Alexandra Listova

In the orchestra since 2022

She graduated from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory majoring in piano in 2016. She has performed with the musicAeterna orchestra since 2018.

In 2021, she interned at the Moscow Ensemble of Contemporary Music workshop with a focus on the peculiarities of performing new music (Moscow), and participated as a guest performer in the International Academy of Young Composers in the city of Tchaikovsky.

As a soloist and a member of ensembles, she participated in the festivals “From the Avant-garde to the Present Day”, “Sound Paths”, “EPICENTRUM Audio & Visual Festival”, in the Improvisational Music Festival “Improvise!”, dedicated to Oleg Karavaichuk, in the Diaghilev Festival and the special project “Diaghilev +”, performing music by contemporary composers.

Since 2021, he has been performing as part of JUST Ensemble, a young St. Petersburg ensemble of modern academic music.

Contemporary music requires time, just like any other kind of it. It takes an effort to reflect on a composition and to arrive at some kind of concept. Some composers enjoy inventing new techniques for sound production, so you get a wider array of sounds. Over the past ten years I've been able to try out different ways of manipulating the instrument. For instance, Stepan Nikolayev's work required playing a melody in Scandinavian style with flageolets. The combination was different for every grand piano, because different models and sizes have different string length and bridge placement. Or take a flat screwdriver: you can produce a peculiar kind of glissando, much like a howling siren, if you put it in between two strings of a course, raise the dampers and slowly move it along. Another example: if you move an inner tube of a bicycle tire along the strings, you get a piercing sound, which for a piano is unnatural - it sounds like a car braking abruptly. Or, if you move it very slowly and apply a lot of pressure, it sounds like a creaking door.

Janis Joplin, Sergey Kuryokhin, Nick Cave.
My first encounter with musicAeterna took place in November 2014. Me and the other conservatory students had a very fortunate opportunity to see the performance of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. The impression I received back then was strong enough to literally overturn the way I saw music. In 2020, I was invited to play Alexey Retinsky's chamber music compositions. It was hard to believe that this was really happening. I think a lot of people dream of becoming a part of a group that, in a sense, was a teacher and a source of inspiration. That performance was the first one after six months of COVID-caused isolation, and it became the starting point of my concert life. After that there were more collaborations with musicAeterna, and a year later, an audition for the orchestra.