Music and Politics
On 17th June in the Professors Hall at HSE Ilya Mochalov, second year Politics student at HSE and fourth year music student at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, gave a solo piano concert. Ilya has won a number of Russian and international prizes at music festivals and competitions. At the concert he played works by his favourite composer, Sergei Rakhmaninov.
Born into a fifth-generation musical family where everyone was somehow involved in music, Ilya Mochalov entered the Academic Music College of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory after 9th grade. At the same time he carried on with his general education at school.
When it came to it and Ilya had to decide what his future would be, he chose to study at the Social Sciences Faculty at HSE, but he hasn’t given up playing music professionally.
‘HSE is good in that you know from the start what the rules are. There are some courses where the exams are more important, and others where coursework and seminars count most. Everything is carefully planned and there are hardly any issues. To get everything done you just have to follow the regulations and try to stick to them.
In terms of my career, I think I’ll go into politics or public service. I want to play music for my own pleasure,’ says Ilya. ‘I enjoy playing and going on stage. I get a lot of pleasure out of performing for other people, out of conveying my thoughts and feelings to them through music. As well as the piano, I’ve started playing the drums recently, not professionally yet, of course.’
An online event dedicated to the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven was held as part of HSE University’s A University Open to the City project. The event’s online format made it possible to include not only musical fragments, but also detailed comments from experts. In particular, they discussed whether our current times under the conditions of the pandemic have anything in common with the time in which the great composer lived.
In December 2016, an orchestra was formed at HSE whose musicians include both lecturers and students – and not only from HSE. The artists, who are mastering a broad repertoire from classical operas to film soundtracks, are preparing to play at non-university venues and are inviting new participants to join them.
Evgenia Kondrashina graduated with honours from the International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) bachelor’s programme in 2005 before going on to receive her master’s from the London School of Economics. An excellent student, Evgenia for a long time thought that the next logical step would be a prestigious career at a top English consulting firm, but the idea of following in others’ footsteps doesn’t make everyone happy. Evgenia deviated from this trajectory and found herself in one of the world’s leading orchestras – the London Symphony Orchestra – where she continues to work today.
On December 5, the Higher School of Economics hosted the Piano Evening for Two. The event lasted two hours, during which time Michel Grabisch, Professor of Computer Sciences at University Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne, and Sergei Erofeev, Vice Rector of HSE, performed compositions by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel and Bach.