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Introducing Victor Aviat, the Third Finalist of the Young Conductors Award

13 FEB 2014

published in: Concert

Victor Aviat (Photo: Antonin Aviat)
1) What does it mean for you to be a finalist of the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award?
The Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award is one of the greatest opportunities for a young conductor to present himself in a professional context: as a finalist, you have the chance to lead an entire project with an orchestra of very high quality; you have time to create a bond of real musicianship between the orchestra and yourself, you can work with great soloists and finally perform in the Felsenreitschule, which is an amazing concert hall. Actually, there is no other competition like it. To be a finalist in Salzburg is a wonderful present!

2) What do you associate with the words “Salzburg“ and “Salzburg Festival“?
I definitely feel something of a "fresh wind". Salzburg is directly connected to my first professional experience as a young oboe player. That was more than 10 years ago. I played the Haffner Serenade and the 5th Violin Concerto by Mozart. Both pieces were actually written in Salzburg; Mozart was about 20 years old at the time. I remember feeling very close to him, precisely because of the city. I imagined Salzburg in 1776: Mozart would appear in the street somewhere and I'd come across him. I think the Salzburg Festival is one of the most prestigious artistic platforms. It not only excels in programming operas, theatrical works and classical concerts with the best interpreters of our times, but also puts a great focus on contemporary music and supports the next generations of artists such as directors, singers or, in my case, conductors.

3) What is your professional motivation? Do you have role models?
I try to always evaluate things precisely and give processes time to develop. I have the same approach to musical works in general. I am a bit like a wine cellar, where compositions are stored like bottles; they need a certain amount of time to mature. Role models? I have many. Some are dead, some are alive; some are even members of my family!

4) What does music in general mean to you? What do you want to achieve in your life?
Music means everything. I would follow Nietzsche in that. Since I was practically born in it – my mother played violin in the opera – I can't imagine a life without it. As a musician I live by and for music. My principal leisure activities are also related to music - which is a lot if you think of fields like literature, history, philosophy, religion, etc…  All this is part of my self-conception as an artist. I would love to work on a long-term basis with an orchestra and contribute to its development.

5) What was your most inspiring professional experience?
Conducting my first opera, Mozart's Magic Flute, has certainly been one of my most inspiring experiences. But inspiration can be felt everywhere, in nature, in books, in museums! Right now I could tell you about the Rouen Cathedral series by Monet that I saw in Washington or about the Poems to the Night by Rilke – I keep them on my night-table. I would definitely count all that as part of my life and my profession.

Victor Aviat was born in Montpellier in 1982. He studied oboe, organ, piano and orchestral conducting in Paris, Geneva and Zurich and has won numerous oboe competitions. Victor Aviat was a member of the Berlin Philharmonic’s Karajan Academy and has performed as a principal oboist with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Orchestra Mozart, the Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, the CBSO, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Zurich Opera. In 2010 he founded ORCHESTRA zurich together with musicians of the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich Opera Orchestra and Zurich Chamber Orchestra. In 2011 he made his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and in 2012 with the Orchestre National de Montpellier. Since 2011 he has assisted Iván Fischer regularly at the Budapest Festival Orchestra, including a production of Le Nozze di Figaro in 2013. Victor Aviat has participated in master classes with Bernard Haitink and David Zinman.

Please klick here for the detailed concert programme and concert tickets for March 2, 2014 at 3:00 pm.