27.11.2015 | 14:49

The ‘Nutcracker’ contestants proceed with the preparations

Only a few days are left till the Grand Opening of the 16th ‘Nutkracker’. To be a Prize Winner of the Contest has now become even more prestigious as this year the ‘Nutcracker’ was invited to join the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth. Online broadcast of Round I and II will be available on the Russia-Kultura TV-Channel website. Round II and III auditions will be TV-broadcast.
This year’s participants Sergei Pasechnik and Mikhail Petukhov study at the same music school under the same teacher.
Mikhail Petukhov is 12. He already made an attempt to enter the Contest last year but did not manage to get through the preliminary selection. Luckily, he did not give up and began working even harder to win his place in the live rounds. Now he is determined to make it to the Final. ‘My parents introduced me to the saxophone and I just liked its sound at once’, Mikhail explains.
Clarinet player Daniil Serdyukov has been following the competition on TV for several years. He was waiting for the moment to be confident in his skills, and this time he took a risk to apply. Daniil has a lot of different hobbies, origami is just one of them. He is also engaged at the Moscow State Academic Chamber Musical Theatre – plays the Musician in the ‘Pinocchio’.
Daria Manza from Krasnoyarsk has two passions: music and art. This all runs in her family as Daria comes from a family of artists. In Round I Daria will be playing Paganini. She has not only been rehearsing tirelessly, but has also watched a film about the composer and read a lot of literature on his life. Now she is drawing. ‘This helps me to feel the spirit of Paganini's music. I am currently drawing the composer, his sweetheart and a violin. He was in love for many times, but the violin turned out to be the most faithful of all his women’, says Daria.
Nikolai Varlamov first touched the piano aged 3, started to master the instrument at 5. He likes playing Chopin above all, still for the Contest he has chosen rare Spanish pieces of Manuel de Falla and Heitor Villa-Lobos. Nikolai is quite nervous, although he already has a number of international music awards. The competition at the ‘Nutcracker’ is tough, he admits.
‘Pianists are great. I've always enjoyed listening to their performances at the Contest. Maybe even have borrowed a few things from their manner of playing’, Nikolai notes.
Like a number of other 16th ‘Nutcracker’ participants, Mikhail studies at the Central Music School by the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Its students are known to be the strongest at the ‘Nutcracker’.
‘We try to choose the very best of our students, for it is not only an honour, but also a great responsibility. If our students participate, they must be able to get to the very top’, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, director of the school, stresses.
Students of the Central Music School traditionally become Prize Winners, but this time victory will not come easy, as there are also many participants from the Music School by the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory. Besides, the ‘Piano’ category has attracted an unprecedented number of international musicians.