Interview with Victor Aviat

Why did you decide to become a conductor?
Nothing else really interested me. Art in general was my path. I was good at painting and writing but since my parents were musicians themselves it was easy to develop my talents in music at an early age. So I played violin, oboe, piano and organ. I knew as a child that this would be my life.

What’s the best thing about being a conductor?
You don’t have to talk to make yourself understandable. And because you love your profession, you don’t actually work a single day of your life!

BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association Victor Aviat (Photo Credit: Harald Hoffman)

What’s the one performance from your career that sticks in your mind?
I like to remember my years playing with Claudio Abbado as an oboist. He was a great musician, a very mysterious man. He had the effect of a divinity on people.

If you could work with one musician, who would it be and why?
If I could perform together with Sting, that would be pretty cool!

What work do you enjoy performing above all else and why?
Every time I conduct a work by Mozart, I am in a quite indescribable mood and I am full of good intensions!

Tell us about the history of conducting?
The history of conducting goes back to the baroque time. Usually the ensembles were led by the harpsichord player or one of the leading musicians. But when Monteverdi composed his first operas at begin of 17th century, someone was needed to bring singers and orchestra together, someone whose task was to “conduct” the performance. When the orchestras started to become bigger during the 18th and 19th century, conducting started to be seen as a proper profession.

What are your interests outside of music?
I don’t do so many things like sport or going out, I do read or sometimes. I like to do nothing, I think it’s very important for an artist to have moments where you let your mind be at peace. I also like to try to understand people, how they think, how they work etc. it’s interesting also for me as a conductor because a big part of it has to do with dealing many kinds of psychologies and trying to create one same way of thinking out of a hundred ways.

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