Tanya Anisimova

MoCoShow Sponsor

Sponsored article courtesy of the Gaithersburg Arts Barn.
By Cindy Majane

(source https://mocoshow.com/2024/03/14/tanya-anisimova-brings-celebrating-bach-to-the-arts-barn-stage-sponsored/ )

tanya anisimova leaning against piano w cello

One of internationally-celebrated cellist Tanya Anisimova‘s earliest memories was “doodling-noodling” on her grandparents’ upright piano, improvising from the very beginning. When she was six years old, she had a music appreciation course in school, where the teacher taught them to strike simple, beautiful melodies on little xylophones and sing. This educator “sowed a seed of beauty into the children’s souls.” Tanya started cello at the age of 7, adding piano a year later. “I zeroed in on music. I was in school for music for 23 years; career-wise, it was nothing else but music.”

At the Moscow Central Music School, Tanya said students were considered ambassadors of socialistic ideals. In 1988, when the Soviet Union decided to be “open” in the spirit of glasnost, she came to the United States to play in an American-Soviet event “Making Music Together.” She premiered works by important Soviet composers and a beautiful piece by Georgian composer Giya Kancheli. She would also meet her future husband; after graduating with honors from the Moscow Conservatory in 1990, she returned to the United States and continued her studies.

Regarding improvisation (for which she is well-known), Tanya said that, while she had improvised since she was a child, her studies at Yale School of Music broadened her horizons, leading to her exploration of improvisation in the concert setting. “You have to learn music, then unlearn, in a way. Yale taught me to be free with my notes, to break away.”

She found her cello in 1994. “Some things in life are inexplicably beautiful and have deeper meaning in them. When I tried my cello in New York, it was love at first sight; but then, it was just an instrument. Now, it’s a person.” Thirty years of playing, tapping into its overtones and playing its pure intonation, have given it a very rich voice. “Any note you play, it’s gladly giving you back that sound. We have grown together… I love that cello a lot.”

Considered a true Renaissance woman as a cello virtuoso, an award-winning composer, a master improvisor, and a painter, Tanya is currently busy teaching, recording and composing. A popular and highly successful instructor, she says that she is not only teaching her students to play cello, she is teaching them to be true to themselves, to really develop their best qualities, and observe their shortcomings. “Also to be clear what we want to do, because sometimes people are afraid. Each one is different. What is music? It is not ‘just music’ on the page, it is actually a reflection of who we are. When we play, we learn who we are; when a composer writes music, it is his own self-portrait. You see his persona in the music.”

As Tanya’s concert schedule is limited, we are extremely fortunate to have her at the Arts Barn March 23rd for a special concert celebrating the birthday of her favorite composer. “Bach’s music keeps me sane; with wars, what is going on right now, it is a mad, mad time. How can you mentally survive, constantly bombarded by the news? Well, Bach; that’s my answer.”

Tanya explained, “To me, a concert is a festivity, a special moment. This will be a celebratory occasion.” She will discuss and play pieces by J.S. Bach, and composers which preceded and influenced him – “Any great person is still a student of someone!” – including Vivaldi, Eccles, and Marais. “This music is not just good for you, like a medicine; this music is absolutely gorgeous and accessible. Baroque is good for us. It’s easy to listen to, but it’s also philosophical, it has many layers. This concert will be really special. People will enjoy every single melody, and will want to learn more about what the baroque style is… It’s magic.”

TANYA ANISIMOVA: Celebrating Bach at the Arts Barn March 23rd, 8pm.
Tickets: https://ci.ovationtix.com/36017/performance/11363999