“The best concert of my life”

Bassoonists Vladislav Demianov and Nikolaj Henriques

MMus Bassoon student Vladyslav Demianov performed alongside his teacher and CBSO Bassoon Section Leader Nikolaj Henriques, as part of the city’s orchestra, in what he describes as “the best concert of my life”.

Together they played Debussy’s ‘Nocturnes’, which opens with two bassoons and two clarinets. This was followed by Ravel’s ‘Scheherazade’ and Debussy’s ‘Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un Faune’, which requires softer dynamics and colourful playing. Finally, they performed Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements, which has a solo for two bassoons in the final movement.

Nikolaj has been a Visiting Lecturer at RBC since 2020 and for two years has taught Vladyslav, who began his postgraduate studies at RBC as an accomplished player. Over the course of his studies, Nikolaj has instructed him on the key points that he would have to work on to have the opportunity of performing with CBSO.

Nikolaj said: “It’s great for students to experience an orchestra that they have heard from the hall so many times. Vladyslav was particularly surprised by the dynamics required.

“Vladyslav is incredibly determined to improve. He works hard and takes everything on board from our lessons. Combined with his great musicality and good sense of humour, he really knows how to entertain an audience.”

Vladyslav added: “To say that it was thrilling to play with the CBSO is to say nothing. I felt a huge responsibility for performing with the orchestra not only because it is one of the greatest orchestras in the UK, but also because I played alongside Nikolaj. I knew that I could not let my teacher down and did my best to make him proud. It was a very special and unforgettable experience for me, an amazing milestone in my music journey.

“My plans for the future involve playing with the Southbank Sinfonia, as I have been offered a place on the 2024/25 Fellowship programme. On completion of the programme, I will be auditioning for prestigious orchestras in the UK as it is a career path I have chosen for myself."

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