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Photo Courtesy of Svetlana Smolina

One-on-One with Pianist Svetlana Smolina

By Denny Patterson

A prestigious concert pianist who has performed with orchestras, recitals, and festivals worldwide, Svetlana Smolina is returning to the South Florida Symphony Orchestra to perform 

Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 for its virtual Masterworks VI series scheduled for April 24, 2021, at 8:00PM. OutClique had the opportunity to chat more with Smolina about this engagement, as well as how she has been managing these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can purchase your $20 Household Virtual Pass with promo code OUTCLIQUE6 (savings of $25) to watch Svetlana Smolina and the South Florida Symphony Orchestra perform Masterworks VI: Shostakovich | Tchaikovsky at www.SouthFloridaSymphony.org.

Denny Patterson: Hi, Svetlana! Thank you for taking some time to chat with me again. How does it feel to return to the South Florida Symphony Orchestra?
Svetlana Smolina: It is always special for me to come back. It is a very common trend for orchestras to have a fabulous artist for one year, but try another for the next season. When you get invited so many times, it means a lot. I love the South Florida Symphony Orchestra so much, and they are such a special organization. I have had so many cancellations within the past year because of COVID-19, so the fact they were able to keep this concert even without an audience and stayed true to the music, I am very grateful. I saw my friends and we have some plans to do some concerts in the summer and the following February. So, I already have at least two invitations to come back after this.

SFSO_Svetlana Smolina
Photo Courtesy of Svetlana Smolina

DP: Masterworks VI is pre-recorded and will stream virtually. What can audiences expect?
SS: This was a very innovative idea from Sebrina [Maestra Sebrina Alfonso, SFSO Music Director]. Audiences will see that this concerto is kind of a double concerto. It is not just piano, but there is a wonderful trumpet soloist from Florida, Kevin Karabell. The [Shostakovich Piano] concerto was originally intended as a trumpet concerto, but the piano came in later. We also have two soloists on stage. This is a very exciting orchestration.

DP: How have you been managing the days of the pandemic?

SS: It has been hard because most of my scheduled performances have vanished. Nothing is really going on right now, and most of my bookings have been moved to 2022. They were first postponed until fall, maybe summer, but they were eventually canceled because of quarantines and lockdowns. So, it has been very hard psychologically, but I tried to stay afloat and take on as many virtual performances as I could and take the time to learn new programs and pieces. I learned a lot of new music, as well as a couple new concertos. I also expanded my solo repertoire and have been doing pre-recorded performances.

DP: Are there any upcoming projects we should keep an eye out for?
SS: I do have plans to perform in the summer, but I do not want to say too much at this time. I also have concerts in China and Asia that I hope will happen by the end of April [2021].

You can purchase your $20 Household Virtual Pass with promo code OUTCLIQUE6 (savings of $25) to watch Svetlana Smolina and the South Florida Symphony Orchestra perform Masterworks VI: Shostakovich | Tchaikovsky at www.SouthFloridaSymphony.org.