03 August 2017 → "Nemiga" orchestra prepares a program for the anniversary of the city
Without musicians playing on wind instruments, it is impossible to imagine any holiday in the capital. What can be said about the life of the concert orchestra "Nemiga", one of the most famous professional brass bands in Belarus? This was the topic for discussion of the "Minsk-Novosti" Agency correspondent with the Head of the orchestra, Conductor Alexander Sosnovsky.
Since May the orchestra have played every Saturday at two key venues in Minsk - in Gorky Park and at the Town Hall, and from the end of summer they will begin rehearsing a grandiose concert program dedicated to the City Day - the anniversary of the capital, which we will be marked on September 9.
"There will be performed songs about Minsk that have been written by Belarusian composers over a long period of time - works by Yevgeny Glebov, Igor Luchenok, Dmitry Smolsky, Victor Voitik, Galina Gorelova ... The concert will be held with the participation of pop stars and the best soloists. The initiator of this idea is the Director of the SI "Minskkontsert" Andrei Mikutsevich", says Alexander Sosnovsky.
In general, the orchestra "Nemiga" can safely be called a festive one. The orchestra traditionally participate in all significant events that are held in the capital, be it Independence Day, Victory Day or an international sports tournament. Nowadays musicians can often be seen in the Upper Town.
The musicians have big plans for the coming autumn. The orchestra will take an active part in the international festival of arts "Belarusian Musical Autumn". There has already been reached an agreement on this with Yuri Gilduk, Artistic Director of the Belarusian State Philharmonic.
All the musicians of the orchestra are graduates of the Belarusian State Academy of Music. Therefore, they will definitely participate in the concert dedicated to the Academy's 85th birthday.
From the outset to the basics
This year the best concert orchestra "Nemiga" is 26 years old. In the foundation of the orchestra the most important role was played by the Head of the Orchestra Conducting Department of the Belarusian State Conservatory (now BSAM) Arkady Berin, brilliant conductor, People's Artist of Russia, Professor Lev Muranov and trumpeter, Honored Artist of the BSSR Vitaly Volkov. Together they collected the best players on wind instruments and drummers. Afterwards, however, the orchestra musicians often changed their leaders. Since 2006 the orchestra has been conducted by Alexander Sosnovsky.
Recently, the team of the orchestra has been reinforced with new musicians. Priority has been given to the young. Although some of the leading musicians have remained. The members of the orchestra are chosen, as a rule, from the students of the Academy of Music. The main condition is to be able to play in harmony with the other participants in the creative process.
Difficulties of the profession
"Brass band players, like ballerinas, retire early. Having played for 25 years the musician is free. However some are lucky to remain. We had a trumpeter who had played until he was 70 years old. Music prolonged his life, filled it with new meaning", says A. Sosnovsky.
The play on the wind instruments is closely related to the breathing apparatus. Load on the lungs, cardiovascular system is enormous. The bigger the tool, the greater the load is. And if the flute or the oboe is not very difficult for the performer, then trombones and horns require enormous effort.
The conductor is proud of the members of the orchestra "Nemiga" not only because the orchestra has real professionals, but also because of the human qualities of the musicians.
"I select those people who sincerely love their work, despite a small salary. Almost half of the members of the orchestra work as teachers of music, thus preparing future musicians of the orchestra. Yekaterina Pechorina, for example, teaches children to play the flute at the Minsk State Glinka Music College. Trumpeter Alexander Tereshchenko also works there", says A. Sosnovsky.
The majority of the musicians of the orchestra are males. The team consists of about 50 people, and there are only four females - a flute, a saxophone and 2 drummers. According to the conductor, the team is very well-coordinated. Problems, if any, are discussed openly and honestly.
From "The Lord of the Rings" to Bach
The repertoire of the "Nemiga" orchestra is very wide - from classical to jazz and pop. Very often they are asked to perform soundtracks to foreign or Soviet films. But if earlier, in the period of its formation, the composition of the orchestra had a more entertaining format, focused only on popular music, now a considerable part of the scores are elite works for well educated public.
During the concert "Classics at the Town Hall with VELCOM" on July 29, the concert orchestra "Nemiga" together with two other groups presented a whole layer of music in a style that the Belarusians had not yet heard: the symphojaz connected to the classics.
A unique concert "The Game of Classics" in an entirely new format was already presented in Brest under the title "We hope classics will forgive us". Famous works were performed in a very original and bold arrangement by the composer, arranger and saxophonist of the orchestra team Alexander Gembitsky.
"In the works by Tchaikovsky and Mozart, Strauss and Beethoven, we tried to weave the rhythms of modern music with a complicated harmonic and rhythmic stuffing. Time will give an accurate definition of this style, but now we can say for sure that it has a great future", - A. Sosnovsky noted.
The concert in the Upper Town consisted of three subgroups, which was due to the composition of the musicians. Among the participants in the concert there was quintet Jazzology, 10 musicians of the concert orchestra "Nemiga", a group of string instrument players of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus. In a word, the orchestra often participates in concerts with other groups of musicians. Brass band players are needed always and everywhere.
In addition, A.Gembitsky has thought of an unusual presentation of the project – each item on the concerts program is given interactively. All fragments of the concert are accompanied with an introductory speech – some kind of quiz. The public are reminded of some generally known fact of the musical work's history and are asked to guess what piece of music will be performed afterwards.
One of the main goals of the concert is to raise young people's interest in musical classics.
No concert tours
The concert brass band "Nemiga" is a metropolitan orchestra. The orchestra was born in Minsk, and its concerts are mostly held in Minsk too. No doubt, the musicians of the orchestra would be glad to have possibility to go on tour, to represent our country abroad. However this requires money, it cannot be done without sponsors. But the musicians have possibility to present their programs all over Belarus, so to have a chance to listen to their music is not a problem.
Musical evenings at the Town Hall are to be held till the end of the summer. Follow the concert program.
The photo is taken from A. Sosnovsky's archives
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