Artist Spotlight: NINA KOTOVA

We recently had the pleasure of getting to know the wildly ambitious and undeniably gifted cellist, performer, and composer, Nina Kotova.

While music serves as a general escape and form of solace for many of us; very few artist mediums can be asserted as broadly “beneficial” to one’s well-being with a strong scientific basis. While exploring many of the scientific studies conducted recently, it is true that Classical music does have its real benefits. Among these benefits, it has been generally proven that Classical music has a positive impact on our mental and physical health. Specifically, it can stimulate the brain, improve sleep, reduce stress and also strengthen the immune system. With its complex benefits, aside the pure marvel of it; it makes us better appreciate the sheer brilliance that it must require to craft such a magnificent piece of musical art. This is why Russian-American cellist Nina Kotova deserves only the highest praise for her endless contributions to and successes within Classical Music.

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It is an unfortunate reality in the current world of music crafted by today’s generation. It seems as if fearless, ambitious artists are becoming more and more rare and undiscovered. This is mostly due to an unapologetic desire by most new-coming artists to shamelessly reach into existing successful markets, void of any integrity, and follow an incredibly safe musical formula of commercially appealing and catchy copy of a copy Singles. While this approach may work well if your goal as an artist is to make fast cash, albeit becoming forgettable, it certainly isn’t the winning formula for industry longevity and lasting notoriety. For her undeniably timeless and masterful contributions in Classical Music, Nina Kotova stands out as a memorable force whom operates at much higher level than most of us music-lovers are used to.

Ms. Kotova has had an incredibly inspiring rise to prominence and has deservedly established quite an impressive resume over the years. The Russian-born cellist began studying the cello at just six years old. When she became older, Ms. Kotova studied at the Moscow Conservatory and graduated from the Musikhochschule in Cologne. Ms. Kotova impressively debuted with her first performance as a soloist with orchestra at only age 11 in Russia. By the time Ms. Kotova was 16 years old, she made her Western debut in Prague with the Prague Radio Orchestra after winning the 1st Prize at the “Concertino Prague“ competition in 1986. Ms. Kotova has also taught as an Artist in Residence at the University of Texas in Austin.

Ms. Kotova has gained international visibility and praise as one of the most distinguished instrumentalists of her generation. As a result, she has had the honor and opportunity to play as a soloist with symphony orchestras in some of the most prestigious halls around the world. Specifically, Ms. Kotova has performed on Red Square in Moscow, for the Imperial family of Japan and at Buckingham Palace. She has appeared in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York,  at Ravinia, Wigmore Hall, the Barbican Centre in London, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the Esplanade in Singapore, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Berlin Philharmonic to name a few.

Now, Nina Kotova further asserts her unique identity in her newest release with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (Conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev) featuring Pyotr Llyich Tchaikovsky: Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62 (6:24), Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33 (18:54), and Serenade for Strings, Op. 48 (34:08). The acclaimed Vladimir Ivanovich Fedoseyev acted as the artistic director and conductor of the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra since 1974. From 1997 to 2006, Mr. Fedoseyev acted as chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. He has also acted as the guest conductor of a number of other symphonic ensembles, including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra of Paris, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Symphony.

With regard to the music featured on the new release, Ms. Kotova explains; “Although the Variations on a Rococo Theme showcase cellistic virtuosity, a thoughtful interpretation of the score is key to a truly deep understanding of the music. A re ned sense of style encapsulated in the work’s title, ‘Rococo,’ is required to capture the elegance, depth, and poeticism of Tchaikovsky’s music. The music does not tolerate interpretive clichés imbued with sweetness, lightness, and an emphasis on the performer’s own personality. From the first phrases of the recording session with conductor Vladimir Ivanovich Fedose- yev, his clear vision and powerful interpretive insight into honoring Tchaikovsky’s intentions were reassuring of my own beliefs. For me, the journey of recording Tchaikovsky in his homeland with a great conductor reaffirmed the true purpose of making music.”

Within the new release, Nina Kotova showcases a remarkably unique style and an unmatchable level of expertise which she maintains throughout. Furthermore, Ms. Kotova frequently veers away from Classical Music’s increasingly tired tendencies, making the listening experience feel entirely new and unpredictable. This is truly a milestone and a massive accomplishment for this artist. The compositions flow with a sort of alluring laser focus, while she tactfully injects her skillful intensity within each strike. As each composition progresses, you quickly realize that this is not only the work of someone with an undeniable gift, but the intimate expressions of a seasoned veteran in the field. Interpreting the works of others can often be a daunting and intimidating task, but Ms. Kotova does so in a fearless nature with respect, responsibility, imagination, and attractive individuality. This release with leave you in magnificent awe; captivated by the demonstrated artistic prowess, and marveling at the sheer thoughtfulness, grace, and emotion reproduced within these compositions.

Nina Kotova once again proves that her rising star is undoubtably well-earned. We remain in awe waiting what this artist will accomplish next. This release is a MUST LISTEN!

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