Press · Swiss Alps Classics

An interview with Maxim Brilinsky: "The violin is its own universe."

On June 12, 2022 (7:30pm), the violinist extraordinaire MAXIM BRILINSKY will make his debut at the Swiss Alps Classics. The native Ukrainian, who is now an Austrian citizen, will give a concert together with the Swiss Alps Chamber Ensemble at the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne. With a new face and a new concert venue, festival organizers Peter-Michael and Sandra Reichel and artistic director Clemens Hellsberg are once again bringing to the festival exciting new highpoints. The motto of the sixth edition of the festival from June 9 to 12 is "Festival of the Violin." In this interview, Brilinsky, who won second prize at the prestigious Premio Paganini international competition in Genoa in 2002 at the age of 17, talks about the fascinating power of his instrument, the mystical and historically rich backdrop of Lake Lucerne – and what it's been like to be a member of the legendary Vienna Philharmonic since 2011.

At the closing concert of this year's Swiss Alps Classics, Brilinsky will perform together with ROBERT BAUERSTATTER (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra), LUCAS STRATMANN (Vienna State Opera Orchestra) and BENEDIKT HELLSBERG (Vienna Volksoper Orchestra). Tickets can be booked on the festival website as well as directly via the Bürgenstock Resort.

You will be playing at the Swiss Alps Classics for the first time. What did you know of the festival's reputation?

Maxim Brilinsky: "Carrying on beautiful traditions is always something special. This includes the Swiss Alps Classics, where art combines with wonderful scenery to create special experiences for both the audience and the performers. I'm really looking forward to this experience."

Lake Lucerne is a mystical place, and also very interesting in terms of music history. You will be performing 500 meters above the lake in the Lakeview Ballroom of the Bürgenstock Resort. What comes to mind when you think of Lake Lucerne and this picturesque concert setting?

Brilinsky: "Every year when I am in Lucerne with the Vienna Philharmonic, I’m excited to see the stunning vista of Lake Lucerne. Paying a visit to the Wagner Villa in Tribschen is also a must! This time, however, it will be a special treat for me to witness this inspirational place from a completely different perspective with the chamber music."

You are a part of the Vienna Philharmonic, as is Robert Bauerstatter (viola), who joins the Swiss Alps Chamber Ensemble for the fifth time this year. Can you explain for outsiders how it feels to be a member of this legendary, world-famous orchestra ...

Brilinsky: “Let me return to be first answer. It is a privilege and at the same time a challenge to carry on traditions. Since I’m now one of the orchestra members who is already reaching middle age, it is not only a matter of embracing the tradition, but also the responsibility of passing it on to the younger generation. One difficulty is that the Viennese tradition cannot be expressed in words. Letting the music speak, and immersing yourself in the sound of this orchestra, is thus all the more magical."

What is special about the program you will perform on June 12?

Brilinsky: "I have the distinct pleasure of performing this time as a soloist, as a duet with each of my fellow musicians, and with all of them together as a string quartet. Our program includes major works from the Viennese Classical period, such as the “Emperor's Quartet” by Joseph Haydn, and works by the great Belgian violin virtuoso Eugène Ysaÿe and the Ukrainian composer Borys Lyatoshynsky from the first half of the 20th century. We will also play a piece by another important violin virtuoso, Henryk Wieniawski: his “Legend,” which he dedicated to his wife. I arranged this fairytale-like, but also very expressive piece for two violins so that I could play it with my daughter, and I dedicated this arrangement to my wife."

The motto of the Swiss Alps Classics is “Festival of the Violin.” What significance does this instrument have for you?

Brilinksky: "The violin (and the same goes for all string instruments!) is its own universe, where the prevailing natural laws are in equilibrium. Added to this is the performer who is always looking for the perfect balance between himself and the instrument, so that the two “persons” harmonize as much as possible. This quest is never over; it's a “living” thing – and that's the beauty of it, too!"

Visitors can travel to the concert on June 12 from Lucerne by boat across Lake Lucerne and then take the cable car up to the Bürgenstock. Sven Flory, director of sales and marketing at Bürgenstock Resort, says of the new cooperation: "We are proud to host the Swiss Alps Classics big finale for the first time and eagerly await an evening with world-class artists. The Bürgenstock Resort provides an ideal setting for a moving and festive evening. The breathtaking view high above Lake Lucerne of the Swiss Alps and the majestic architecture all contribute to a rare and awe-inspiring experience."

For an overview of the official program of the Swiss Alps Classics 2022, please visit our festival website.

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