Winning the competition – what it meant for you, the impact on your career.
I won the Dublin Piano Competition when I was 19 years old. It was a fantastic experience for me to play in Dublin for the people of Ireland, I was truly fascinated by the country, its beauty, its history and the loving, appreciative audiences. I will never forget how John O’Conor, such an incredible musician, believed in me, opened the doors of the world stage for me thus giving me the opportunity to do what I love – to play for the people, to share wonderful music, beauty and love with them.
Any special memory or anecdote
After the Competition I had the privilege to tour Ireland and to play in different venues across the country. That by itself was very memorable for me. When I played in Dublin, I was giving a concert at the Christ Church Cathedral, just some meters away from where the great Handel’s Oratorio Messiah received its world premiere. I have a special connection to Handel and his music, as not only do I love his music, but also, I played Handel’s Piano Concerto for my concerto debut at the age of 7 at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
But that was not all, that night in Dublin I had the honour of having President Higgins of Ireland and the First Lady, Sabrina Higgins, in the audience. Mr. President told me that he had been planning to visit my concert for weeks. After the concert I had the opportunity to spend some time with them and talk to them about different subjects.
Your experience during the competition
My experience during the Competition was very pleasant, I was given everything I needed, I had a piano to practice on and wonderful people to stay with. The Mays family was helping me in every way they could, and I really appreciate what they have done for me.