Vladislav Lavrik - Bio

Vladislav Lavrik

Сonductor

Now based in Berlin, Ukrainian-born conductor Vladislav Lavrik gained recognition as a virtuoso trumpeter before achieving a reputation in Russia and internationally as a music director and guest conductor.

“A wonderful musician,” in the words of Vladimir Fedoseyev, his conducting teacher at Moscow’s Gnesin Academy, Vladislav Lavrik has been described by Paavo Järvi as “one of the most talented musicians I have  collaborated with”.

Kent Nagano has praised him as “an exceptional talent … an excellent musician whose talent extends to all musical genres – symphony, opera, classical and jazz”.

Formerly artistic director and chief conductor of two Russian orchestras – the Tula Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the Orenburg Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra – Lavrik has appeared as a guest  conductor with the Russian National Orchestra (touring to the USA and Asia), Ensemble Orchestral de Bordeaux, the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, and numerous other orchestras in the Russian Federation. He has also been active in the field of opera,  interpreting works by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov. In 2014 Kent Nagano invited him to assist in preparing performances of Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No 3 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and since moving to Berlin in 2022 his  engagements have included Prokofiev’s 6 th Symphony with the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra, attesting to his intense affinity with Russian symphonic repertoire, and five Concerts for Peace in Berlin. Lavrik’s relationship with the Russian National Orchestra was  cemented in 1999, when, at the age of just 19, he was appointed its principal trumpet. Following his conducting debut with the orchestra in Moscow in 2009, he conducted it on a regular basis.  In 2012, when Mikhail Pletnev, founder of the Russian National Orchestra, returned to playing piano concertos, he chose Lavrik to take charge on the podium. The concerto partnership of Pletnev, Lavrik and the RNO was renewed in 2015 for a tour of South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.  Once again with the RNO, in 2013 Vladislav Lavrik made his US conducting debut – Beethoven’s Symphony No 6 at the Minnesota Beethoven Festival.

His guest conducting appearances with major orchestras in in the Russian Federation have included: the Svetlanov State Symphony Orchestra; State Symphony Orchestra ‘New Russia’; Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra; Moscow Chamber Orchestra ‘Musica Viva’; Volgograd Symphony Orchestra; Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod; Krasnoyarsk Academic Orchestra; State Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Ministry of Defence; State Wind Orchestra; Symphony Orchestra of Urdmurtia; Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Bashkortostan. During his studies at the Gnesin Academy, Lavrik’s technical and interpretative skills were shaped not only by Vladimir Fedoseyev, but by such leading figures as Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Mark Elder, Vladimir Jurowski, Gianandrea Noseda, Alexander Vedernikov, Vassily Petrenko and Teodor Currentzis. 
 
Born in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine to a family of musicians, Vladislav Lavrik studied piano and trumpet, receiving a master’s in trumpet performance from the Moscow State Conservatory. Excelling in both classical and jazz idioms, he has appeared as a soloist in all the leading Russian concert halls and was just 22 years old when he made his US debut as a soloist, performing an arrangement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the RNO at Seattle's Paramount Theater. Around the world he has played at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Salle Pleyel (Paris), Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels), Lincoln Theater (Napa Valley), Theatro Municipal (Rio de Janeiro), and numerous other venues in France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, UK, USA, Canada, Brazil, Uruguay, UAE, South Korea and North Korea. His festival appearances have taken him to Europalia (Belgium), Cap Ferret (France), Festival del Sole (USA), Beethoven Festival (USA), WCU Trumpet Festival (USA) and the Bermuda Festival. Having toured in the USA and Russia with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, in 2020 he conducted the Dave Brubeck Centennial concerts in Russia.

From 2008 to 2022, Lavrik was Professor of Trumpet at the Moscow State Conservatory. In 2016 he received the Russian Presidential Prize for Young Artists, and in 2021 was named a Merited Artist of Russian Federation. In 2011 he was elected to the board of the International Trumpet Guild and established the International Brass Days Festival, Russia’s leading wind-instrument festival and a showcase for new music. Lavrik has been actively involved in music projects for children, including music therapy programmes for children with disabilities in the USA and Russia. He collaborated with Chris Brubeck on the children’s musical Hermitage Cats Save the Day, performed in the USA (New York City, Washington, D.C., Tuscaloosa, Alabama) and Russia (Saint Petersburg). Summarising his approach as a conductor, Vladislav Lavrik says:
“After many years of experience as a principal musician in one of the world’s best orchestras, listening to and observing so many conductors, I realized that I had developed my own musical language, and felt the passion to lead an orchestra. My trumpet had always been my voice and a vivid expression of my feelings. This is what I always taught my students at the conservatory. Then I saw the opportunity to be an educator in an orchestra, to lead the entire ensemble, to blend and refine all the instrumental voices of a group. I have learned to encourage the musicians of an orchestra to reveal the depth of the music, to expose open nerves, to draw out the players’ souls, to make them feel pain and love, and to convey all this to an audience. This is what I consider the most important thing in my work – to guide the listener towards extreme possibilities of emotion. In the main, my repertoire is associated with power of expression, and with breadth and intensity of feeling.
A musician’s task, reading a score, is rather like an actor reading a script ... We must imagine the whole impression we will give an audience and then we must work out each detail of our character in the drama ... We have to give the audience a picture with our sound. We must inject emotion. We must ask questions. Why is this note here? What was the composer thinking? Why did the composer choose this harmonic structure or this change of rhythm at this place?
Naturally, I am especially close to the music of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and their bright opposites, Prokofiev and Stravinsky, whose spaces are a world of fantastic Russian fairy tales, demonic legends, dark and wise. Shostakovich holds a place of deep respect in my heart, because he composed in the context of his time, reflecting the history he lived through. Let’s not forget the joyfulness that music brings to people of all ages.  This is one of the reasons people attend concerts - simple joy.”