Elizaveta Blumina insists that she is happy Ireland, although she got here completely by accident. This Russian pianist certainly has a basis for comparison, having lived in at least seven countries around the world she speaks six languages!
Elizaveta’s travels around the world began when, aged 19, she won the International Piano Competition in Hamburg. As a reward, the talented pianist won a full scholarship to study at the Hamburg Conservatory. Upon her completion of graduate school she went to Switzerland, where she continued studying at the conservatory in Bern. After receiving an extensive musical education, Elizabeth managed to spend time living in Rome, Madrid, Geneva, America, and now in Dublin.
“I had a choice between Grenoble, Madrid and Dublin,” she said. “Dublin ‘pulled’ me in most with its work prospect. First, I teach here, and secondly, it is close enough to the rest of Europe. I fly from Madrid to Germany, where I often perform, and that takes three hours. As for Grenoble, there is too tasty and comfortable; I always need iron gauntlets.”
In Dublin, Elizaveta teaches music. She also performs often, though most of her concerts take place in Germany and elsewhere. “Of course, Ireland is not Italy, and the Irish are not the Germans, who run to concerts twice a week and can sing any composer’s work,” she says. “When I came here, people unsettled me, saying, “my God, there is nothing there” in terms of classical music. And it’s true, there are very few professionals here. But now I do not see the situation as so appalling as before. I’m gradually getting known and getting more and more invitations.”
Elizaveta believes that many works of Russian composers are commonly ignored in Ireland. The reason is that they are too complex.Also the pianist adds that nobody here would be able to play it “the Russian way”.
“Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that truly Russian music can only be played by a Russian, or a person who has lived in Russia for a long time,” says Elizaveta. “Foreigners can play it very well, but there is still something lacking. Of course, there’s probably people who think just the same about ‘our’ Beethoven?”