Violinist-Violist Victor Romasevich
Violinist-Violist Victor Romasevich.
I would like to share an article written by Violinist-Violist Victor Romasevich about his performance of Iosif Andriasov’s String Quartet at a New York City jail.
“Imagine learning a piece of chamber music by Beethoven, and having a chance to be coached by the author… In the summer of 1979, soon after Iosif Andriasov and his family had arrived in the US, my Juilliard schoolmate, violist Anatole Wieck was asked to prepare a community service performance for inmates of one of NYC prisons. Both Anatole and I had the fortune of meeting Iosif Andriasov in New York, and, having learned about the existence of Iosif’s String Quartet, Op.1, asked him for a permission to perform it, and, if possible, to coach the group (Roger Lowe, Anatole Wieck, Leonid Fleishaker and myself). I should mention that we never played as a group prior to that time. Iosif generously agreed, and after two relatively short coaching sessions with him our quartet sounded like a professional string quartet with years of experience. The music of Op.1 was in part responsible for this as well – because of its irresistible freshness and sheer beauty we all fell in love with it instantly. When we arrived at the facility, they informed us that we would perform twice for two different groups. As we played the Quartet, one could notice the reaction, even transformation which occurred in that audience of people for whom classical, and in particular, chamber music was obviously not something they were interested in or acquainted with. In the first group, the demonstrative indifference in some people gradually changed into a sort of humble, surprised expression; in the second group, after we finished playing, some were in deep thought, some had tears running down their faces; then they gave a roaring applause to Iosif Andriasov, to his music, and to our stunned group. To this day, it remains the most amazing audience I ever performed for, and the most amazing chamber music experience of my life.”
To read about and listen to the composition visit:
Victor Romasevich was born in Minsk, Belarus, and as a youth studied with Rostislav Dubinsky of the famed Borodin Quartet. He continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory and, following his emigration to the United States in 1977, at Juilliard with Ivan Galamian. In 1979, he became a violin and viola pupil of the composer and philosopher Iosif Andriasov. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Prize at the 1985 J.S. Bach International Competition, Mr. Romasevich joined the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Violist in 1990 and in 1992 moved to the First Violin section.