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Russian-born classical musicians give concert Sunday at The Prizery / January 25, 2018
The Prizery is excited to have classical musicians Matvey and Katya Lapin perform on Sunday, at 3 p.m. Prizery Artistic director Chris Jones recently had the opportunity to present Matvey with some questions about his life and music experiences. His answers follow:

1. Tell me about your early music education when you were a child.

My mother started some oral skills, solfege and the like when I was 4, I believe. At the time, she was privately giving lessons in general music education for kids, so I was simply one more in line. When I was about 6, my parents presented me with a narrow choice: piano or violin. Out of blue, I took violin and have never regretted my choice. My formal education started at 7 in a ‘district music school’, an after-school institution with lessons in theory, aural skills, secondary piano, choir (later replaced with the orchestra) and, above all, ‘special instrument’ — violin with two hour-long lessons per week. All of the above was done on top of regular elementary school, of course.

2. Were your parents musicians?

Yes, they are. They both graduated from St. Petersburg State Conservatory as music theorists and moved soon into field of ethnomusicology, studying Russian folk music. My dad is a lead researcher at Russian Institute for Art History, and mom teaches at St. Petersburg University of Culture.

3. When did you arrive in USA?

I came to U.S. in summer of 2002 to become the 2-violin with the renowned St. Petersburg String quartet. I played with them for one year, at the end of which I have met my future wife Katya, and that leads to your next question.

4. Tell me about your wife and your family.

My wife Katya is a concert pianist of a very high caliber. She graduated from famous Gnessin School in Moscow, Russia (alma mater for such names as Evgeny Kissin and many others), continued her education in Cologne, Germany, followed by her undergraduate degree at Oberlin Conservatory. This is where we have met (one of our family jokes: a middle point between Moscow and St. Petersburg is located in northern Ohio).

By that time she was graduating from Oberlin, and already admitted to IU Jacobs School of Music to study under Shigeo Neriki, so we have moved on together. Eventually I have entered my grad school at IU as well, studying contemporary and historical violin performance. Our two daughters, Steffie and Angelina were born in Indiana. Alfred and Zena came to our life during the Danville chapter of our life. Currently we live in Cary, N.C.

5. Your musical choices for the concert. Why did you choose these composers and these works?

Here, I have to give you a little insight: as a couple with four little kids, we have very scarce amount of time to rehearse together. We must, therefore, rely on the repertoire we have already done in the past. Luckily, there is a lot to draw on. Next factor is what kind of program we want to put together: it could be unified by a single composer, or some sort of musical lineage like teacher-student, or a single city as a cultural center, etc. In this case, we have decided to present a deliberately versatile music, ranging from early nineteenth-century Schubert to a living composer Arvo Part. From experience, we know that such choice would feel more interesting and capturing to a versatile audience we might have at our concerts. Obviously, this kind of program would transfer our audience to different places and times, hence the idea of musical travel. Finally, each of the pieces on the program has a personal story for two of us — but this is to be revealed on stage.

On Sunday, January 28, 3:00 p.m., The Prizery presents “From Vienna to Paris” with concert violinist and pianist Matvey and Katya Lapin. Call The Prizery box-office for tickets, 434-572-8339 or purchase online at

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