A Day with Kristina Chtchyan
Unveiling the behind-the-scenes of the violinist and her companion
November 28, 2019 | by Stefano Corazzin, Anush Ter-Khachatryan
Whether in theater, opera or ballet, the performance we enjoy from the stage is often shading the undisclosed secrets — the painstaking rehearsals of that one note, one emotion, one jot of imperfection — with a profound performance. Here we open the backdoor to the secret life of the performance artist, violinist, and Creative Armenia Network member Kristina Chtchyan.
The solitary rehearsel
Standing in the middle of the cold hall of the National Center of Chamber Music, Kristina began playing the serene melodies of Ciprian Porumbescu's Baladă pentru vioară si orchestră, the signature work of the prison-pent Romanian composer. The empty, half-lit chamber hall revolving around the music only reinforced the melancholy of the piece. Only the cleaning ladies, who knew the row of performances and the melancholies of life quite well, were languidly and inattentively preparing the hall for the concert of the evening.
The calm preparation
Kristina tuned the violin for the last time with assured calmness of a musician who has lived along with her instrument, her partner-in-crime for decades. She slid the rosin over the bow to make it sticky and it eased gently on the string. One last check and they both were ready to go.
Waiting for the stage
Yet Kristina had to wait. Sat in the corridor, keeping a tight hold of the violin, she glanced at the clock stubbornly hanging over her head and waited for her turn. The stage was several feet away, yet the sound was unreachable. Kristina's fingers would play with the stings to break the total silence. Then it was time to go.
She ascended the stairs to the stage and stood at her spot of the earlier rehearsal. When she began playing, nothing was the same — the hall was full of people, richly-lit and warm — yet she performed with the same proficiency, exactness, and empathy as before.
Stefano Corazzin is an Italian photographer currently living in Yerevan.
Anush Ter-Khachatryan is a writer based in Yerevan.