Charisma for a person working in art is rather a rule than a requirement. In case of Dmitry
Logvin, this is talent. This is the talent mixed with professionalism and love to work that
has been helping him to be the director and conductor of the first private chamber orchestra
“The Four Seasons” in Ukraine for 21 year and to be the Executive Director of
PinchukArtCentre from the day of of its foundation.
Just before the opening of the new state­of­the­art exhibition of Ian Farb in PinchukArtCntre and
closing of the XXI season of “The Four Seasons” Orchestra in an open conversation Dmitry
shared his thoughts with me on deterioration of classical music in Ukraine, on work principles
with an orchestra, on the role of the state in art and on the new season of his orchestra being under
I had a situation with a choice of profession that was not a standard one. Or on the contrary, it was
standard. My father was a first violin in the opera theater and my mother was a ballet dancer.
There was no question about a choice of profession. I lived in the opera theater and could become
whoever I wanted. At the age of 25, being an artist of opera and ballet theater I approached my
father with an idea of creating a chamber orchestra. As a man of this business, and after 6 years of
work in the opera theater, having observed how it all worked I realized that I needed to create my
own venture so that to have no relation to the state by any means. The less links lead art to the
state, the more quality is in the art itself.
If one speaks of conducting, self­education is primary important here. Even 21 years have passed
since my first time by the conductor’s stand, I still feel myself very alert as if it was just the start.
Music is not mathematics. One cannot weigh or calculate a number of forte or piano or a certain
tempo. All depends on intuition of the conductor, his understanding of music, accumulated
knowledge and musical talent. This grade is changing with age, time and knowledge.
All depends on a conductor in an orchestra. The conductor is a medium between a composer and
audience, and musicians are a tool.
If you have a Stradivari violin but you cannot play it, the violin will not give a concert on its own.
A conductor similar to any manager does not have to be afraid of being bad. The managers that
want to be good always lose.
In short term they can win but they will disappear in the long distance.
And this also has to do both with the management of orchestra and management of country or a
kiosk with 3 operatives employed.
The tempo of performance of the classical pieces in the time of Vivaldi and Bach and now are very
different. That tempo was much slower because the life was much slower then. The heartbeat
tempo was different.
There are sometimes empty hall in theaters and concerts not because the audience is of poor
culture but due to the audience realizes instantly that it is being cheated. The audience does not
believe any more. If you want to have full house, it is not a matter of audience but it is concerned
with quality and honesty in front of the audience. It is very important not to toe the line of the
audience but to understand that you work for the audience not for yourself. If all these qualities
have been put altogether, then you will have full house independent of where an even takes place,
whether it is in Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Yalta or Vienna. And if the musical material is poor
then they start conversations on the low culture of the nation, the lack of love to classical music or
degradation . Degradation is rather a phenomenon of the performers now but it is
comfortable to reckon it is the audience to blame. For the moment we have full houses but please
do not forget that we give one concert in 6 weeks. And this not an affordable luxury for a regular
orchestra. There is a performance frequency rate: Philharmonic orchestra has to give 5 concerts a
month and previously it was 24 concerts in 30 days!
Where can one find people willing to buy a ticket, find free time and desire? I will be honest, I am
musician and I am not ready to go to a concert every day.
Metropolitan Opera, London Symphony Orchestra, La Scala Theater, Mariinskiy Theater in St.
Petersburg. This is to name the best of the best. None of them is financing themselves. In different
countries, there is an additional financing of the budgets by sponsors, the state and patrons in
various proportions, basically, the ratio is 60 against 40. Art is an expensive project. When it is
cheap we will receive empty halls of opera houses. Because of poor decorations, because of poor
performers. The good performers have left our country. The audience does not like it, the audience
stops visiting concerts. And all think the audience is to blame.
Six opera houses is not affordable for Ukraine. Because 5 extremely poor theaters out of six bring
more harm than benefit. The poor theaters are bad because there are no budgets meant for them.
Ukrainian musicians are often busy with 3­4 other jobs and they physically lack time to learn the
party to stay musically fit.
Deep Purple concert can be conducted both in opera theater and in a stadium. And tickets to the
stadium pay back the highest salary of the music band in full, plus sales of discs and sponsors’
money add to that. This is entire industry. The concert of classical music is difficult to have in the
hall with more than 3000­3500 seats. And it is impossible to collect the amount of the stadium in
the hall with the capacity of 3000 seats. In advance this cannot be a commercial business. It is a
different story in countries with the law of patronage of art where culture is financed at the expense
of the patrons. It is easier to find people there who finance classical music. It is vice versa in our
country. Who is going to finance an orchestra instead of buying a car for himself? There are few
people like this.
Norman Lebrecht in his book “Who Killed Classical Music?” is describing 1960s when the
classical music was on the peak of its trend, when in order to promote its discs Sony bought huge
symphonic orchestras that were recording music. People bought the discs but not the music on it.
Those who had a relation to it became millionaires not in metal or gas industry but on classical
music. And now it’s all been invented. No one buys those discs. It does not make sense.
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra received additional budgets from the state in order to promote
classical music. And instead of occupying governmental buildings, people go to the park to listen
to the music. Their country understands what they are investing in, and our country does not think
much of the future. Our country has always thought how to take not to invest. As said in the story
by Mikhail Zhvanetskiy “Ambulance doctor is asking: do you want us to treat you or you will die
For the music to develop one has to be interested in it. Authorities do not need the music at all,
musicians almost do not need it because they are paid as paupers and it is becoming unnecessary
for the audience because everything most interesting stuff can be watched in the Internet without
leaving your home.
Having been working on a stage for 21 years, “The Four Seasons Orchestra” has not missed a
single season and this autumn we are expecting the first season that is under a question because of
the financial problems only.
I like my work a lot in principle. I like even the fact of work itself and reaching a result. I
hate doing some work in a kitchen­garden or constructing something. And all what I do I
like very much. I like managing the Center of Modern Art, I like leading an orchestra, I like
traveling to the concerts, I like learning something new and give concerts both with the
great John Lord and Alexander Malinin or with young talents. And if I had done what I
disliked, I would have got tired.
Musicians do not want to work in principle. There is always a reason not to work. For instance,
there is a rule that if the temperature in the concert hall is below 14 degrees Celsius, and this is not
uncommon in our country, then the rehearsals are to be canceled by the law. And if there is no
rehearsals, then there will be no good concerts.
In this case all depends on a conductor and his authority. Is he captivating your, are they trusting
you, do they understand that you came to share something with you? If so, then these
conversations are not happening, and if not – musicians will not work in any conditions.
I am a fare manager as it seems to me. There is no trifles in my work. I am equally fare to myself
and my direct reports.
I am 100% happy man. I run the business I like, I am being paid for it and I have never gone down
any singly year in my career. Though, I can always remember the words of Y. Yevtushenko: “I am
making my career by not making it”.

This post is also available in: Russian