‘Helena Basilova played sensitively and with flair’ – The New York Times
The captivating work of pianist Helena Basilova spans two worlds: that of her Russian ancestry and the world of contemporary works and technology. Rooted in a deep understanding of tradition and interpretation, Helena collaborates with composers and artists all over the world and is dedicated to finding new interfaces between performer and audience.
Helena is fascinated by the sound wizards of yesteryear, making their instruments come to life with poetry, freedom and imagination. They have nurtured her never-ending curiosity about the power of expression in sound, as well as the background of the music.
Helena’s research always starts from a bigger context. It drives her to make sidesteps, connecting various aspects that in the end make up a rich, musical story. Her latest album is a tribute to fantasy, to the unknown and to everything magical in this world. The theme has made Helena collect music by Medtner, Myaskovsky, Prokofiev, Janáček, Schnittke and Bagri. Elena Fisova contributed with a new composition ‘A Fearful Fairy Tale’, thereby giving the album its name.
Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant wrote: ‘The pièce de résistance is the opening from the first Piano Sonata by Alfred Schnittke. There are exquisite resonances coming from the piano, as the mysterious shadow empire from a fearful fairy tale’.
Having music written for her from when she was seven years old, Helena feels a natural connection to contemporary music. It is something of a personal calling to lead the public to the most interesting works and enjoy exploring new territory together.
Helena performed, among others, at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall, New York City), Hyogo Performing Arts Centre (Japan), Rachmaninov Hall (Moscow), Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the NCPA in Mumbai.
Amongst Helena’s soulmates are the violinist Diamanda La Berge Dramm and cellist Maya Fridman. She forms a trio with Fridman and percussionist Konstantyn Napolov. Composers such as Aart Strootman, Meredi, Daniel Wohl and Christian Dieck have dedicated works to the trio.
‘Rendez-vous Russe’ with Eva van Grinsven, presenting transcriptions for saxophone and piano of works by Prokofiev, Scriabin and Rachmaninov, was given the prestigious Echo Klassik Award.
Helena has her own concert series in the Uilenburgsjoel Amsterdam, providing a dynamic space for introspection and experiment. Since 2016, she has been a Piano Professor at the ArtEZ Conservatory in The Netherlands. Helena plays a Steinway Grand Piano, kindly lent to her by the Dutch National Music Instrument Foundation.
Text: Greenroom Creatives
Picture by © Marco Borggreve
<Helena Basilova, pianist plays ‘Tales of an Old Grandmother’ by Sergei Prokofiev>