Conductor Daniel Raiskin commences the new season with two pieces of good news. After the trip to Moscow for the first guest appearance with our orchestra, he starts preparations for the role of the Permanent Visiting Conductor, which he will formally assume as of season 2017/18.
For the guest appearance in Moscow, a Slavic repertoire has been chosen. It will open with Fantasia on Serbian Themes by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and be rounded off with Symphony No 9, From the New World, by Antonin Dvořák. The superstar violinist Nemanja Radulović will perform one of the most popular pieces written for this instrument, Concerto for violin and orchestra by Aram Khachaturian.
You have met Nemanja but have never performed with him; what do you expect from this collaboration? You are very familiar with our audience; do you think Belgrade concerts will be good preparation for the Moscow concert?
Yes, I have met Nemanja vey briefly only once in Belgrade, but have admired his brilliant playing and versatile musicianship ever since he won Joseph Joachim Competition in Hannover.
I am very much looking forward to collaborating with this immensely “alive” artist and to sharing our common music with audiences both in Belgrade and in Moscow. It is wonderful to have an opportunity of performing the same program twice before going to Moscow, where our concert is the first in the subscription series of Moscow Philharmonic at Tchaikovsky Hall. It also coincides with the concert of Russian State Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski at the Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory. Both these concerts are season opening concerts, which is not unusual for a metropolis as large and culturally as rich as Moscow. In other words: we’d better be prepared well!
What are your expectations from the Moscow concert, being a part of the Russian tradition? Is it difficult to win the Moscow professional audience with a Slavic repertoire? How would you compare Belgrade and Moscow audiences and music criteria?
Generally, I think that audiences in both Moscow and St. Petersburg are “spoilt” in a good sense of the word by a great number of absolutely wonderful concerts and foremost international artists and orchestras. On the other hand, I always feel that going to concerts is a special occasion for people in Russia, like nowhere else! Hardly anywhere in the world will you see complete strangers going to the concert with flowers they bought to give to the soloist or conductor they do not know personally, are not related to him or her… Simply as a special gesture of appreciation.  The audience in Moscow is a very well trained and educated one. I love the audience in Belgrade for its sheer emotional response to music on the level of intuition. That said, I feel that the audience in Belgrade has developed very much in the past years, also due to the wonderful increase in the level of Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra: both sides have shown keen interest in reaching for the highest possible performance quality, on the one side, and openness to lesser known repertoire, on the other.
Where do you perform with more easiness, Belgrade or Moscow?
I think this is pretty much the same, but the sense of responsibility for our Moscow concert is very present for me: I am proud to present one of the flagships of Serbian culture in the capital of Russia and this is perhaps a bit more demanding than the concerts in Belgrade in front of the audience I know well by now. On the other hand, I have been conducting in Moscow regularly in the recent years, and different orchestras too.
Your thoughts on Belgrade Philharmonic and the impression they will leave in Moscow, having in mind it’s major characteristics and qualities.
I am convinced that Belgrade Philharmonic will be able to surprise the Moscow audience by its many qualities and above all a passionate involvement with the music we perform. On top of that, we are playing with a very charismatic soloist; Nemanja and the orchestra are very close and good friends, and everyone will feel that!
This is the first time you are performing with BPO outside of Serbia; can you tell us something about this excitement?
As I mentioned before: I am both very excited and proud to cooperate with BPO, also on the most important Moscow stage. Generally, I always experience an enormous sense of joy performing with the BPO musicians, and taking this project to my home country is indeed very special!