Nataliia Strus

Composer and Pianist

Deutschland

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About

Nataliia Strus is a composer and a pianist. She’s originally from Ukraine, where she spent most of her life, since 2011 she lives in Ahrensburg, Germany and gives private piano lessons. The musical education Nataliia got in Ukraine in Kryvyj Rih, first she studied playing piano in Musical College, and then in State Pedagogical University. After the graduation in 1997, she worked as a music teacher and later as an assistant professor at the Department of Pedagogy at University in Kryvyj Rih. In 2006 she got her PhD in Pedagogy writing thesis on “Musical Education”.

After many years of work as a piano teacher and tutoring, in 2019 Nataliia began to write her own music for piano and solo for instruments accompanied by piano. Her works are presented in different genres – from dance music to relaxing, peaceful and comforting one. Her most favourite compositions are musical pictures of nature and musical portraits.

Currently Nataliia is preparing three musical compilations of her works of solo, duets and trio for piano, which are expected to be published soon.

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Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music for me represents the inner world of a musician. It's like a mirror which reflects how a composer, or a performer, feels the world around and transmits this vision to the listener. When we get to know works of a musician, we get to know a musician himself as well, his or her views on the surrounding world, his or her emotional experience of various manifestations of this world.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I would say it all depends on the musician. Music for me is a language which helps a musician to “tell” musical stories coloured with various feelings and emotions.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I would have been a Maths teacher.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

The listener finds his or her own favourite genre according to the inner response which we can't predict or analyse. That's why, in my opinion, any music style will always have its own grateful and enthusiastic admirers.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

The role of music as a kind of art, as a way of emotional reflection of surrounding world can't change. However, the world itself and the ways of reproducing it change with every generation and with the development of civilization. We can see that new styles, and genres, and even new musical instruments have appeared recently, and to my mind in this way musical art acquires even more diversity and involves wider range of listeners.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

When a musician or a composer creates a musical image, it is a pure creativity. To my mind it can't be measured by categories “more – less”. My work is a Game. I open, in some way “gather”, my unique musical compositions from habitual, long time known sounds, musical instruments, and ways of expressing music. And right in this process I find my pleasure.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

The evolution of taste, including that in music, begins even before our birth, in mother's womb. Parents have an important role in forming it. If at home there are sounds of beautiful music, a baby can get to know it at a very young age, and in the future this child will be able to opt for a particular music style, and there won't be need to attract him or her in any particular way to “meet” music. This will become a conscious choice in certain age, or even a necessity. I don’t exclude that it’s possible to get to know music in adulthood, but I see more natural getting acquainted to music in early childhood, and this may compliment to the all-round development of a child.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

As a rule, my creative process is very spontaneous. Ideas, images, and melodies, come to me in the most unpredictable places and situations, for example, while sleeping or taking a shower. And then I take on a new journey, so to say on a discovery, and begin to create a new product. It’s a very interesting and sometimes even amusing process, like playing LEGO or making puzzles, where a new musical story is being created from various, originally “unripe”, musical ideas. Today my favourite works are the musical portraits of people who I know and who inspired me to write them – “Ani-dreamer” and “Waltz for Julia”.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Music is a person’s guide to the world of emotions and feelings. The first step to discover music is getting to know it. This process can be compared to getting acquainted with a new person: every time we meet, we may discover such traits of character of our new friend which we couldn’t even imagine at our first encounter; or when even apparently unbearable human being becomes the dearest friend after some time. So, I see that the same happens when we begin to listen to the classical music – you should get to know it closer and give a chance to open up all the pallet of emotional experience which we all have inside.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

No, I don't think about the audience. When I work, I DO NOT THINK, I just create, feel, and listen to melody inside me, and try to capture it and translate into the language of music.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

Today the main project for me is working on new musical images, pictures, stories in my compositions. I remain open to any creative projects, and I don't make plans for the future. And my work is my experiment for now. I’m at the beginning of my way and I wonder where it will bring me.