Text and video interview: Magdalena Gigova
Video: Tsvetan Ignatovski
Beautiful as a rain-washed May rose, talented and eloquent: this is Victoria Vassilenko whom the distinguished jury chose as the first winner of the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Prize in support of young talent in contemporary arts and science. For her, the award is far from being the first. Although she has won over ten first places in various international pianist competitions, she receives each prize with excitement.
It is not without reason that she is called ‘our golden girl of the piano’—she recently received the Golden Age Honorary Award of the Ministry of Culture for achievements in Bulgarian culture and the arts. And she is only 27 years old! As a child, her favourite composer was Mozart: at the age of four she knew ‘The Magic Flute’ and ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ by heart because she preferred them to cartoons. Today, it is Brahms’ multi-layered depth and German Romanticism that attract and challenge her because they are like bread that must first rise well—music for more mature performers.
Since her entire musical family are pianists—her mother Asya, her father Alexander and her sister Valeria often excited enthusiastic admiration for their concerts for four pianos. After her marriage to the famous Russian pianist, Sergei Redkin, they performed four-hand, or two-piano, recitals.
His is also a popular name in the world of music, as a winner of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. In 2016, the prominent Russian conductor, Valery Gergiev, invited him as a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre orchestra. They have performed together at the Philharmonie de Paris, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (New York), the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, the Béla Bartók Concert Hall in Budapest, and the MPHIL 360 Festival in the Munich Philharmonic Hall.
Sergei Redkin plays with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow State Academic Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic…
He attended the ceremony that awarded his wife the National Prize in support of young talent in contemporary science and the arts.
If we have aroused your curiosity about the personality of Victoria Vassilenko, watch her video interview, filmed by Tsvetan Ignatovski.