FeaturedInterviewsIssuesMay 2024

Irina Stachinskaya Artist Interview

At the age of  16 years old, Irina Stachinskaya won the position of Co-Principal Flute in the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006. Prior to this appointment, she gained her first job as Principal Flute in the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra when she was only 14 years old. Irina Stachinskaya was born in Moscow in 1989 to a family of distinguished musicians. In 2010, she graduated from the Russian Academy of Music ‘Gnessin’s’where she studied with Professor Vladimir Kudrya. Irina is the Artistic Director of Classical Music Festivals in Russia: "Voice of the Flute Nizhny Novgorod" and "Music of the Wind Kaliningrad".

TFV: What does your schedule look like for the next 6 months?

Irina: I'm thrilled to be quite busy with my flute. Alongside teaching during the summer, I have a series of engagements lined up. I'll be embarking on a concert tour across the Far East region of Russia, including Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, and Sakhalin. Additionally, I have concerts scheduled with orchestras where I'll be performing as a soloist, including the premiere of a new concerto for two flutes composed by my dear friend Denis Khorov, which is dedicated to me.

TFV: What are your goals personally? Professionally?

Irina: Personally, I'm keen to delve into studying the baroque flute, although it's quite different from the Boehm flute and presents its own set of challenges. Professionally, I have a variety of projects lined up, from playing with orchestras to directing two festivals. I'm also working on some exciting new ventures, such as transcribing symphonic and other music for a unique ensemble consisting of mandolin, accordion, piano, and flute.

TFV: What inspires you the most in life?

Irina: I find great inspiration in witnessing the collaboration between my colleagues and students. It may sound somewhat philosophical, but over the years, I've come to appreciate how music has the power to foster positive connections between people. Whether it's performing on stage or working with others behind the scenes, I find immense joy in sharing and exchanging positive energy through music.

TFV: What has been your greatest challenge?

Irina: Balancing strength with openness. It's essential to maintain resilience while also remaining receptive to new experiences and perspectives.

TFV: What is the most exciting thing in your life right now?

Irina: The opportunity to connect with audiences and fellow musicians, both on stage and off. I'm particularly looking forward to the Mexico Flutes by the Sea Festival, where I'll have the chance to immerse myself in one of the world's oldest cultures through music.

TFV: What is keeping you busy these days?

Irina: My days are filled with a myriad of tasks, from teaching and touring to planning future performances and even mundane chores like tidying up my apartment. On a more significant note, I'm in the process of releasing my next practice book, following the success of the first edition in Russia.

TFV: One habit you wish you could break?

Irina: Occasionally being tardy. It's something I'm working on improving.

TFV: If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Irina: The ability to heal others.

TFV: What is one thing you wish you knew at 19?

Irina: I would have practiced even more.

TFV: What is your Spirit Animal?

Irina: A cat – all kinds of them.

TFV: Can you share with us your journey in becoming a flutist? What drew you to the flute initially?

Irina: Music has been a part of my life from a very young age, thanks to my parents who are both musicians. I initially began with the piano but eventually found my passion for the flute. It felt like a natural fit, and I've been dedicated to it ever since.

TFV: You've had a distinguished career as the former principal flutist of the Moscow Philharmonic. What are some memorable experiences or performances from your time there?

Irina: I've been fortunate to have many memorable experiences during my time with the Moscow Philharmonic. Collaborating with renowned conductors and soloists stands out, as well as performing iconic pieces from the repertoire.

TFV: Transitioning from a principal flutist to a soloist is a significant change. What inspired you to pursue a solo career, and how has the transition been for you?

Irina: Transitioning to a solo career has been a rewarding journey. While I cherished my time in the orchestra, I felt a desire to explore a different path and take on new challenges. It's been a fulfilling experience thus far, allowing me to express myself more freely as a musician.

TFV: Could you tell us about your practice routine and how it has evolved over the years to maintain your high level of performance?

Irina: My practice routine has evolved over the years to focus on maintaining technical proficiency while also exploring new repertoire and refining interpretive skills. Consistency and discipline are key, but I also make sure to keep things varied and engaging to stay motivated.

TFV: As a soloist, you likely have a diverse repertoire. What are some of your favorite pieces to perform, and why?

Irina: Each piece I perform holds a special place in my heart, but if I had to choose, Nielsen's Concerto has been particularly enjoyable. Its emotional depth and intricate musical dialogue make it a captivating piece to perform.

TFV: Collaboration is often essential for musicians. Could you share some of your experiences working with special conductors, composers, and other musicians?

Irina: I've had the privilege of collaborating with a diverse range of musicians throughout my career, from esteemed conductors to talented composers and fellow performers. Each collaboration brings its own unique insights and challenges, contributing to my growth as a musician.

TFV: Many aspiring musicians look up to accomplished performers like yourself. What advice would you give to young flutists who are aspiring to have a successful career in music?

Irina: My advice to aspiring musicians is to cultivate a broad cultural understanding and to remain true to their passion for music. It's essential to stay open-minded, adaptable, and committed to continual growth as an artist.

TFV: Lastly, what are your upcoming projects or performances that your fans can look forward to?

Irina: I'm excited to announce upcoming performances in Serbia and Slovenia in September 2024, with negotiations underway for performances in Turkey as well. It's a pleasure to be returning to Europe after a hiatus and sharing my music with audiences once again.

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