I met an excellent young clarinetist (and pianist!) Sofija Molchanova long ago in 1998 at the Republic Competition of Young Clarinetists of Serbia, when, so young, she fascinated the jury and the audience in the auditory with her extraordinary music and thus overshadowed all the other competitors and won the absolute first award, gaining 100 points from all the members of the jury.
Let’s find out where the 26 year-old Sofija lives today, where she works, how her life has been until now and what she occupies herself with today
RL: Hello, Sofija! Can you tell us where do you live now and what do you do?
– Hello to all the visitors of this extraordinary and valuable clarinet site. I live in Augsburg (Germany). I work as a docent in High music school (Berufsfachschule) in Dinkelsbuehl. I am also employed in two primary music schools at the same time.
Besides all mentioned, I play a lot and perform in chamber music concerts, and I also work as aid in several orchestras such as: Georgian chamber orchestra, Junge Philharmonie Köln and Orchester Jakobsplatz München.
RL: Where were you born and where did you finish your primary and secondary music education?
– I was born in the town Cherkassy in Ukraine. I first gained primary and secondary music education in primary music schools in Negotin and Zaječar, and after this I finished school for primary and secondary music education in Kotor (finished in 2003).
RL: How was your further music education going?
– After I finished secondary music school, I moved to Germany in 2003. I first studied in München in professor’s Ulf Rodenhauser class at Hochschule für musik und theater. I graduated here. From 2008 to 2011 I studied at the Music academy in Freiburg, in professor’s Jörg Widmann‘s class – post graduate studies.
RL: What is your title at the moment?
– Docent for clarinet and chamber music / free artist.
RL: What awards and recognitions have you won and where?
Melis Peykoğlu: Two Folk Dances. Sofija Molchanova (clarinet), Melis Peykoglu (piano), Christian Bernt (bongo&conga drums) and Christoph Hobmair (finger cymbals&woodspoons)
– Until now, I have won these awards:
Before going to Germany
- 1997 Special Award at the Republic Competition in Belgrade and Special Award at the Federal Competition in Kotor. I have won these Special Awards in both piano and clarinet disciplines.
- 1998 Award for the Best Woodwind Performers at the Competition in Sremski Karlovci.
- 1999 Special Awards at the Republic and Federal Competitions in Belgrade.
- 2001 Special Awards in categories piano, clarinet and chamber music, in Montenegro.
- 2002 Third Award at the International Competition Jeunesses Musicales Bucarest in discipline clarinet, as well as participating in finale, in discipline piano.
After going to Germany
- 2004 First Award at Chamber Music Competition Premio Seiler in Palermo.
- 2005 First Award at Chamber Music Competition Individualis in Kiev.
- 2008 Third Award at Chamber Music Competition Miranent in Barcelona.
- In the same year, 2008, I was the finalist in the Second International Competition in Freiburg.
- 2012 I won the Award of Oscar und Vera Ritter-Stiftung, for the achieved results in the field of chamber music.
RL: Have you recorded any CDs and for what publishing house?
– Yes, I have. I have recorded French sonatas for Clarinet and Piano / HandM Records.
RL: What is the brand of your clarinet, mouth piece and reed?
– Yes, I am very familiar with the literature, because I use it very much in my work with the students in music schools where I work.
RL: Do you intend to put in your repertoire any of my works and which one?
– Of course I do. I intend to record a CD with the works of the composers Radivoj Lazić and Vlastimir Peričić, and I have already recorded 3 Capriccios for Clarinet Solo in a studio, I shall soon record Romantic Concert in A Minor and other works.
RL: Can you describe your working day for the visitors of the site
– I usually get up at 6.30 a.m. and have breakfast.
Then I go to the orchestra rehearsal (half an hour warming up orchestra, and then three hours of rehearsal).
Then I have lunch. After that, I usually have four hours of classes with my students. If I have any significant concerts soon, I gladly stay for a couple of hours to practice.
RL: What would you say about yourself that I did not ask?
– I like to travel, I like to spend my holidays on the sea, to read books, to listen to jazz and spend a lot of time with my friends!
RL: What would you like to say to young clarinetists and the visitors of this clarinet website?
– Persistence, work and will are the best conditions to achieve the wanted result.
RL: Do you intend to visit Belgrade in the future?
– Yes, of course! I shall probably perform some concert there.
RL: Thank you for your kindness and a nice interview, we shall meet in Belgrade. Until then, I wish you luck and success in everything! Cheers!
– Thank you. I wish all the visitors of the site good health, successful career and happy forthcoming holidays!