to other children I did not like practising music. Musicians have got a joke that music is like a bike: once you learnt how to ride it and then you are riding it permanently. Unfortunately, one cannot manage it. That is why it took me long 16 years to become a musician! None of professions requires so much time. And once you have learnt how to play, if you stop practising daily, you will lose your fitness.

Being at about age of 5 I formulated my dream: to become either a conductor or a taxi driver. The second dream came true by half: I drive my own car. The first dream came true in full, thank God! (Laughing). A friend of mine, an outstanding conductor, Professor giving classes in a conservatoire, once said: “Students come to my classes in hope to learn something from me. In truth, it is impossible to teach somebody to conduct. If I were the chancellor I would deduct from our, the conductors’ salary the amount for all previous 30 years of teaching. (Laughing). The outstanding Russian composer and theorist Rimsky-Korsakov replied to a question on conducting: “Conducting is a vague matter”.

– Hello, my name is Sergey. I know that you performed together with John Lord, the founder of the legendary “Deep Purple”. Did you play with other celebrities?

D.L.: – Yes, indeed, this was an unforgettable concert! Lord is an outstanding musician and a good, bright person. You know that for the past 18 years of my work as a conductor I performed with many brilliant musicians but these were all classical musicians: Soloists of “Virtuosos of Moscow”, Sasha Romanovksiy and Igor Chetuyev. But I also like those not only purely classical concerts where there is a certain zest, as, for instance, in the joint concert with Aleksandr Malinin, a very delicate, very doubting artist. Also the concert with Anatoliy Solovyanenko was very memorable. I am one of the very rare conductors that like accompanying.

– You are the Managing Director of PinchukArtCenter. This centre of contemporary art is famous for their sometimes scandalous exhibits, as for instance, a real cow in naphthalene.  Could you please tell whether our society is so callous that in order to awaken the cultural perceptiveness, one needs to “cut alive” like this?

D.L.: – I started dealing with these matters on an assignment of Victor Pinchuk at the end of 2002 when “contemporary art” was an absolutely vacant notion for me. In 2003 we arranged a conference in Kyiv where we invited outstanding painters and critics from Ukraine, Russia, France and America in order to ask them the only question: “How the museum of the contemporary art should look like? Then I heard a lot of new for myself. I thought that the things of which I did not have understanding lacked a talent and this could be done by any ordinary person in the street. A certain period of time passed and I realized that only a visual perception with the categorical “like-dislike” can be enough for classical art but not for contemporary art. Here one must know the story of the creator himself, to know even his/her biography, to know what initiated such an artistic reaction.

Though, of course, I like classic art much more than contemporary. However, the job in PinchukArtCenter taught me of the following: One cannot reject the things one does not understand. Kyiv feminist society tried to bring the case to the court regarding the exhibition “Khortytsya” by Bratkov where a naked girl lies on a beach in the Ukrainian garland and embroidered Ukrainian shirt “vyshyvanka“. If she had worn an Italian shirt nothing like that would have happened.  There was a meeting of Morality Commission with ridiculous judges who knew absolutely nothing about the contemporary art.

– Do you have any optimistic forecast regarding this and future generations?

D.L.: – Now Ukraine is trying to walk the path for a short period of time that USA walked for 200 years but we do not have any other choice. When we were a closed country it seemed to us that we had had all the best, we were proud of the country, thinking that the West was rotting. But when we became open, it turned out that it was us who had got a swamp. And now in order to get out faster from the swamp, we have to make much more efforts than those who are just walking along the street. Thus, now we are making all these efforts in order not get drowned. Naturally, one cannot help scratching elbows and dropping a face into mud. But as soon as we stop getting out we will drown. Bernard Show said: “The summit is the last step before going down”. We are not on top and that means that we are far from the last step (laughing).

PROFILE

Dmytro Garrievich Logvin – Art Director and Conductor of the orchestra Four Seasons, Managing Director of PinchukArtCenter, head conductor of the National chamber ensemble of Ukraine “Kyiv Soloists”.

He was born in Kharkiv in 1967 in the family of Opera Theatre artists.

After finishing a class of clarinet in Dneprodzerzhinsk Music School he continued education attending rehearsals and master-classes of well-known Russian and Ukrainian conductors, combining his studies and work of an artist of the symphonic orchestra of Dnepropetrovsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

In April 1993 he and his father Garry Logvin created Four Seasons chamber orchestra in Dnepropetrovsk. The leading musicians of the orchestras of Philharmonic and Opera Theatre play in Four Seasons.

In 2001 after the death of his father, Dmytro Logvin became in charge of the orchestra as Art Director and conductor.

In 2006 Dmytro Logvin was awarded the title of honoured art worker of Ukraine by the Order of the President of Ukraine.

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