First recital in four years for Bogdan Vacarescu - in Chichester

It’s going to be a special and emotional day for violinist Bogdan Vacarescu when he takes to the stage with pianist Valentina Seferinova at Christ Church, Chichester for this year’s Festival of Chichester on July 3.
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It will be Bogdan’s first recital for four or five years, certainly since before the pandemic. As he says the pandemic was a complete double whammy stopping all music but also coming at a time when he was stricken with spinal injury: “And then my stamina levels were at an all-time low. I took the better part of last year just building everything up again but also developing a whole new technique to work around the problem. I think this is going to be very, very interesting and also very, very good for me. This recital feels like a big new adventure. I have always been a huge addict of the old school and I took this time that was more or less forced on me to study very, very carefully all the old masters. I watched all the old videos I possibly could and did all the research that I could possibly could into the great performers of the 20s and 30s studying people like (the Russian-American violinist Jascha) Heifetz (1901-1987). I just love his flawless technique and the way that he approaches music. It is his freedom but also his exactness. He encompasses everything that a musician should strive towards. So I studied him and all the other masters and I feel that I've definitely improved as a musician, developing both my right hand technique and my left hand technique.”

As for working with Valentina Seferinova, Bogdan met her after he and his wife Meg and their two children moved from London to Portsmouth: “We moved down from London a year and a half ago. It was just getting a bit too harsh in London. Our youngest child developed bad asthma and I had asthma and my parents would always take me to the sea whenever possible. So we moved to Portsmouth and the asthma cleared up. But once we had moved to Portsmouth we started making contact with other musicians and I was introduced to Valentina. We played together for the first time, a small 15-minute moment at the reopening of the Yehudi Menuhin Room in Portsmouth which had been unused for about 15 years. It's got one of the best pianos in the south of England and so we did that together and now we're doing our first full recital together.

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“Personality is a huge factor when you're playing together and we get along really well on a personal level but it is also about the musical personality. That's very important too. It is also about how you approach music and Valentina's got both. She's got great personality and great pianistic skills. I watched her playing solo work but accompanying is a completely different set of skills. It's still playing the piano but the ability to accompany is something you've either got or you haven't. It's about the two of you coming together and not just doing your own thing. It's also about being able to listen. If you've got a quartet it's more problematic because it's all equal parts, and then being an accompanist is an essential role but it's really important that you come after the solo part and Valentina is amazingly good at that.” Tickets from Festival of Chichester

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