Boris Andrianov: Vivacello!

Daria Alyukova's picture
Boris Andrianov: Vivacello!

Acclaimed Russian cellist Boris Andrianov will give one London recital this March to launch the 3rd VIVACELLO Festival. It takes place in Moscow every year and features an array of international stars. This performance, in association with Mariana Haseldine Projects, will promote the Festival in Britain. Boris Andrianov will play Astor Piazolla’s Grand Tango, originally dedicated to maestro Mstislav Rostropovich.

The Third VIVACELLO Festival will be extensively advertised and will attract considerable public attention and media support. Participation by Yuri Bashmet, Stephen Isserlis, Julian Rachlin, the Venice Chamber Orchestra and many other artists is expected.

Are there any questions that you hear too often?

Yes, these are “How many hours a day you spend playing?” and “Who’s your favourite composer?’. There’s a common stereotype that musicians listen to classical music only.

And what music do you really listen to?

Recently I’ve been too busy for that, or rather too lazy. But in the 1990’s I was fond of Queen, Def Leppard, Nirvana. Then I moved to Germany, and while I was there I used to listen to any Russian music, I didn’t care about the genre, as soon as it had Russian lyrics.

Pop singers often say that show business is a hostile and aggressive environment. What is the atmosphere like in the world of classical music?

I’d rather call it competitive – and this is inevitable for any sphere where you have contests. Even more so in music, as soon as victory in a music competition is less objective than in, say, sport. In sport you at least have clear criteria for objective scoring – faster, higher, stronger. There are exceptions, though – like figure skating with its marks for artistic impression. Well, in music it is all about artistic expression.

Also, one has to admit that a question of money is involved. PR and “wrapping” make an integral part of modern life, whether we like it or not. This makes competition tougher, I guess.

What do you think about “side effects” of popularity? Like exposure press exposure, for example.

Well, attention of the press is flattering, and it is also a great opportunity to have a say. The only side effect I am really tired of is frequent trips.

How was the idea of VIVACELLO conceived? And how does it feel for you to be the artistic director?

Well, the work of organizing the cello festival is not that much different from what I’m used to. In fact you just use all the skills, knowledge and connections that you’ve acquired as a musician. The most difficult part is fundraising – it requires fantastic gift of the gab. Julian Rachlin, a friend of mine, has been in charge of the Dubrovnik festival for more than 10 years – the event is tremendously successful, but still Julian has to expend a lot of energy in fundraising. It is a great luck to meet like-minded people who get inspired with an idea and render help, like Mariana Haseldine does for VIVACELLO.

Why did you choose cello in the first place? Or was it your parents who made the choice?

It was my mother who helped to make the choice – after all, the last thing a 6-years-old wants is to spend most part of the day producing horrible sounds. Unfortunately, I turned out to be talented!

I heard that the happiest children in a music school are those who play flute or accordion – the former only have to carry a lightweight instrument, and the latter can use theirs at the ice slide.

This is so true – and cello class is less fortunate, I guess this is the bulkiest instrument of those that pupils need to carry. Pianists don’t have to carry anything at all!

What is the cello that you play now?

It is a Domenico Montagnana cello from the State Collection of Unique Instruments. Very beautiful piece. It used to belong to Prince Mikhail, brother of Alexander I. After that the cello stayed in Mikhailovsky Palace, and in 1920’s got to the State Collection. It is sealed with sickle and hammer.

Among Stradivari instruments one can find disappointing pieces, but all Montagnanas are perfect. Nobody managed to excel the Italian masters of 18th century, even with the application of hi-tech materials.

Mariana Haseldine Project

Mariana Haseldine Projects is an international independent art dealership and art consultancy that specializes in 20th - 21st century works of art: paintings, drawings and sculpture. MHP presents the most exciting international art as well as focusing on established and emerging art from Russia and Ukraine. Mariana Haseldine projects currently represent around 20 established and emerging contemporary artists, including those from UK, France, Germany, USA, Russia and elsewhere.

Mariana established her own Arts and Management Consultancy in London as her main base since 1998 and produced a wide variety of cultural projects with leading figures in the field of arts and media.

She worked in Goldsmith College with Oleg Prokofiev, son of the composer; and at the Rostropovich Foundation in Kronberg (Germany).


Born in 1976 in musicians family.

Education: Moscow Gnessins music school, High Music school of Hans Eisler in Berlin

At 16 he became a laureate at the First Tschaikovsky Competition for young musicians, at 17 he won the Grand Prix at an International competition in South Africa.

He performed to Pope John Paul II in Vatican, in Saint James palace in London, for the UNO in Geneva. Together with the pianist A. Goribol Boris Andrianov became the laureate of the First International competition of D. Schostakovich (Hanover, Germany) in May, 1997. In 2003 he become a laureate of first Isang Yun Cello Competition (Korea). Boris participated in many international festivals, such as Swedish Royal festival, Festival in Cervo (Italy), Barroc Evenings, in Varazhdin (Croatia), Dubrovnik Music Festival, Ludwigsburg Music Festival, Davos Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Colmar Music Festival, "Crescendo" Festival.