Featured Artist: Nina Siniakova
Excerpt from her bio:
“Nina Siniakova is active as a composer, pianist, and educator. A Doctor of Musical Arts, she received her education at Minsk Glinka Music College, St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and Musikhochschule Cologne. Beside music, she also studied acting professionally.
Siniakova is a winner of the Petrov Symphony Music Composers’ Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia, where her Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra received First prize and People’s Choice Award.
Nina Siniakova’s music has been regularly performed in East and West Europe, Japan, and the United States.”
Featured Work: “Athena” for unaccompanied cello
Siniakova tells us:
“Athena” was written for an exceptional Philadelphian cellist: Tom Kraines. It was chosen from his call-for-scores organized by the American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter. I deliberately challenged myself, creating tasks that were not easy to achieve. I didn’t want to write “the same old [thing],” so the process of creating this piece was truly difficult. In a way, writing for a solo instrument requires more skills than writing for an orchestra. Tom Kraines has shown an astonishing level of musicianship and virtuosity. He is a phenomenal collaborator, the one a composer could only wish for.
- Title: Athena
- Composer: Nina Siniakova
- Year of Composition: 2021
- Instrumentation: unaccompanied cello
- Movements: 1
- Duration of Work: 10 minutes
- Number of Measures: 135
- Number of Pages: 5
- Tempo: various
- Difficulty Level: professional
- Highest Position Reached: thumb position
- Techniques Employed: ricochet; harmonics; sul ponticello; left-hand pizzicato; col legno; glissandos; wide chords; very high notes
- Publisher: self-published
- Where to Purchase Parts and Score: contact the composer directly or purchase from her website
- Cost of Score*: $15
Here is a recording of “Athena,” complete with comments from Siniakova and cellist Tom Kraines. The performance itself begins at 3:19.
“Athena is a Greek goddess of wisdom, war, and art. She is an extremely passionate personality, whether she is dealing with war or love. Out of jealousy, she turned weaver Arachne into a spider. This image gave me an idea for the beginning of the piece, where I used some spider-like sounds. Athena’s warrior spirit is easy to hear in the middle part.
Athena is one of the goddesses that did not receive her constellation from Zeus. With the end of my piece I wanted to create my own constellation and send her to eternity.” – Nina Siniakova
Nina Siniakova’s Other Works with a Prominent Cello Part
- “Arrows” for three cellos and double bass (2017)
- “Wordless Games” for flute, accordion, harp, and cello (2012)
- “Adagio” for voice and cello (2004)
- “Far From the Earth My Window Lies” for voice and cello (1996, first movement of the vocal cycle The Memory of the Sun)
How to Contact Nina Siniakova
A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)
The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites, too. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.
Read other installments in the series here.
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*Prices are accurate at the time of article publication, but the Cello Museum cannot take responsibility for subsequent price changes.