ARTS Friday, 17 June 2005 


Bulgarian Edition
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Emil Kamilarov and Dina Schneiderman - Together for 55 Years

We felt sad when we left Bulgaria; the virtuoso musicians have played together for 55 years

Picture Violin players Emil Kamilarov and Dina Schneiderman are two of the most popular performers of classical music in Europe. The virtuosi could apply for the Guinness Book of Records - for 55 years they have been together on stage. At the beginning of the 80s all of a sudden the family duet left Bulgaria.
At present the couple lives in the Swedish town of Uppsala where they teach in the Musical Academy. The world-famous musicians were on a short visit to Bulgaria and took part in a concert dedicated to Austrian composer Horst Ebenhoeh in the National Palace of Culture (NPC).

- Prof. Kamilarov, you have been frequenting Bulgaria lately. What do you feel when you are here?

- It's natural that we are deeply excited when we meet the Sofia audience. Dina and I continue to take part in different interesting concerts.

- And where did you meet Dina?

- She is of Russian-Jewish origin, but she turned to be more Bulgarian than I myself am. We met in Leningrad where I was a student after I had graduated from the Sofia Conservatory. She was an extremely beautiful girl and an excellent violin player, too. It was inevitable that I fell in love with her. I brought her to Bulgaria and she was appointed as a state musician. I myself was a teacher in the Conservatory. Later on, things turned a little bit strange. I was ousted from my pedagogical job. An order was issued and we were deprived of our right to play in Bulgaria. We were given high payments on the condition that we didn't take part in the country's concert life. For us this was an impossible condition. In 1982 we organized a farewell concert in Bulgaria Hall and seizing the first opportunity we left the country forever. We left everything we had achieved here and started from scratch. One of the main reasons that we settled in Sweden was that at that time it was a real democratic and free country. At the beginning we knew nobody there. Later we enjoyed great success - we received prestigious awards and were proclaimed honorary citizens, too. The one thing that never passed was our sadness.

- And what happened to your native house in Rousse?

- Well, the house was situated in downtown Rousse; an extremely stylish and beautiful building it was. Now there's no trace of it. After September 9, 1944, (the date when Bulgaria became a satellite of the USSR) it was expropriated and a Communist Party Home was built in its place. When I came back for the March Musical Days, I passed along the old paths near the former Party Home.

- Would you describe the town of Uppsala? Do people there know anything about Bulgaria?

- They know that there is a country named Bulgaria but that's all.

- You prefer Paganini's music and Mozart is Mrs. Schneiderman's favourite. How do you reach agreement on this point?

- It's never easy when two people of art try to live together. But when it comes to music we have no problems reaching an agreement. Our marriage survived because we are always playing two violins - neither one of us plays first or second fiddle.

Lyudmila Parvanova

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