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THE COLLABORATIVE CONDUCTOR – Jeremy Siepmann Interviews Dmitry Yablonsky

January 1, 2011


Dmitry Yablonsky

Dmitry Yablonsky was born in Moscow into a musical family. His mother is the distinguished pianist Oxana Yablonskaya, and his father Albert Zaionz has for 30 years been principal oboist in the Moscow Radio and Television Orchestra. Dmitry began playing the cello when he was five and at nine made his début with Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major. He grew up listening to Richter, Oistrakh, Kogan, Rostropovich and others of similar ilk, and enrolled in Rostropovich’s class at the Moscow Conservatory. ‘Rostropovich, of course, was a genius, a great virtuoso, but, you know, there was a certain theatrical element in his character which I never felt altogether comfortable about. I prefer the more noble approach, if I can put it that way, of Knushevitzky, Feuermann or Piatigorsky. Knushevitzky was actually a far more important and lasting influence in my life than Rostropovich. Knushevitzky would go on stage and start playing the G minor cello Sonata of Beethoven and people would start crying. It was that kind of playing. He never made faces or jumped around on the seat. And then when I got to the States I met Zara Nelsova, with whom I studied at Juilliard. All of these people I worshipped.’
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