Ionella received a grant to purchase a harp. 


What is your artistic background? 

I was born in Saint Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia. Coming from a family of painters, I started playing the piano at the age of four and the harp at the age of five. I have never been parted from the harp since. From a very young age, I travelled a lot to play recitals or as a soloist with an orchestra, to take part in competitions and festivals. After graduating from a specialized high school for musicians and my college in St Petersburg, I arrived in Paris at the age of 19 to perfect my skills. Today, I have just finished my master’s degree at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, in Isabelle Moretti's class. Since my arrival in Paris, I have had the chance to take part in many very interesting projects. Among the most important, I have been able to perform as a soloist with the Sorbonne Orchestra, to perform the world premiere of the Concerto for Harp and Violinby composer A.Girard, to play recitals at the Salle Cortot, to play in orchestras such as the Paris Opera and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. The result of a long work, my first CD, devoted to the harp works of the Russian composer Boris Tishchenko (1939-2010), was released by Naxos in January 2020. 


How do you see your profession today? 

I believe that a musician's mission is to bring light, joy and inspiration to the public. For me, the concert is a moment of sharing, discovery and contemplation. Being a musician is a privilege but also a responsibility, I must always, through music, be very sincere with the audience.


How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years? 

At the moment I am learning a lot of new pieces, I am making many arrangements to create new concert programs. I also dream of performing a Parisian rendition of the harp concerto by B. Tishchenko with an orchestra, to be recorded. I have different ideas and concepts of concerts with fusions of arts, contemporary forms. I hope, in five years’ time, to realize my projects and do many concerts, all over the world, with my harp. 


This interview was conducted in 2020

Photo credit: Kamila K. Stanley