The duets between Riga-born cellist Mischa Maisky and his daughter Lily Maisky contribute to our exciting chamber music programmes, with no place for the routine or ordinary. Their combined playing is characterised by a thrilling freedom andunified sense of breath. Their dialogue and musical conversation seems so light and simple, but in reality it hides the depths of an extensive musical family tradition, knowledge amassed through time and true skill.
Mischa says of his performance process: “Music is very subjective, therefore it is open to many different interpretations. The number of possibilities is infinite, and their depth is infinite. We can never say from an interpretation that it is 'the' ultimate perfect one. Perfection in music is an illusion. I always compare it to trying to reach the horizon: the closer you get, the more it goes, always. It does not mean that one should not try to get closer to it, but with the realization that you are never going to touch it, there are no frustrations.”
When asked what performing with her father means to her, Maisky replied: “It's similar blood flowing through our veins. The fact is we have a very similar feeling for music. Music between us is a natural communication. It is hard to explain in words. I have been inspired and influenced so much by my father. I didn't have that many teachers in my life and I really learn the most from playing with him. He taught me many principles and laws of music, and the general approach to music making.”
Concert programme:Ludwig van BEETHOVEN Seven Variations in E flat Major on “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” WoO 46Franz SCHUBERT Arpeggione Sonata in A minor D. 821Piotr TCHAIKOVSKY Autumn Song (“October” from “The Seasons”) op. 37bPiotr TCHAIKOVSKY Valse sentimentale op. 51 no. 6Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor op. 40
Cellist Mischa Maisky (1948) was born in Riga, and it was here that he began studying the cello at the Emīls Dārziņš Music School. At the Moscow Conservatory, he studied with Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky. Rostropovich once said the following wonderful parting words of his student: “… one of the most outstanding talents of the younger generation of cellists. His playing combines poetry and exquisite delicacy with great temperament and brilliant technique.”
A year ago, he celebrated his 70th birthday, and Maisky himself says: “My advice is to always keep the fire going, to keep the passion. Playing music should never become a routine, a job. Whatever you do in life, doing it with love makes the difference in the end.” After emigrating to Israel in 1973, Maisky’s career has lead him to London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, New York, Tokyo and countless other significant centres of musical life.
He considers himself a citizen of the world: “I’m playing an Italian cello, with French and German bows, Austrian and German strings, my daughter was born in France, my oldest son in Belgium, the middle one in Italy and the youngest one in Switzerland, I’m driving a Japanese car, wear a Swiss watch, an Indian necklace and I feel at home everywhere where people appreciate and enjoy classical music.”
Maisky enjoys ambitious, specialised projects – in 2000, he travelled the world performing solely Johann Sebastian Bach’s music in more than 100 concerts. He has recorded all of Bach’s Cello Suites three times, and has also released a video.
Pianist Lily Maisky (1987) was born in Paris but soon moved to Brussels. She studied piano in both the classical and jazz departments of the Purcell School for Young Musicians in Hertfordshire, Great Britain. She has taken part in masterclasses with Martha Argerich, Dmitri Bashkirov, Pavel Gililov among others. Maisky has performed throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.
She performs around 100 concerts a year, many of which are with her father, cellist Mischa Maisky, or as part of the Maisky Trio with the addition of her brother, the violinist Sascha Maisky.
Maisky is proud of the fact that she has the legendary Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli’s final Steinway instrument at home, and at concerts she also favours Steinway. “It is always a gift of reassurance upon entering a concert venue to be welcomed by a Steinway.”
With concerts taking place in the historic cities of Riga and Jurmala, the Riga Jurmala Music Festival features four weekends throughout the summer. A leading international orchestra and conductor anchor each weekend, offering a range of symphonic concerts and recitals that feature leading stars and young up-and-coming talent.
More information: www.riga-jurmala.com