Dmitri Torchinsky in La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art
2 December 2009 | Franz Felicius
Classical music fans will enjoy a concert by Russian violin virtuoso Dmitri Torchinsky and Korean pianist Sonja Park at the La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art, Manama, this weekend. The event is organised by the centre in co-operation with the Gulf Chamber Philharmonia.
Mr Torchinsky was surrounded by music from a very early age as his father was the leader of the Philharmonic Orchestra and his mother was a flute teacher. He began playing the violin at the age of five under the guidance of the best teachers and curators of the Russian violin tradition. Before he was a teenager, he was already an established soloist and had performed with orchestras and on radio broadcasts. He moved to the UK in 1995 where he studied with respected musician Natalia Boyarsky at Purcell School and later at the Royal College of Music (RCM). Mr Torchinsky won the RCM Isolde Menges Prize before he finished his postgraduate studies at the Vienna University of Music and Drama where he studied under professor Dora Schwarzberg.
The violinist is a laureate of several international competitions, including the Uralsk International Violin Competition and the Rudolf Matz International String Competition. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras in the UK, Russia, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Austria and Qatar under batons of conductors like Alexander Lazarev, Darrell Davison, James Ross and Ewa Strusinska.
As a recitalist and chamber musician, Mr Torchinsky has played at Wales’ Criccieth Music Festival, Germany’s Goslar Festival, the UK’s Southwark Festival, Rhode Island’s Newport Music Festival alongside artists like Hamish Milne, John Lenehan and others. He has worked with orchestras worldwide, including BBC Symphony, Radio Symphony Vienna and others.
Ms Park is an essentially self-taught pianist, but toured with the Korean National Men’s Choir in her early years. In 1999 she continued her studies at the University of Music and Drama in Vienna as a concert pianist with Prof Alexander Jenner.
In the following few years she received many awards and scholarships including the Karajan Foundation’s Gonda Weiner award for young talents in addition to several others. In 2000, Ms Park was honoured by Vienna University as one of the greatest talents.
She has won prizes at international piano and chamber music competitions such as Austria’s Brahms International competition and Karajan Society Scholarship competition, Italy’s Premio Rodolf Caporalli and Premio Vittorio Gui. Ms Park has attended master classes with renowned musicians as Boris Bloch, Dmitri Bashkirov, Klaus Hellwig and Andrzej Jasinski.
She regularly performs as soloist and chamber musician at the Austrian Radio ORF, Hungarian Radio, RAI UNO, Slovak Radio, NHK Television in countries such as Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Tunisia, Slovakia, Hungary, France, England, Japan, Germany and Turkey.
The pianist has also performed with orchestras such as the North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, RSO Bratislava and National Chamber Orchestra Zilina and has taken the stage at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, and Italy’s Teatro del Maggio.