The creation of VIOLIN CONCERTO by Argentine composer Alicia Terzian marked the beginning of her 65-year (and counting) compositional career. Originally composed in 1954-55, this important piece of her repertoire was brought to life thanks to a collaboration between Navona Records and the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra.
Today, Alicia is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to discover her insights into composing through the night…
Who was your first favorite artist when you grew up?
I never had favorite artists, but from the beginning of my life as a human being I was very attracted to the work of J.S. Bach for the synthesis of his creative thinking that each of his works offer.
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
I never intended or thought of being an artist, and I never about being a composer either… When I was 6 years old, my mother put my hands on the piano. She spoke with an excellent piano teacher and thus began my musical training with the piano and in a natural way… after the composition…
What was your most unusual performance or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
My most unusual performance was when I conducted a contemporary chamber opera with an arm disabled by a fall, having disguised my self according to the opera that I conducted, that required me to join the opera… This happened in a very popular and poor neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires called La Boca, located in front of the River, where the houses are very simple, its inhabitants are poor and they have never heard or seen a classical opera. Its inhabitants followed the opera from the window of their own houses …. applauding each scene of this chamber opera.
It was really weird and I had so much fun!!!
What is your guilty pleasure?
I like to drink champagne, wine, or beer during the lunch or dinner and according to the food, the schedule and the place …… and I enjoy both pleasures …without guilt ….but not together in the same time!!!
If you could earn a living from any job in the world, what would that job be?
Whenever I need to work in order to live and support my family, I would do any job and I would do it without feeling guilty.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Lately I think that I would be very happy going to the best hotel in a European mountain city in winter, with a very good cook and a spa that has many masseurs and… enjoy life!!!
If you could have instant experience playing an instrument, what instrument would that be?
I’d be very happy improvising on the piano and transforming with electronics, in real time, the sound that I produce on strings or on keyboard.
What was your favorite musical moment on the album?
My favorite musical moment is always recording with the Orchestra, the conversations and corrections during the recording, both with its conductor and the soloist. This is always in order to achieve the improvement of the thought that I had when I conceived the work… when I put the first note on the empty musical paper that was in front of me.
I compose with the piano open and letting the sounds arise freely in me and are reflected in notes in the score.. is always from midnight until 5 or 6 am next morning and with a good glass of cognac near me.
What does this album mean to you personally?
It was my first symphonic work with a soloist that I composed, and I proposed it to Ginastera- my teacher- when I was 18 years old and was in my 1st year of composition. Ginastera looked at me in amazement and he wondered: “Did you compose a concerto for violin and orchestra?” I answered yes and he only said to me: “Okay, Terzian, but I only ask you that-before to put the first note on the staff paper -you analyze all the violin concerts that were composed until today, because your concert should be different and should have your stamp and personality “… and so I did.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like to communicate in this work?
Listeners must know that I was very young, that I was in love for the first time in my life and that I transmitted that feeling mixed with many other things that happened to me at that age… all together in this my Violin Concerto.
I wanted it to be recorded again so that it would remain as the thought of an 18-year-old Argentine girl who was a professional from the first day of her life and who always wonders… how could I have captured with such precision my musical thinking when I was so young and when I was just beginning to study composition?
This was and is my question till our days… very similar to the one Charles Ives asked in his Unanswered question…
VIOLIN CONCERTO from Alicia Terzian is available now from Navona Records. Click here to visit the catalog page and explore this album.