Q: What is your life credo?
A: To always strive forward, even though I sometimes enjoy to reflect. There is a lot to remember and be thankful for. The first time I performed on stage was in early January 1953 during an event at my High School of Anton Chekhov. I sang “Glorious
Sea - Holy Baikal.”

In 1960, being an engineering student at MVTU of Bauman, I met Irina Grigorievna Palman-Alekseeva (former soloist of the Bolshoi Theater) and started to seriously study voice. In three months, as she advised, I applied and was accepted as a vocal major into Gnesin Institute. During my entrance exam I performed a romance by Tchaikovsky “Blessed Forests.”

I began my vocal education with a solo singing course taught by Professor Vladimir Petrovich Zakharov (a soloist of Moscow Radio). In my second year I was enrolled in a class of ensemble taught by Boris Mikhailovich Shlakhter. Later on Boris Mikhailovich organized a male quartet of which I was a part as the first bass.

In the fall of 1962, being in my third year at the Gnesin Institute, I became a Laureate of the Second USSR National Competition as a member of our quartet and the rest is history. What followed was a career of a concert singer.

|In 1964 at the Fourth USSR National Competition being a member of now a duet with tenor Dmitri Baturkin I became a Laureate once again. That year we went on tour to what was then East Germany and then I received an invitation to join The Moscow Philharmonic as well as completing my diploma with honors from the Gnesin Institute.

Some of my famous vocal influences!

Fyodor Chaliapin

Maxim Mikhailov

Tito Gobbi

Cesare Siepi
Some of my infamous political audiences!

Nikita Khrushchev

Fidel Castro


Walter Ulbricht

Michael Gorbachev

What followed were trips to different cities and countries, meetings with composers and performances including recordings on the radio. In essence life of a performer was interesting and unpredictable.

During the first ten years I primarily was performing as part of a duet while continuing to study voice.
In 1974 I became a solo bass continuing singing part time in a duet. My experience performing in an ensemble aided me when I performed as a soloist in Mozart’s and Verdi’s Requiems, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Bach’s “Cafe Cantata.” I performed Shastokovich’s 13th and 14th Symphonies and part of Konchak from Borodin’s “Prince Igor.” Always memorable will be parts of Papageno and Zaraastro from Mozart’s “Magic Flute”as well as parts of Pimen and Varlaam from Mussorgsky's
“Boris Godunov”.

I would like to acknowledge special people who helped me to become a true professional:
• Vladimir Petrovich Zakharov (professor of class of the Vocal Solo)
• Boris Mikhailovich Shlakhter (professor of class of Ensemble)
• Leonid Borisovich Dmitriev (professor of Methodology of Vocal Instruction)
• I. Gorkina (Piano Accompaniment) who worked with me for my diploma performance
• V. Strizhezhevskaya (Piano Accompaniment)
• V. Klempner (Piano Accompaniment)
• V. Shraibman (Piano Accompaniment)
• V. Tokarev (Piano Accompaniment)
• Lidia Nevedomskaya (Piano Accompaniment - many years to her as those listed above are no longer with us)

Q: Who is your ideal singer?
A: The great Russian bass - Fyodor Chaliapin. I believe that an ingenious synthesis of his superb singing and acting abilities made him truly unsurpassed. I learned so much from his recordings.

Q: What is your favorite Italian bass?
A: Cesare Siepi

Q: What is your favorite opera?
A: I love lots of operas, but especially Rigoletto by Verdi. I always regretted that it is written for a baritone. Always dreamed of singing Rigoletto.

Q: Who was your favorite Rigoletto?
A: Tito Gobbi

Q: Who are your favorite Russian singers?
A: In addition to Chaliapin, M. Mikhailov. I believe that his rendition of Glinka’s “Ivan Susanin” is unsurpassed.

Q: Who are your favorite Italian singers?
A: Tito Gobbi, Mario Del Monaco, Cesare Siepi. All were unsurpassed voices with ingenious acting abilities.

Q: What is your vocal credo?
A: To always sing in tune with beautiful timbre

Q: What advice can you give to vocal students?
•Try to sing softly, never straining your voice.

• Learn your notes in your head first, then use your voice.

• Remember that the hardest thing is to maintain the position of “surprise” during the singing process.

• Try to imagine that you are an instrument (wind or string) while you are producing sound.

• Always sing utilizing your point of resonance.

• Seek the feeling of light handedness in sound production, but remember that “school of vocal mastery is the school of mastery of breathing.”

• Sing your exercises starting with the highest note to the lowest. Gradual, step by step process is the key. Even if you can take   high or low notes right away, make sure to sing all your exercises first, in the most comfortable, non straining register.Just like any muscle in your body, your vocal chords need to be stretched out first and only then asked to perform to their capacity.

• Try to know thyself, tape yourself exercising and compare your efforts with the best voices. I recommend buying a CD of B. Gigli. He is a great example for all types of voices. Keep in mind that no matter what heights you have achieved, there is always room to learn and keep improving.

Q: Any advice for stage fright?
A: Stage fright can be defeated with lots of rehearsing. Repetition is the key to success. |

Q: What is your biggest dream?
A: To sing bass part in Verdi’s Requiem. To open a vocal school, waiting for a sponsor

Q: What do you wish for yourself?
A: Health, interesting concerts and good sounding voice.

Q: What is your prize most in your life?
A: My family.

Q: What helps you in life?
A: Singing in our Church choir, prayer.

Q: What were the most memorable audience you have had a chance to perform in front of?
• In front of Nikita Khrushchev at Bolshoi Theater as part of a quartet
• In front of Fidel Castro in Gavana, Cuba
• In front of Walter Ulbricht in the Russian Consulate in Berlin
• In front of Finnish president Kekkenon in Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall
• In front of Ho-Chi-Min at 6:00am at Hanoi, North Vietnam
• At the 200th Anniversary of the City of Stavropol met with Mikhail Gorbachev just prior to his transfer to Moscow

Q: What are the most memorable performances of your career?
• Verdi’s Requiem with Sveshnikoff’s Choir and with a wonderful singer and person
tenor Karlis Zarins.
• Tchaikovsky’s vocal quartet “Night” with Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of G. Rozhdestvensky at the Big Hall of Moscow Conservatory.
• Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony with Augsburg Symphony Orchestra. The Symphony was performed with original texts by G. Lorka, A. Appoliner, N. Kuhelbekker and Rilke (World Premiere)
• Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony with conductor Maxim Shostakovich at Alice Tully Hall.
• Concert dedicated to 850th Anniversary of Moscow where I performed a monologue from Tchaikovsky’s “Moscow” Cantata and “Many Years” with two choirs at Carnegie Hall.

Instrument: Violin. I finished music High School playing the violin.
Now I enjoy listening to such great violinists as Yasha Heifetz and Nina Beilina. Very inspiring!
City: The city of my youth - Taganrog
Language: Russian, and Italian in singing
Writer: A.S. Pushkin
Composer: Mussorgsky and Verdi
Artist: Raphael
Painting: The Sistine Madonna by Raphael, it is at the Dresden Gallery in Germany. I always wanted to go back and see it again.
Poem: Names of my children: Victor, Natalia, Stanislav, Daria
Past Time: Playing Chessmaster on my computer due to lack of worthy opponents
Nature: Azov Sea, steppe, snow covered mountains
Fruit: Watermelon
Color: Green


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