Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Russian duo to play Celebrity Series


Two of the Russian National Orchestra’s principal players, Vladislav Lavrik and Maxim Rubtsov, will bring jazz and contemporary sounds to the Moody Music Building Concert Hall tonight at 7:30. The concert is the kick-off for the School of Music’s annual Celebrity Series concerts.

Lavrik became the principal trumpet of the RNO in 2000 at the unprecedented age of 20. This year, “Russian Life” magazine called him “Russia’s finest trumpeter,” and he has performed with several major ensembles, including the U.S. Marine Band.

Rubtsov became the principal flute of the RNO just a few years later in 2003. He is considered “one of the best flutists of the Modern Age” as well as an outstanding soloist with several major solo opportunities under his belt, according to a UA News release.

Both musicians have performed at the University before, albeit separately, as featured artists of past Celebrity Series concerts, and both are excited to be back and performing together.

“People want us to be here, and we receive such great hospitality when we are here. We are very happy to be back and receive that hospitality once more,” Lavrik said.

Rubstov said he is glad to be back among “friendly people who give warm hugs” with whom he can share his music.

Although the trumpeter and flutist have been playing together as members of the RNO for more than 10 years, playing as a duet is a recent development.

The duo was initially inspired by the Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov and his avowal that a flute sounds like an echo of a trumpet, Rubtsov said.

After realizing that each of them had already been performing sections of Claude Bolling’s “La Force de la Musique” by themselves, it seemed natural to begin playing the suite together. Thus, Lavrik and Rubtsov first performed the jazzy French piece in Moscow and will now perform it here. The two said they see a deeper meaning behind the piece.

“La Force de la Musique — it’s what connects our two cultures,” Rubtsov said. “This concert is evidence that two very interesting and powerful nations can come together with music.”

This great passion felt by both musicians for their trades is perhaps best evidenced by their Wednesday-morning trip to the RISE Center, founded in 1974 to help children living with disabilities in the West Alabama area. Despite considerable jet lag, a busy schedule and limited time, the two musicians wanted to speak to those working at the Center about the importance of music therapy.

“We want all audiences to know about music and its importance,” Rubtsov said.

In addition to performing “La Force de la Musique” together, the musicians will also perform works separately and with members of the UA School of Music faculty. Among the faculty members featured will be pianist Pamela Penick, bassist Christoper Kozak, drummer Mark Lanter, organist Faythe Freese, flutist Diane Boyd Schultz and trumpeter Eric Yates.

“It’s going to be a fresh mix of different styles,” Lavrik said. “Playing as soloists rather than orchestra members, we can express ourselves more and show audiences our talent and music ability.”

He invites anyone looking for musical entertainment and interested in seeing what kinds of musicians are emerging from Russia to come to the concert.

Tickets are $7 for students and can be purchased by calling the School of Music Box Office at (205) 348-7111. For more information about the master classes being held by both musicians on Friday afternoon, visit the School of Music website at

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