Anna Semenenko is a laureate of Russian and international competitions.
She graduated from the Far Eastern State Academy of Arts under Professor L. Wyman
She has performed with L. Wyman, on stage for over 20 years.
She is the First violinist of the PRIMORSKY REGIONAL PHILHARMONIC, Vladivostok, Russia.
Anna plays in both orchestras of classical and pop music. In addition, she regularly gives solo concerts.
Anna toured in various countries like Korea, Japan, China as part of a string quartet, symphony orchestras of Vladivostok and Khabarovsk.
In 2007, Anna founded the String Quartet “INSPIRATION”, which gained great fame and popularity.
In 2022, Anna recorded Marius Herea‘s ADAGIO AMOROSO and FANTASY for Violin and Piano in Duo with DIANNA VASIU from Romania (see below)
Please read Anna’s interview below:
The concert season is over, so to speak, unofficial results are being summed up – who was the best among the philharmonic groups. There is no doubt that the string quartet “Inspiration” will be named among the best, because in just over a year it has managed to win the love of the audience and the respect of colleagues in the music industry. Concerts of “Inspiration” in the Primorsky Philharmonic are always sold out.
The Inspiration String Quartet is Anna Zvereva (violin, she is also artistic director), Ksenia Volkova (violin), Irina Litvintseva (viola), Natalya Krivitskaya (cello).
“We have been around for a little over three years,” says Anna Zvereva, “but we started active concert activity in 2010. We have worked long and hard to win over the audience. We started playing together when most of our quartet was studying at the Academy of Arts. It’s just that we didn’t want to “declare ourselves”, jump out, win back, and then develop skills, no, we decided from the very beginning that we wanted to enter the big stage with something real, with a high level. That is why at first we rehearsed, played in small halls, gained experience, worked on ourselves, selected material. And we play a lot of things that they don’t play in Vladivostok!
Here, for example, is the first concert of our subscription (yes, reader, in just over a year, “Inspiration” managed to make its own program, designed for an annual subscription). We played a four-part B-La-F quartet dedicated to the patron Belyaev, who supported famous Russian composers. Each part of this quartet was written by different composers – Borodin, Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Lyadov. This work has never been performed in Vladivostok, it was very difficult to find sheet music, but we thought that in terms of education it would be right. It was scary to start a subscription with such a work: would the public understand us, would they approve? But the audience was great! In this quartet, the Russian soul sounds at full strength!
— In your name, you also feel a kind of challenge, an application for seriousness … Why are you exactly “Inspiration”?
— Oh, the name did not come immediately. We even took out a dictionary of Latin words, chose, but … Yes, today many people prefer to be called in a foreign manner, but it seemed to us that “Inspiration” very accurately conveys the essence: our quartet goes on stage to inspire both themselves and the audience! We have a super task, and we are not ashamed to talk about it: we really want the Inspiration quartet to be associated with sound quality, aesthetics of string art and high culture of performance.
— Is that why you have such a diverse repertoire? How do you form it?
— It depends on many things… First, on the hall: the program for the Great Philharmonic Hall will be different from the program for a secular party, but both there and there, for example, you can play tango. Any audience loves it. For philharmonic performances, we choose rare and, shall we say, educational works; for performances outside the Philharmonic – what is on the ear, so that the public would like to participate, recognizing the music. We have a large program of melodies for movies. By the way, recently at a social event they played a romance from “Cruel Romance”, remember, “Shaggy bumblebee on fragrant hops”, and so after that they came up to us and asked: what is the name of this classic melody, very familiar, but I can’t remember …
Right now I am already thinking about the next concert season, what we will play, what we are ready for, what works we need to look for. We try to grow in the same way as symphony orchestras, for example: from classical to romantic, and so on. We played Haydn – let’s move on to Beethoven, we played Dvorak – we can move on to Brahms … We want to choose from all composers what we think is the best, masterpieces, and play it. Our immediate plans include work on the music of Brahms, we want to play the quartet of this composer and his own quintet at the Far Eastern Spring. And in the future we want to play a quartet with a guitar, with an orchestra, we are already selecting the material, Natasha found rare notes …
In general, we embark on experiments with interest, for example, we work with dance groups, we include their performances in our concerts. So, the tango theater “Crossroads” worked with us, when we played Piazzolla, and the dance ensemble “Contact”, when we played chardashi …
– And who makes arrangements for you, transcriptions?
— We partially find the arrangements on the Internet, many musicians do not regret and post the arrangements on the Web. I am partly involved in the transcription, I have kept a lot from the time when I dreamed of organizing a quartet when I was a student.
– Do the musical tastes of the participants coincide?
– Mostly. Our teachers have always tried to instill in us a love for different music – and we studied at the same educational institution. All four of us love modern music to a lesser extent – Schnittke, Gubaidullin … Perhaps we have not matured, of course, and still ahead …
– You are a women’s team, how is leadership carried out, do you have democracy, or? ..
– You know, I want to say right away that in the quartet we are all equal. I am older than the girls, I have more concert experience, maybe that’s why I became an artistic director. We do not have and cannot have a “boss-subordinate” relationship. Natasha, for example, we have a genius for finding music, she finds such music on the Internet that we could not even dream of, she has a connection with almost all the libraries in the world! Yes, while she was studying in Nizhny Novgorod, she went to Moscow, in Leninka she found notes from the middle of the last century, made copies … And how she sews! It was she who sewed our first costumes!
Our quartet is one family. We share a lot, if we are offended, we will immediately make up, if we say a harsh word, we will immediately explain ourselves … We all think, we say to each other. Dissatisfied with something? Tell! It is better to discuss right away, even to be offended, to express resentment, but in no case hide it …
— What is the cherished dream of the team?
– Participate in a music festival, show yourself not only to the seaside public! Moreover, in Japan, Korea, China, there are a lot of festivals, and, in general, any band can go there, but… Everything still depends on the financial component… However, we do not lose optimism.
We respectfully listen to all feedback about our work – regardless of whose opinion it is, a famous musician or a beginner. Opinion is always a reason to talk. We are the team that is not going to stop developing, we are trying to constantly improve the quality of performance…
– I know that you have created several programs for children …
– Yes, here, for example, “The Nutcracker” based on the tale of Hoffmann. We found the notes on the Internet – just an arrangement for a quartet, as a result – we play a fairy tale with the main numbers from the ballet “The Nutcracker” and just those fragments that are easily perceived by children. My daughter and the daughter of musicologist Aelita Stepanova take part in the production.
We build all our children’s programs according to the method of music therapy. I have been dealing with this topic for several years. Tchaikovsky’s music has a very beneficial effect on children literally from birth. Just like the music of Schubert, Schumann, Bizet…
Therefore, we want to play children’s programs based on the works of these composers, especially Tchaikovsky.
We also staged the children’s philharmonic program “Fly-Tsokotuha”, picked up musical excerpts for each character, for the events taking place in the fairy tale … It turned out, it seems to us, very interesting. Here, for example, the theme of Fly-Tsokotukha – Valery Gavrilin’s play “Capriccio” was ideally suited, even a slight buzz is heard there. Of course, this work was not fast, but …
We also have a program “About the Fairy of Music and the Capricious Violin”, during which young listeners not only get acquainted with the best musical excerpts, but also learn a lot about musical instruments.
– You have children, household chores … Is it left behind the threshold?
— It would be ideal, and we are trying, but… Although, of course, our families help us all a lot, very much. Without husbands and parents, what would we do …
By the way
— In my opinion, — says Roman Shestakov, administrator of the Primorsky Regional Philharmonic, — the Inspiration Quartet came out on top in the concert life of our city. Suffice it to say that in the outgoing season they had not just many successful concerts, but had their own subscription, which collected full houses. “Inspiration” played with our famous guests – Nina Gvamichava, Marius Stravinsky … This is a great success!