First violin, St. Petersburg String Quartet.
I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia. My parents told me that when I was two and a half years old, I approached a small piano which was in our home. I started to play with one finger the melody from the piece I had heard my sister practicing. My parents, who saw this, immediately started me on piano lessons. After turning six years old, I was taken to a music school. To my parents' disappointment, all of the piano openings were taken and only violin openings remained. So, it was from this circumstance that I started the violin.
In total, I have spent twenty years in music school. This includes the Rimsky-Korsakov Music College and the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
During my senior year at the conservatory, I became a member of the Kirov Opera Orchestra under the direction of Konstantin Simeonov, Yuri Temirkanov, and Valery Gergiev. And in 1985, I received second prize at the All Russian Violin Competition. Soon after, I performed in several Russian cities with local orchestras and recorded the Saint-Saens Concerto No.3 with the St. Petersburg Capella Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Chernushenko. Soon after graduating from the conservatory, I joined the faculty of the conservatory. This was when the idea of starting a string quartet first came to me. Together with Leonid Shukaev, we decided to try to prepare the program for the All Russian String Quartet Competition. That was where our professional journey started.
Since then we have given concerts all around the world. There are few places which we haven't visited, such as Africa. But we hope we will have the opportunity to go there soon as well.
Music is my greatest passion. My other interests are dogs (I have a German shepherd. Arnold), old people, children, the ocean, and traveling with my family. My husband, Misha, is a photographer and string instrument specialist. I have two sons, Misha and Dima. I also love meeting new people and teaching.
I have taught violin since 1987 at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Many of my students have received prizes at competitions. Last year, my student Maria Bessmeltseva won second prize at the St. Petersburg International Chamber Music Competition. And most recently, my student Daniel Austrich has won first prize at the competition "Jugend Musiziert" (Jeunesses Musicales) in Germany.
Since 1999 our quartet has been in residence at Oberlin College. We coach quartets and other ensembles. This year, one of my groups, the "Erato String Quartet" received Grand Prix at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in California.
Feel free to contact me with any questions. I'm more than happy to answer them if I can.
Alla's photo album