DI: Music was always a part of me, probably because I grew up in a musical family and there were all kinds of musical activities around me. My first contact with music happened thanks to my parents who encouraged me to try to produce some sound of my own. The only instrument in the house that attracted me was the piano and the first time I sat down to play on it, all of that seemed very interesting and natural so since then, the piano remained my tool of expression.
CP: And, somewhat more seriously, who or what inspired you to embark onto a career as a pianist?
DI: Even though music was always present in my life and I was already studying in the basic music school, I didn’t practice seriously up until when I was 14 years old. In that period I started working with the eminent Russian pedagogue Lyudmilla Romanova. A brilliant and astounding person, she played a key role in my choice to take the piano as a career, but her influence was a lot deeper than a mere choice of profession. I can say without doubts that professor Romanova entrusted me with great courage and self confidence, will, interest and knowledge of extreme value to me even to this day. When I entered the class of her husband, world-wide known pianist and pedagogue Boris Romanov, my determination was confirmed and I continued on the same road.
DI: That is a question that people tried and keep trying to answer for centuries. In a very strict sense, music is Sound in Time. However, for me music is not just a discipline. It is a mirror in the soul of the people, one of many means of expression, but perhaps the most universal and most important one.
CP: What is your working day like?
DI: I try to live a balanced life, to live it to the fullest. So, I usually wake up early in the morning, working out a bit so I can prepare the body and mind for the day. After that, practicing piano follows when the mind responds with maximum efficiency. In the afternoon hours I attend classes and lectures at the Faculty of Music Arts where I am currently a student in the second year. Practicing continues after my activities at the Faculty as well. But, in order to perform my tasks successfully with optimal results, I get a sense of balance from the people I love and whom I spend my free time with.
CP How do you choose the material? Could you describe for the readers of Cavtatportal how you prep for a concert?
DI: In order to perform a concert with high quality, One needs a long, detailed and hard preparation and disciplining of the mind, soul and body. But of course, you need a good program as well. In making a good choice, I get the help from my professor Boris Romanov – a man with astounding knowledge and experience, impeccable musical taste and excellent judge of capabilities and talent. According to the fact that he comes from a centuries long tradition of playing the piano, as well as the fact that he studied in the Moscow conservatory where he continued to teach as a head of the piano department, one of the most important issues of preparation are his selfless sharing of his work experience and knowledge. In preparation of a concert, I try to remain focused on the programme I’m about to perform, to decrease but not abolish all social activities before the concert. But since the Professor and I are working on new material daily, concert preparation is a regular activity in my life, and a normal process of working.
DI: A concert is one of the most important things in the life of the artist. The most beautiful thing about it for me lies in the very roots of the function of the event - sharing and communicating on an emotional and intellectual level with other people. Since Music knows of no boundaries, creed, race, color or faith, It can be shared with all people universally. So I’d say that the most noble thing for me is the opportunity to communicate with so many people in a language that everybody understands. Of course, amongst the many pleasures of performing I always include things such as the hypnotic charge and atmosphere, spontaneity, adrenalin rush, chance of uncertainty, expectations, the process of communication, meeting new people, new situations and countless other things.
All of these things contribute to progress in life as a person and of course, as a musician.
CP: Who is your favorite pianist, or pianists?
DI: To set apart several of piano players from the complete human history is a daunting task, since I try to extract knowledge from everybody, and there are so many phenomenal musicians. But without any consideration I would immediately say that I have learned the most from the incredible Sergey Rachmaninoff, whose approach to the music material is based on the fact that he sees things through the prism of the composer and creator. Amongst other people, I would mention greats such as Sviatoslav Richter, Ivo Pogorelich, Martha Argerich and others too many to mention.
CP: Which one is your favorite concert hall and why?
DI: My favorite concert hall is always the one I’m about to play in next, only because of the fact that it will be a new thing for me, something I have never seen, and a great learning experience. So I couldn’t name a specific concert hall or a certain type of an audience that suits my performance.
DI: Without any doubt whatsoever, storytelling. Music must be lived through, felt and experienced on all levels individually, so it can, through us, touch the hearts of others.
Of course, technical perfection is extremely important, but only in the service of the idea that we desire to communicate. Only then, I believe, can One touch the hearts and souls of others.
CP: Career wise, where do you see yourself ten years from now?
DI: I see myself as an individual whose professional choice is Music. It is a great desire of mine to share the knowledge and experience I accumulate, so an important part of my aspirations is pedagogy. I hope that concert activities will continue to rise exponentially with my development, so I would like to continue to give performances in parallel to my work in the field of music education.
Among other aspirations of mine is certainly the art of composition, which I desire to pursuit, as well as hopes that some day I might take on the conductor’s baton as well.
CP: Your advice for beginners, to piano players foremost, but also to other artists...
DI: The general rule and starting point in Life is to have a dream, and to work on achieving it, with passion, fire and selflessness. Therefore my message to younger people starting up, is to dream, to experience life and to work diligently, but not to forget that Life is to be experienced from all sides of the coin - pleasure, inconvenience, joy, love and all kinds of different emotions. Only then will they achieve the pursuit of their dream.
CP: We wish you much luck and success in your pursuit of musical excellence.