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Kuchment, Valeria Vilker

Violinist from Russia who attended the Gnesiny State Musical Pedagogical Institute and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where she studied under Yuri Yankelevich.  After graduation, she joined the faculty of Tchaikovsky Conservatory College.  In 1975, she emigrated to the U.S.

She became a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1986.  Other groups with whom she has worked include the Apple Hill Chamber Players, the Boston Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Harvard Chamber Orchestra, and SinfoNova.

In the field of music education, she has taught at The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Longy School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Tanglewood Music Center.  Her students have included Maria Benotti, Kathleen Derbyshire, Mary A. Moser, David Pretlow, and Trung Le Trinh.

She and a handful of musicians at the New England Conservatory enjoyed a rare opportunity in May 1994 to give the first modern performance of Gioacchino Rossini’s long-lost septet, “La Notte, Temporale, Preghiera, Caccia”.

In 1995, Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory was shut down for renovations and Valeria and a handful of others had the honour to perform in a gala event to close out the “old” Jordan Hall with the “Octet” of Felix Mendelssohn and “Les Noces” by Igor Stravinsky.

Two recordings she figures prominently on are Antonin Dvorak:  Double Bass Quintet; Leos Janacek:  Violin Sonata and P.I. Tchaikovsky:  Souvenir of a Beloved Place.  Both were recorded with the Apple Hill Chamber Players, and the latter features Patricia Zander on piano.

Valeria oftentimes does double duty at the BSO’s live events, performing in both the main concert and the prelude concert.  Such was the case on 2nd August 2002 when she and a few of her fellow BSO instrumentalists gave a generous pre-concert recital that consisted of Francis Poulenc’s “Sonata for Trumpet, Horn and Trombone”, Corrada Maria Saglietti’s “Suite for Alto Trombone and String Quartet”, Franz Schubert’s “String Trio in B flat”, Sergei Taneyev’s “Trio in D for Two Violins and Viola”, and Hugo Wolf’s “Italian Serenade”.

She appeared at the Longy School of Music’s SeptemberFEST in 2003, along with fellow violinist Jennifer Elowitch, cellist Andrew Mark, pianist Sally Pinkas, violist Mark Smith and soprano Jayne West for a rendering of Howard Frazin’s “From Sonnet to Song (William Shakespeare)”.

On 10th March 2006, the BSO were joined by mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson for a performance of her husband Peter Lieberson’s“Neruda Songs for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra”.  The concert opened with Richard Strauss’s “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks” and the second half featured Elliott Carter’s “Three Illusions” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92”.

Valeria joined forces with cellist Mickey Katz at NEC’s Jordan Hall for a recital of chamber music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Dmitri Shostakovich on 3rd April 2006.

On 22nd August 2008, she appeared at Tanglewood along with several other members of the BSO for a prelude concert at Ozawa Hall.  Their program comprised Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Minuet for Cello and Piano” (from his “Sonata in C”) and “Piano Trio”, Francis Poulenc’s “Elegy for Horn and Piano”, Richard Strauss’s “Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks”, and Joan Tower’s “Petroushkates”.

Valeria and five other string musicians performed Johannes Brahms’ “Sextet for Strings No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 18” and Richard Strauss’s “Capriccio, Op. 85” on 2nd May 2010 at the New Life Community Church in Framingham, Massachusetts.

On 19th August 2011, she was back at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall for another pre-concert recital, this time of Dvorak’s “String Quintet in G, Op. 77”, and Hermann Schroeder’s “Trio No. 1 in E minor, Op. 14”.  The main event included Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3 in E flat major” (“Eroica”), Arnold Schoenberg’s “Chamber Symphony No. 1”, and Schumann’s “Piano Concerto”, with Martin Helmchen at the keys.

Here is the BSO performing Gabriel Faure’s “Elegie for Cello & Orchestra” Op. 24 conducted by Sieji Ozawa…