Concert preview: Star cellist Mischa Maisky loves when music-making is a family affair

Mischa Maisky had a scant 48 or so hours at house earlier than he and his cello would hit the street as soon as once more.

For 4 weeks previous to that, the acclaimed 71-year-old musician had been touring and concertizing. Then got here a two-day respite together with his family in Waterloo, Belgium, the place Maisky’s second spouse and their 4 kids, who vary in age from 4 to 14, reside. Then, Maisky and his instrument would take an early morning flight to South America. After his live performance with the National Symphony Orchestra of Chile, engagements in California and in Ottawa — at Dominion-Chalmers United Church subsequent Wednesday — would beckon.

“It’s the biggest challenge in my life, to find a balance between my profession and family life,” Maisky stated in a late April interview from his house, whereas his four-year-old daughter clamoured for consideration within the background.

“I’m touring an excessive amount of … I attempt not to consider it an excessive amount of as a result of it’s too miserable. But on the identical time, I shouldn’t complain, as a result of it may very well be worse. It may very well be reverse.

“I do what I like and luxuriate in essentially the most, which fortunately many individuals all around the world get pleasure from as properly,” Maisky continued. “It gives me energy and inspires me to continue as long as I still can do it well enough.”

At least throughout his travels this month, Maisky will likely be joined by a family member. Lily Maisky, his 31-year-old daughter from his first marriage, is a Brussels-based pianist and can accompany him on his live shows in South America and North America. At their Chamberfest live performance, the duo will play a numerous program of works by Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.

During his storied profession, Maisky has carried out and recorded with such legendary artists as Leonard Bernstein and the stellar pianists Martha Argerich, Radu Lupu,  Evgeny Kissin and Lang Lang.

“I have had incredible luck and partners in chamber music and still do,” Maisky stated. “But at the same time, playing with your own children is something quite unique and difficult to describe in words. It’s a very special emotion to share the stage with your own children.”

Since Lily and her youthful brother Sascha, who grew as much as turn into a violinist, had been born, Maisky dreamed they might carry out collectively. “I’m such a lucky man. We play together regularly, all over the world,” he stated.

The trio shaped by Maisky and his two kids is even a type of deferred achievement. When he was rising up in Riga, Latvia, Maisky’s older brother and sister performed piano and violin respectively, however the three siblings by no means performed collectively as a trio. “Maybe that’s why I always say it was the dream of my life to get a family trio with my children,” Maisky stated.

And but, Maisky stated that his mom at first didn’t need him to turn into a musician.

“For my parents, trying to educate children as musicians — as I know from my own experience by now — was not easy. So after two children, my mother wanted to have one child normal,” Maisky stated. “I used to be purported to be regular. I used to be something however.

“Somehow I ended up making my very own alternative on the age of eight. I made a decision to play cello, which no person might think about or consider on the time as a result of I used to be a very hyperactive little one. I might hardly sit 5 seconds at one spot. But right here we’re. I’m nonetheless making an attempt to play cello in any case these years.”

At 14, Maisky moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia for music faculty. By his late teenagers, he had received sixth prize on the International Tchaikovsky Competition and was finding out on the Moscow Conservatory with the preeminent Russian Mstislav Rostropovich.

But in 1970, Maisky was arrested after which imprisoned in a labour camp. In different interviews, Maisky has stated that Soviet authorities focused him after his sister repatriated to Israel.

“It was a very intense and long two years of my life,” Maisky stated. “Instead of taking part in cello, I used to be shovelling cement for 18 months … Then I spent two months in a psychological hospital so as to keep away from navy service. It was a tough time and a difficult time, however I at all times say, and I actually imply it, I don’t actually remorse it.

“Even if if I might select, I wouldn’t wish to change something, as a result of I do consider no matter occurs in life occurs for a cause, and one ought to at all times attempt in any state of affairs, regardless of how tough or difficult it may be, to search out some constructive components.

“I consider that although I didn’t get a diploma from the conservatory due to this expertise, I acquired a far more full life schooling, which helped me to mature as a human being, and as a musician as properly.”

Maisky himself moved to Israel in 1972 and resumed his pursuit of music. He has lived in Belgium for the final three a long time.

Of his first two kids, he stated: “I absolutely wanted them to be musicians. I felt it’s the best profession there is.”

But his emotions have modified considerably pertaining to his 4 youthful kids. “Now, I feel that it’s very important for children to study music and to be connected to music in one way or another, but there are many other wonderful professions,” Maisky stated.

It’s by no means been straightforward to be a musician, Maisky stated. But now, “it looks like there are such a lot of examples of improbable musicians, actually exceptionally gifted and distinctive musicians, who for no matter cause didn’t make it.

“I nonetheless, as unbelievable because it is, attempt to make recordings, which these days is not really easy,” he continued.

It would appear that one among his motivations for making albums has to do together with his family. Maisky stated he has managed, finally, to devoted a CD to every of his kids.

“It’s sounds like a joke, but it’s actually a bitter truth, I realized lately that nowadays it’s much easier and faster and more pleasant, I must say, making children than CDs,” he kidded. “That’s how it is.”

Mischa and Lily Maisky
When: Wednesday, May eight at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Dominion-Chalmers United Church
Tickets: $30 to $52 at

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