Appreciations of Camilla Kolchinsky
Camilla Kolchinsky is one of our most talented young conductors…
Yevgeny Svetlanov, principal conductor of the USSR State Symphony Orchestra
V Nashe Vremya [In Our Time], USSR October 1967
A serious, remarkable musician. She has an instinctive feel for the essence of the music and is able to recreate it.
Vestnik APN [Novosti Press Agency Herald], USSR May 1969
Camilla Kolchinsky is featured as conductor on the Yaroslavl Philharmonic’s posters. Kolchinsky’s path to the conductor’s podium was not a flash in the pan, but the fulfilment of a calling, entailing the self-sacrifice and hard work without which no talented person has ever scaled the heights.
Tamara Grum-Grzhimailo. Moskovsky Komsomolets [Moscow Komsomolets], USSR August 1969
Her rare musical individuality and consummate artistic taste place a unique and indelible imprint on her novel interpretation.
Tikhookeanskaya Zvezda [Pacific Star], USSR December 1971
With profound feeling and expression, without needless gestures, she puts all her energy into revealing the true nature of the music.
Severnaya Pravda [Northern Pravda], USSR April 1972
She conveyed in no uncertain terms the splendid feeling that this was a true ensemble, playing smoothly and harmoniously under her direction.
Severny Rabochy [Northern Worker], USSR April 1973
All demands made of the orchestra were met with an enthusiasm that inspired a lively and clean rendition
Pravda, Moscow, USSR May 1974
Mozart’s Requiem at the Teacher’s House. On the conductor’s podium, Camilla Kolchinsky … Ivan Kozlovsky, People’s Artist of the USSR and singer with the Bolshoi Theater, wrote: “Thank you for existing, for standing firm for the world’s most powerful language, which is music ... Thank you for Mozart’s resounding Requiem at the Teacher’s House. My congratulations! Yours, I. Kozlovsky…”
Tamara Grum-Grzhimailo. Uchitel’skaya Gazeta [Teacher’s Gazette], USSR June 1974
And then there was Mozart’s Requiem at the Teacher’s House. On stage, a choir and the conductor, Camilla Kolchinsky … The program was presented by teachers, drivers, educators, other non-musicians … What a lot of work, what a lot of love, what a lot of talent it took to teach, organize and present all of this. And the sound of it! There is an unbelievable value in performances such as this, which carry classical music into the frontlines of amateur art.
Ivan Kozlovsky. Sovetskaya Kul’tura [Soviet Culture], USSR October 1974
About Moscow Conservatory student Camilla Kolchinsky, the famous Soviet composer Ivanov-Radkevich had this to say: “That fragile being gives glimpses of a great conductor’s willpower.” But nature has endowed Camilla with more than willpower and the right temperament … In the auditorium of Moscow’s House of Scientists, this amateur symphony orchestra played with subtlety, virtuosity, and inspiration. On the conductor’s podium, a delicate creature with golden curls, almost a girl. Small, elegant hands. Can they really be so powerfully evocative?
Tamara Grum-Grzhimailo. Vestnik APN [Novosti Press Agency Herald], USSR October 1975
I am certain that Camilla Kolchinsky, who made such a splendid showing in those early concerts, will return to us. This is our future.
Zubin Mehta, Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra 1977
Perfect! A broad gamut of dynamics and emotions, with many subtle nuances. She displayed excellent taste and afforded real pleasure.
Davar [The Word], Israel January 1977
The main character, shape, and form of the music was convincingly present. The orchestra responded to the conductor with a richness of sound and full and lovely expressiveness. In short, it played for her with all its heart and ability.
Haaretz [The Land], Israel January 1977
A truly professional conductor, experienced and rightly self-assured. Full energy and vitality of the musical line. Perfect control over the ensemble and the music, with the orchestra willingly and eagerly responding to her. Should be invited to appear regularly.
Maariv [Evening], Israel January 1977
She has firmly disproved the misconception that a woman cannot be a good conductor. This artist has confidence, experience, temperament, knowledge, and true instincts, as well as a pleasant appearance.
Yedioth Ahanaroth [Latest News], Israel January 1977
She conducted with authority, mastering the large ensemble and bringing all the nuances into sharp relief with an assured orchestral balance, rich dynamics, and temperament. The orchestra fully responded to her.
Viata Noastra [Our Life], Israel February 1977
Fully competent and elegant in her conducting, she leads the orchestra with obvious joy, and her charisma is reflected in it. A huge success.
Israel Nachrichten [Israel News], Israel March 1977
A bright and festive performance, well-coordinated. Camilla Kolchinsky is a conductor of forceful personality. A valuable asset to our musical life.
Jerusalem Post, Israel March 1977
Camilla Kolchinsky on the podium is a diminutive figure, but her fiery temperament compels the musicians to give their all, while at the same time keeping control over every beat of the score, every instrument’s voice.
Marcus Boldemann Dagens Nyheter [Today’s News], Sweden 1985
A refined technique and innovative interpretations. An enormous temperament on the inside and inimitable physical mobility. This is high-end professionalism.
A music critic’s review of a concert given by Kolchinsky and violinist Nina Beilin at the Vienna Kontzerthaus Schubert Hall 1991
I first saw Camilla off the beaten track in New Jersey. She was conducting a children’s string orchestra, but she was doing it as though they were professionals of the highest order. Even then, I was struck by her melodious hands, her superior technique, and her inspired temperament … A female conductor - a first on any podium in Vienna! … The concert in Vienna’s Schubert Hall was dedicated to the memory of Leonard Bernstein, which explains why the program included Bernstein’s own Serenade … Kolchinsky and Nina Beilin [solo violin] coped brilliantly with this most difficult piece, displaying a scintillatingly well-honed professional proficiency … On top of her virtuoso technique, she [Kolchinsky] possesses a powerful musical individuality. Her face literally transforms with the first sweep of her hand … What a pity that the audience never sees the conductors’ faces.
Stanislav Nepomnyashchy Novoe Russkoe Slovo [New Russian Word], USA March 1991
I had heard that name before, when I was a student at the Gnesin School. In the 1970s, she was one of only two women in the Soviet Union who were internationally famous ... Her worldwide reputation is as a conductor who can make orchestras “grow”, can give them the support they need and swiftly transform a haphazard mix of musicians into a coherent professional team … And that, surely, is why this Chamber Orchestra of new Americans was able to make new music - such subtle, such coherent music - at the Merkin Concert Hall.
Maya Pritsker Novoe Russkoe Slovo [New Russian Word], USA December 1995
A refined Manhattan audience filled the Merkin Concert Hall for the New Americans Chamber Orchestra’s third season, which opened with a program that included Handel, Vivaldi, Shostakovich, Barber, and Dvořák … Conductor Camilla Kolchinsky had come from California to rehearse the orchestra in this new program. In her younger days, every time she stepped up to the music stand, she would see irony on the musicians’ faces ... But at the height of her creative maturity, she no longer had anything to prove. She has worked brilliantly well … with Emil Gilels, David Oistrakh, Gidon Kremer, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Mstislav Rostropovich, and the music spoke for itself … Let us hope you are lucky enough to hear for yourself the New Americans Chamber Orchestra in performance…
Bella Gershgorn The Jewish World, USA December 1995
Camilla makes no allowances for the fact that this is an orchestra of schoolchildren ... The demanding Mrs. Kolchinsky always gets all she can from them ... But the Palo Alto Concert was interesting for more than just the young people’s playing. The program finale was remarkable too, in its own way ... The young musicians were joined onstage by sedate, gray-haired men and smart, matronly ladies, all carrying instruments... These were members of an amateur orchestra ... consisting mostly of “seniors”, which is another way of saying people who were way over the hill… These music aficionados … bring pleasure to all who care to listen… And who is leading, who is conducting this ensemble? Picture this: once again, it is the indefatigable Camilla Kolchinsky. Along with the enormous amount of work she does with the orchestras and ensembles of the El Camino Youth Symphony Association, along with her regular appearances outside the U.S., … this La Pasionaria of the music world also finds time for another group - one that is devoted to the ideals she serves…
Rufina Leites Vstrecha [Encounter], May 2004 USA
Dr. Camilla Kolchinsky:
This is a belated congratulation. I attended the ECYS October 22nd concert at the Spangenberg Theater. I had read about David Kim in the San Jose Mercury, and decided to come to listen to him. The concert was so good, I forgot that I was listening to a youth symphony. They really sounded like professionals … The music grabbed my heart and shook it. I was so amazed by their ability to perform with a world class violinist like David Kim, and how natural the music as a whole felt. I have listened to the area’s youth orchestras in the past, but I have never encountered this high level of performance before. You are the best! Thank you for the beautiful music.
Regards, Leslie Shiozaki
Leslie Shiozaki [audience member] November 2006
The dream of entering this profession (conducting) eclipsed everything else for me… A conductor should above all subject the work he is about to conduct to an in-depth study, in order to understand himself and explain to the musicians ... what the composer wanted to say though it … The music has to be “re-experienced”, loved, and made one’s own … When you (the conductor) stand on the podium, you are the one who must convey to the orchestra (without words, with only hand gestures, with the look on your face and in your eyes) the emotions, the expression, and the energy embedded in the music. When your direction to the orchestra comes with sufficient conviction, it brings on a most marvelous sense of unity with that orchestra … And the vibrations that pass from you to the orchestra flow down to the audience in the auditorium and take it over … but the vast satisfaction and the conductor’s principal reward … comes when the work … opens up … and you take the orchestra “to new musical heights...”
Igor' Yevelev – Interview with Camilla Kolchinsky Na zdorov'e [NZ Magazine], USA July 2007
San Jose. The famous California Concert Hall … The concert this time is to be given by the orchestra that Camilla Kolchinsky has been leading for sixteen years now. The program is very interesting and easy to absorb … The conductor comes out. The program is going smoothly; the contact between orchestra and conductor is impeccable … Everything was proceeding as it usually does. The only unusual thing was the age of the artists. The concertmaster is 15 or so; the other performers are from 11 to 18. And together they make up the El Camino Youth Symphony … The ECYS’s incredible range and success boggle the mind. … [The conductor] is strikingly energetic and a consummate professional. She is a typical workaholic…
Kh. Anatol'ev Kstati [To the Point], USA February 2010
The Cupertino concert was held in the Flint Center’s large, pleasant auditorium. The entire program, as in previous years, was conducted by Camilla Kolchinsky, musical directory of the El Camino Youth Symphony Association … The first part was brought to a close by Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet overture-fantasia, which the young musicians played with a great deal of understanding and inspiration, which is not surprising. Camilla Kolchinsky’s hand and heart are felt in it all … Kolchinsky has given 20 years of her life and love to this complicated organization and, along with her colleagues, has raised this ensemble of more than 500 to the outstanding level it occupies today … After the concert, she was impossible to get to, surrounded by an impenetrable wall of people…
Kh. Anatol'ev Kstati [To the Point], USA June 2014