“If there is no music, then there is no nation”, by conductor Dmitry Russu

Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra
Dmitry Russu, conductor

Dmitry Russu is the first Moldovan conductor who joined a worldwide known Orchestra Shen Yun Symphony from New York. He performs all over the world and found a perfect fit to promote peace and conduct the music waves to the audience. He was born in Moldova, Chisinau in 1981 but left the country at a very young age. He was only 6 years old when they moved to Saint-Petersburg (former Leningrad), where he became the winner of the 1st prize of the III All-Russian Open Competition of Conductors of Symphony Orchestras named after Ilya Musin (2013).

He was lucky to have his mother the first musical teacher who helped him make the right connection to the musical world. At only 5, he started to study piano and he remembers singing together! The conductor Russu inherited his talents from both parents who were composers at that time in the Soviet Republic of Moldova — Pavel Rusu and Natalia Rusu-Kozulina. “When my musical abilities were well emphasized, my parents just decided that the best way for me was to study in Saint-Petersburg. So I went to school already in Russia. My memories from my childhood about Chisinau — people who often came to visit, friends and colleagues of my parents. There was a lot of music around me”.

Dmitry studied at Glinka Choral College in St. Petersburg, which is a special musical college for boys only, which is well known for Boy’s Choir. Dmitry enjoyed touring abroad. “I remember my first impressions about Europe — we were in Switzerland, Germany, France and other countries”. He got to understand cultural differences while staying over families’ houses during the tours. “I still keep in touch with a family in Switzerland, where we were in 1992! I think this is just amazing and I cherish this very much”.

During his student years he took part in several international projects, including the Festival of the Baltic Sea Countries (Stockholm, Sweden, 2008). In 2006/2007 he was the conductor of the Russian Horn Capella, a unique orchestra that revives the tradition of performing on natural brass instruments. In 2007 he made his debut with this group on the stage of the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic named after D. D. Shostakovich.

After the College, Dmitry attend the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he finished his education in conducting both choral and symphony orchestra.He graduated with honors in majors in choral conducting (class of associate professor N. B. Efimov and professor V.I. Nesterov) and opera and symphonic conducting (class of People’s Artist of the USSR, professor A. S. Dmitriev) . Later, he conducted master classes by professors D. Goia (Romania), Yu. Simonov (Russia), V. Yampolsky (USA).

He conducted opera and ballet performances at the Opera and Ballet Theater of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. For five years, Dmitry Russu worked as a conductor of the Governor’s Ulyanovsk State Academic Symphony Orchestra. During this time, along with the classical repertoire, he carried out a number of concert programs, which included works rarely played or first performed in Ulyanovsk for a symphony orchestra.

Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra

There are a lot of people who have had a certain influence on him, he says. “First of all, I have to name my teacher, this is my Conducting professor, Alexander Dmitriev, who worked over 40 years as the principal conductor of the St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonic Orchestra. When I was young, I was deeply impressed by the great pianist of 20th century, Svyatoslav Richter”.

Nowadays, music represents him as a personality and has a lot of emotions on the stage. He says this is a very special feeling where he feels happy and special, building a team of musicians. Once, he was watching a fragment of Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra and was very impressed by their performance. Later, when he found out that there is a vacancy, he didn’t hesitate to immediately apply for the conductor role.

Dmitry Russu, conductor Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra

Dmitry Russu recently came back from Taiwan where the Orchestra performed 11 shows, of which, one show in Toronto and now he is getting ready for the concerts in the US, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, etc. He admits it is a big responsibility to perform in Carnegie Hall. He is fulfilled with the same emotions since he was conducting in St. Petersburg Philharmonic for the first time. “My feelings were almost the same and I was very proud because Tchaikovsky was conducting his own music at both halls”, added Dmitry.

After joining Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra his goal is to pass on his talents to the younger generation. “If the audience is able to share the feelings of the conductor and musicians — we have achieved this goal”. He thinks Eastern Europeans shall join Shen Yun Symphony concert in the USA and other parts of the world. “Shen Yun is unique in many ways, including the fact that it is able to unite different people. I think this is the most profound understanding of classical music. We all are doing a very important deed — we try to guide people to peace around the world”.

He believes that one man has to continue serving a higher purpose, to surrender to it completely. “You can wait all your life for some „special” conditions, and never reach them. If there is no music, then there is no nation. For any person, citizen, it is important to feel like part of the culture and of their country,” concluded Dmitry Russu.

Natalia Ghilascu