FAIRFIELD — Max Baluyev, Solano Symphony’s concert master, will take center stage at the group’s final concert of the season in early May.
He will perform a violin solo in “Meditation,” an intermezzo from the Jules Massenet opera “Thais.” The music is inspired by a scene where a character decides to leave behind her life dedicated to sensual pleasure and join a convent.
Baluyev received his music education at Rimsky-Korsakoff College of Music in St.Petersburg, Russia, and at San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
He joined the Solano Symphony about seven years ago and took on the job of concert master at the same time.
Here’s what he shared with the Daily Republic in a phone interview.
Q: The Pops concert is the last of the season. Share some of your favorite moments from this season.
A: Hard work. I quite enjoy the actual performances. I can’t say I have a favorite. All (shows) were quite solid this year. I think the highlight was the winners of (the Young Artists) competition. The singers were excellent. The saxophone player was amazing.
Q: You are featured piece in the show is “Meditation.” Tell me about the challenges of the piece. What are your favorite things about it?
A: It’s a beautiful piece. It’s challenging because it has to have a great balance between the violin solo and orchestra. It’s really difficult in terms of sound production. It has to flawless. The intonation is the main issue. It has to be really, really sharp. It’s not a fast piece, nevertheless it’s challenging. It gets quite intense in places.
Q: You teach strings. Was your creativity nourished and encouraged when you were a child?
A: My mom paved the way. She liked the violin. I started with the piano and switched to violin when I was 7. I’ve stuck with it since then.
Q: Tell me about Trio Maxim.
A: I organized it a few years back with my wife (Natasha Vinetskaya) and Jennifer Butler. We had been performing together and decided to try the business of playing parties and weddings. I think we’re fairly successful at it. We’ve played quite a few weddings. We have made a lot of people happy. Getting paid a little is a nice add-on.
Q: When did you come from Russia? How did that come about?
A: I came in 1991. Some of my family had already moved to the states. It was a very hard time for the country. In the early 1990s the economy was in a freefall. I’m glad I missed those horrible years. My friends have shared with me what kind of lifestyle they lived in 1990s.
Baluyev has been a member of Sacramento Philharmonic, Monterey Symphony, Stockton Symphony, Marin Symphony, Vallejo Symphony and Bear Valley Festival Orchestra to name a few.
He has more than 20 years of teaching experience.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.