Interview of Sergey Leiferkus

Q : Did you ever sing under Kondrashin's baton?

S.L.: Just once.

Q : What did you sing with him?

S.L.: Oh, you see, it was before I was a student at the Conservatory in Leningrad. I did the Babi Yar Symphony. It was the creation in Leningrad.

Q : You did the Leningrad premiere under Kondrashin's baton?

S.L.: Yes, you know, I was singing with the Chorus of the University. I was not student at that time, but I sang as an extra singer in the Chorus. There was the Chorus of the University, the Chorus of the Philharmony, all basses. You know the story? Kondrashin came in Leningrad because Mravinsky was to conduct this premiere, and finally he didn't.  You know, it was at the time of the very difficult relationships of Evtushenko with the Regime, and of Shostakovich with Evtushenko. That's the only concert I did with Kondrashin.

Q : Fantastic. And how would you characterize his conducting?

S.L. Oh (raising the arms and looking to heaven), fantastic!

Q : And do you know if there is any tape of this concert?

S.L.: (Opening the arms in an interrogative way) Who knows?

Q : I guess this must have been a very important experience for you in singing the solo part many years later?

S.L.: Yes, it was fantastic, a great experience. He was a marvellous conductor.

Théâtre du Châtelet, 25 janvier 2006

Valid XHTML 1.0!