During their trip to Russia in March 2018 Sophie Branson and Ilva Eigus not only participated in the premiere of iGeneration but also performed on various other occasions.
Before the preview of iGeneration in the factory hall and the premiere in the concert hall of Novosibirsk Ilva and Sophie presented their “ballet-programs”: Ilva played four pieces from Prokofiev’s Cinderella and Sophie four pieces from Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, once accompanied by piano and once in an arrangement for chamber orchestra.
In the context of the festival, Ilva also had the opportunity to audition for one of her great idols, Gidon Kremer. Kremer, who originates from Riga like Ilva’s mother, performed two concerts a few days before the premiere of iGeneration and in spite of his busy agenda, took out half an hour for Ilva. She played a Gavotte each by J.S. Bach and Sergej Prokofiev and received much praise from Kremer for her interpretation and valuable technical advice for her violin play.
Change of scene on the day after the premiere: together with three other young musicians the two girls performed in the Cultural Centre of Iskitim, a small town about 60 km outside of Novosibirsk. Sophie presented pieces from the Suite Italienne by Stravinsky; Ilva Prokofiev’s Cinderella. They were accompanied on piano by Lev Terskov, a young and very talented musician whose brilliant, very orchestral rendition carried the girls to extraordinary achievements. This concert was also sold out. The audience was smaller than the day before, but most cordial and it showered the performers with bouquets and chocolate. Like world stars, our two students gave autographs and granted interviews to local TV stations.
The first concert on this tour of Russia took place the very first day after arriving in Moscow. The plane landed at 6 p.m. on Saturday and it was incredibly cold, around minus 20 degrees. A first rehearsal with the pianist was scheduled for 8 p.m., a second very brief one on Sunday morning, for only five minutes, and then the concert in the afternoon. The event, on the day of the Russian presidential election, had been organized by the Spivakov Charity Foundation, with whom the ZBSM has maintained a student exchange for several years. In the audience there was a correspondent of the world magazine “Strad”. Children from all over the country took part, Ilva and Sophie being the only guests from abroad. There was dancing and singing, the range of styles spanned from classical to popular to military music. Ilva played pieces from Cinderella and Sophie Tarantella and Finale from Pulcinella.