13th Annual Live Performance EP Winner
13th Annual Live Performance Album Nominee
13th Annual Instrumental EP Nominee
13th Annual Live Performance EP Nominee
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Record Label: Cantabel Productions / Eroica
Name: Volodja Balzalorsky
Home Base: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Genres: Classical, Contemporary Classical, Contemporary
Categories Entered: Album-Live Performance; Album-Compilation Album; Album-Contemporary Classical; EP – Live Performance, EP – Instrumental
Work Submitted: Volodja Balzalorsky Live: Romantic Violin Sonatas – Franck, Brahms, Grieg (Live Selection Vol . 1)
Debussy, Janáček, Szymanowski: Sonatas for Violin and Piano (Volodja Balzalorsky Live Selection Vol. 2)
EP: Debussy-Sonata for Violin and Piano, EP Szymanowski-Sonatas for Violin and Piano
Artists Featured: Volodja Balzalorsky, violin; Hinko Haas, piano (Franck, Szymanowski);
Christoph Theiler, piano (Brahms, Debussy, Grieg, Janacek)
Label: Cantabel Productions
Who are your influences?: My beginning to be a violinist was not very usual. I started playing violin relative late, when I was 9, and seriously when I was sixteen. I began seriously listen to LPs, when I was 13 – not classical music, but Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd Jimi Hendrix and many other bands. When I got “The Flock” album, I was very impressed by Jerry Goodman’s playing on amplified violin. The first wish to become a violinist was born. Later I followed Jerry Goodman’s activities in collaboration with John McLaughlin in the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Soon I focused on listening to the exploration of various jazz bands, and also some jazz violinists like Jaen Luc Ponti, and Stephen Grapelli. My first musical ambition was to learn violin better, to be able to improvise a bit and able to play the violin in jazz – rock band with my friends. Of course, this also needed immediately more training (practicing). After the happy circumstances, I began increasingly to listen to classical music too. When I was 16, I first heard the recording on the disc by famous French violinist Christian Ferras, performing Mendelssohn concerto, and disc with famous romantic miniatures performed by Ida Haendel. A few weeks afterwards, when I was completely fascinated by the beauty of these two violinists play, the guest violinist in Ljubljana (my hometown) was famous David Oistrakh, performing as a soloist with the Slovenian Philharmonic. All this resulted in me right internal revolution, which made me literally poisoned with music and since then I’ve only had one wish, to become a musician – violinist.
Describe your nominated work: Album Nomination – Category Live performance: Romantic Violin Sonatas – Franck, Brahms, Grieg (Live Selection Vol . 1) – Selected Live recordings:
a) performance with the pianist Hinko Haas: César Franck (1822 –1890) Sonata in A major – Recorded LIVE at of Kolarac Foundation Big Hall in Belgrade (International concert series “Violin virtuosos”, april 1988
b) performance with the pianist Christoph Theiler: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in D minor op.108 – recorded Live at Bösendorfer Hall in Vienna (International Chamber Music series, 07/03 1996
c) performance with the pianist Christoph Theiler: Edvard Grieg (1843-1907): Sonata for Violin and Piano No.3 in C minor op. 45 – Recorded Live at Crystal Hall in Rogaška Slatina by Radio Slovenia – Regionalni RTV center Maribor (Festival “Rogaška Summer”, September 1995
Three EP Nominations:
EP- Category Live performance – with the pianist Christoph Theiler: Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata – Volodja Balzalorsky Live in Concert – EP
Recorded LIVE at Kazina Hall in Maribor by Radio Slovenija (International Chamber Music Series of Maribor, November 1989)
EP- Category Live performance and Instrumental – with the pianist Hinko Haas: Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937): Violin Sonata in D Minor – Volodja Balzalorsky Live in Concert – EP
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording?: Each Live recording presents performance in a specific acoustic of each Concert Hall.
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned?: Live recording is always the document of unique performance-never again the same.
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses?: Slovenian Ministry of Culture and Radio Slovenia supported this project. All Promotional expenses covers by my own label Cantabel. I expect it will take two years to recoup out-of-pocket.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 13th IMAs?: My label Cantabel got information about IMA from digital-distribution partner “The Orchard”. The main reason of submission was: Category – Live performance. I believe, the IMA has been a channel of help for the independent artists in each genre.
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?: There are two sorts of success:
a) – To be recognized. It is very important for each artist.
b) – The most important definition of success should be successful communication with your listeners (audience) in each concert: I perform music from baroque epoch on… to very modern – avant-garde compositions. I don’t perform my own works. Together with my partners our mission is to create music as interprets. This means as good as possible to discover main idea of the composer who wrote the composition I perform, but at the same time to perform this composition with my own ideas, feelings and expressions. There is a lot of space for our own creativity. Of course it is very important that our playing is technically in all aspects of playing mastered. Only then the possibility arises (exists), that our subjective perception of music, through the instrument transfers objective to the listener.
How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals?: A prestigious honor like IMAs, will for sure expand new possibilities of performing as well as to share my recordings with larger audience worldwide. My label Cantabel already began to mention my IMA-nominations on my online presentations.
Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique?: …the people who like to attend classical concerts as well as concerts of contemporary music. There are also many professional musicians who are sitting in our audience, especially, if we perform at festivals of contemporary music.
What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Any close calls or mishaps while on tour?: … travel itself. I like traveling.
Who are your musical heroes & influences?: There are many musical heroes. If I must choose only one, then David Oistrakh, one of the greatest violinists of all time. He died in 1974. One year earlier, I had opportunity to attend his concert in Ljubljana . His violin sound was the most beautiful I ever heard.
Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why?: There are so many beautiful songs. Myself I tried to compose a little bit when I was sixteen. I was not satisfied with the result. Today I am absolutely satisfied as an interpreter-performer.
What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans?: I am listening a lot of chamber music, especially music written for string quartet and piano trio performed by various ensembles. I never stopped listen to other genres of music, especially a large spectrum of “jazz music”. At the moment I am systematically listening the large CD collection of famous Amadeus String Quartet. I studied chamber music in Cologne with all four members of the quartet. I had lucky opportunity to listen them several times in concert.
How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming?: I regularly buy CDs. I have a large collection of LPs/CDs, not only classical but various genres. Recently I am also discovering music via Spotify and Deezer. If there is opportunity to discover new music “live” in concert, I am the most satisfied and happy. In 2013/14 Concert Season I had opportunity to attend the concert of Slovenian Philharmonic with the soloist Fasil Say, playing Mozart piano concerto in the first part of the concert. The second part of the concert was dedicated to his awarded composition “Istanbul Symphony”. Fantastic concert, I will never forget it.
How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free?: Music shouldn’t be free, or only free, if artist deside this by themselves. Fans who expect music to be free have not enough respect of artist’s work. Musicians have to concentrate to play live concerts (shows) in order to make money. In classical music world there are many artists who are also teaching. I consider teaching as a very important part of my activities. I teach violin and chamber music at Music Academy of Ljubljana University.
What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today?: There are many new ways to discover music today. I hope fans/audiences understand music industry changes, and I hope fans/audiences understand, that the most important are “LIVE” concerts/shows.
Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future?: EPs and singles are more and more popular in digital music world. I hope full albums will keep it’s importance also in the future.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…changing-much more opportunities for independent artists.
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year?: With my constant partner the pianist Hinko Haas we celebrate 35 years of collaboration as a duo this year. We are honored to play final concert of 25th international festival of contemporary music in Kromeriz in Czech Republic (29th of June 2014). Our planned Autumn Tour include concerts in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and in Great Britain. This year I have also many projects (concerts and recordings) as a member of Amael Piano Trio.
Amael Piano Trio: www.amaeltrio.com