Alina Pogostkina

‘It is a huge privilege and luxury to be able to have this life’



January’s Artist of the Month is Alina Pogostkina, a Russian-born German violinist storming the international stage. 2016 saw her playing with groups including the Philharmonia, Brno Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Prague Symphony, and WDR Symphony orchestras, with 2017 opening with a Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

Alina’s rise to international fame began in 2005, when she won the Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki. Speaking of the opportunities it afforded her:

‘It opened the doors to the big stages and orchestras of the world and I was invited to work on the highest level with amazing colleagues. Now it is my daily life, but I am always aware that it is a huge privilege and luxury to be able to have this life.’

Sibelius Violin Concerto, 2. Movement
Sibelius Competition, 2005

Being an international touring musician is something many chase after – but travelling can take its toll. This month, Alina travels to Hong Kong, in the footsteps of a whirlwind trip to South America, with only a short break for Christmas. Like any touring artist, it is often difficult to find a work/life balance – something that Alina is very aware of.

‘I learned to choose my trips carefully and to not do too much so I can still enjoy my work and the time I spend away from home. Also emotionally and mentally I like having time to process the experiences and recover to be able to give my best at the concerts.

‘The concert in Hong Kong is my only concert in January and I am happy to completely focus on this experience.’

In addition to balancing her commitments, Alina reads, meditates and dances in her spare time, and loves spending time in nature and with her family and friends – complimenting an often solitary life on the road.

‘My most favourite thing is that when I travel alone, I have so much time for myself. I love to read and to do other things to just enjoy myself – since I am a mother I learned to appreciate this time even more – and of course I love getting to know interesting people and tasting the food of different cultures.

However, my least favourite thing about traveling is that it can be unhealthy, both for the traveller and the environment.’

Credit: Ivo Saint

Credit: Ivo Saint

Alina’s parents were professional musicians themselves – but her early memories of her own relationship with the violin are hazy.
‘I know from my parents that I always begged them to play the violin, but my memories start later: the mixture of loving the attention and the stage, and the pressure and the tiredness that lied in the work. I think my real love for the music developed much later, when I was able to comprehend it with my heart as a young adult.’

In the spirit of passing on her love of music, Alina has been taking part in the Rhapsody in School project for about two years now, an initiative that brings international soloists into schools to introduce classical music to young people all over Germany and Austria.

‘In my opinion there is a lot missing in education nowadays. The education we get is a very mental, practical one, not so much an education of our heart and soul. But the mind alone does not solve conflicts and does not teach us how to live a happy life.

‘I believe that contact with music is a chance for children to get in touch with these essential parts of themselves.’

Her work with classical music in schools certainly does not limit her own library; Alina’s personal playlist is currently brimming with tangos, old jazz classics, some baroque music (the only kind of classical music she listens to) and a variety of traditional music from all over the world.

Details of Alina’s Hong Kong concert can be found here.

Official Website

Berg : Violin Concerto

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