With the EMMA scholarship to Chile

Maxim Tzekov has studied at the mdw with Lieke Te Winkel since 2015. His path took him from the Programme for Gifted Children to the Preparatory Programme and then finally to studying violin performance. Through the Young Masters Programme of the mdw talent lab and the Johann Sebastian Bach Musikschule, which supports talented young musicians in their career development, Maxim was given the opportunity to appear as a soloist at a concert in Santiago de Chile.

The EMMA (Erasmus meets Music and Arts) scholarships make short-term mobilities abroad possible, and in this case enabled Maxim to travel to Chile for four days in May 2022 and make his debut with the Orchester Camerata of the Universidad Andrés Bello, a mdw partner university. “The EMMA scholarships are a great support for students, whether it’s for concerts, competitions, or master classes abroad. It is important in your studies to have experiences where you simply have to take the plunge. I learned, for example, how to deal with jet lag during the rehearsals and to play with an orchestra whose language I don’t speak,” says Maxim. Here are some more impressions from his stay in Chile:

After a long flight with two stop-overs, my plane landed at the airport at Santiago de Chile in the early hours of the morning. Upon arriving at my hotel, I marvelled at the elegant furnishings of the rooms and the delectable food at the in-house restaurant. I had a day off before the rehearsals with the orchestra began, which I used to practise and take a long walk around the neighbourhood.

I found the members of the Camerata Universidad Andrés Bello to be extremely committed and professional musicians who place great importance on rehearsing meticulously and on precise ensemble playing. It was great fun to join them and Maestro Santiago Meza in tackling Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major. For me, it was also the first time playing this work with an orchestra. Opportunities and experiences like these are truly priceless.

After two days of intensive rehearsal came the day of the concert, the exciting high point of my trip. After my obligatory midday nap and playing a few slow scales, I headed off to the dress rehearsal. This was held at the Campus Las Condes, a branch of the Universidad Andrés Bello, where the concert hall is located as well. I was impressed by the atmosphere of the hall and the careful planning of the event. There were photo stands, social media promotion, a live stream, and a lavishly designed programme booklet. After the very rewarding concert, I was presented with a package of delicacies and requested to come to the photo stand. I met some especially nice people there, which is why it took absolutely no effort to put on my brightest smile.

Later, at the restaurant, my only task was to enjoy: the superb seafood, the delicious wine, and the stimulating conversations with Santiago’s (I had earned the right to call him by his first name) closest circle of friends.

The next morning, I met Santiago in the hotel lobby for the sightseeing trip we had arranged. His sight of choice was the Cerro San Cristóbal, a hill with the enormous statue of the Virgin at the top. It was a splendid sight, but he had not taken into consideration the huge number of steps that we had to arduously climb after a long night. At the top, we were treated to a remarkable view of the seemingly endless cityscape of Santiago de
Chile.

Filled with gratitude, I said goodbye to the Maestro and packed my bags. Checking out of the hotel and checking in at the airport went smoothly, and on the plane, I had time to review the experiences of the past week.

Apart from the musical experiences I took with me, I also learned a few things about self-management. Taking care of all the organisational preparation for such a trip while at the same time preparing musically for a solo concert was a real challenge, but I am very glad that I took it on!

All information about EMMA scholarships

Concerts by Maxim Tzekov in Vienna:

Maxim Tzekov is a member of the Trio SMS, which will perform at the Musikverein as part of the Young Musicians cycle

Thursday, 1 December 2022, 8 p.m., Musikverein, Metallener Saal

Duo concert with Maxim Tzekov and the mdw pianist Lukas Sternath: sonatas by F. Schubert and R. Schumann

Monday, 5 December 2022, 7 p.m., Altes Rathaus Wien, Wipplingerstraße 6/8, 1010 Vienna

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