THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Irina Chkourindina came to the limelight, dressed in an elegant red gown. She bowed to greet the audience. Tapping on the keys, she broke the silence in the room. “Irina, a Russian pianist, performed at a western classical concert organised by the Thiruvananthapuram centre for Performing Arts and Russian Cultural Centre the other day in the city. The concert began with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in D minor K 397. “I enjoy playing the piano; It makes me forget myself. And I inculcated different compositions to cater to the audiences’ likes,” says Irina.
At the age of three she moved to Paris with her parents where her tryst with the keys began. “My mother, a pianist, was my inspiration,” she says. She returned to Russia after three years and continued her piano education. A degree-holder in classical piano from Moscow’s prestigious Tchaikovsky Conservatory, she majored as a soloist and chamber musician, with distinction from the Conservatoire de Genève.
She adores Russian composers. “Composers including Prokofiev, Schedrin, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff are my favourites,” says Irina. “I love listening to the compositions of Romantic composers, such as Liszt, Chopin and Schumann and modern composers Dutilleux, Gubaidulina, Jean-Luc Darbelay and Schedrin,” she continues.
She has performed solo at numerous festivals, “Schubertiade in Payerne, Switzerland, the Château de Lourmarin in Provence and the Festival of Chamber Music in Divonne, France are some of the important solo performances I’ve done,” Irina says. Irina has won various global competitions, her first when she was 13 at the Ústí nad Labem in Czechoslovakia. She won the China International Piano Competition at 16 and the Moscow National Accompanist Competition at 22. At the 2007 Zurich Orpheus Competition, she was awarded a recording contract.
Irina is not just a pianist, but also a multi-faceted artist. Her talents range from concert pianist to chamber musician, from accompanist to musical dramatist. Her last concert was held at Geneva before India. After her performance here in the city, she will be heading to Pune and Calcutta before going to Switzerland.