The Dance Of The Stick

11 June 2015
We always talk about Ljubka Biagioni with respect. Because she is baroness Zu Guttenberg and because she is a conductor of a high European rank with a personal mission to popularize culture and our musical talent around the world.

On 18 June she will make Bulgaria Hall to literally dance upon her stick - she will conduct a concert by dancing music only. Why she chose these compositions, how she prepare herself to stand in front of the orchestra and which is the best compliment she had ever received - we asked her in person.

You will conduct a programme of dances on 18 June. Do you like dancing?

I like dancing very much. As a child, I've played ballet for 12 years, it was my big love during that time. After that, I devoted myself to music and through music I continue to experience dance - through programmes like this one.

Which of the compositions in it is closest to your heart?
This is my last concert with Sofia Philharmonie for now and I chose these compositions because I wanted something light, pleasant and unusual for our audience. The piece by Vlado Djambazov Steps is increadibly beautiful with its multiple rhythms and melodies, there is a Bulgarian spirit in it. At the same time, it is difficult for conducting and playing. Thank God, when I have questions, I can always call the composer and to ask him what he wants to say in a particular part of the piece. Something that is impossible with Bach, Verdi or Ravel.

How do you prepare yourself for a new piece?

The most important thing for me is to serve to music as modest and noblest as it is possible. I always prepare my scores by a lot of reading about the composers, the history and art during that time. I cannot interpret their music without this process. And if I look good and elegant sideways - this is something I don't care. The most essential is my colleagues to understand what I want to tell them.

Which is the best compliment for a conductor?
The biggest compliment for me is maybe when my children understand the music that I conduct. I remember a man who had never come to a concert - he was exited and he understood Symphony №5 by Anton Bruckner - at that moment I felt that our art is meaningful.

There are two conductors at your home. Is there something in common between the people in this profession?
We, conductors, are a specific kind of people. We are very vain and not that much modest and that spoils the communication between us and the others. That is why, we must always remember that we are nothing without the orchestra. If your orchestra doesn't love you, you will never take out the music that sounds in your soul. In that case, you will just receive some played notes but that is not our mission as musicians.

And why we see women with the stick so rarely?
Actually, recently women conductors are more than ever. Personally, I still find it very hard when I have to be a conductor, housewife, mother and wife. My day starts at 5 a.m. because of the children and when it comes for studying and reading - my time is only at night.

What do you remember of your first big concert?
My first concert was 25 years ago at National Palace of Culture, I was a young student. Now I am happy that the older I am, the better I become and I can feel that I am a real musician.


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