The director of the company, virtuoso violinist Ara Malikian, is not only confident about the show's musical quality, but he also claims that it's pretty entertaining to combine classical music with popular tunes. Additionally, the show presents some pinnacle moments of classical music history.Founded in 1991, Pagagnini, as a show, offers great classical music delight, using subtle humor to surprise the audience throughout their performance. Their talent impresses classical music devotees around the world. Company director Ara Malikian describes the show in detail for us.
Daily Sabah: Pagagnini presents a great selection from classical music composers with some slapstick humor, isn't that much more interesting for the younger audience?
Ara Malikian: I think young people are afraid of listening to classical music because they fear they would fail to understand it, and hence wouldn't enjoy it. Combining humor with classical music is one of the many ways of making them realize that this music isn't that difficult to enjoy. One doesn't have to be an expert to be able to enjoy something. The classical world is too serious and too rigid and young people don't identify themselves with it. It's time to change it in order to make them to realize the wonders of this music genre.
DS: Your show reviews some history of classical music too, so what was your real motivation to come up with such a musical?
AM: Pagagnini is neither a documentary nor a pedagogical show. Pagagnini is a musical show where we have fun with music and try to share the fun with the public. So we just wanted people to enjoy music with good humor.
DS: Your show title refers to legendary Italian violinist Paganini, so how would you describe his inspiration on you?
AM: Our show is definitely a tribute to the great violinist of all times. I think Paganini was the first rock star of music history. He made classical music popular and played concerts for massive audiences, he's a real inspiration.
DS: Since you are the director of music, how would you describe the music on the show?
AM: Taking care of the musical level of the show was so important for me from the very start. We had to find a way to have fun with the music of Paganini, Mozart and Vivaldi with the biggest respect and perfection. If not, it would have been a ridiculous and a very poor show.
DS: As a genius violinist you gave your first official concert at the age of 14 and obtained a scholarship from the German Ministry of Culture, so do you remember how you first fell in love with the violin?
AM: My father was a violinist himself so he made me fall in love with music and the violin from a very early age. I don't remember myself ever without a violin in my hands.
DS: You worked with many talented dancers like Joaquin Cortes besides composers and your show comes up with distinctive choreographies too, so are you also into dance?
AM: Of course. I don't consider myself a dancer but I always loved all sorts of dancing. I consider music has such a big influence on us that I can't stop my body from moving to the beat when I play or hear music. Music has the power to penetrate our body and soul and music and dance complete each other.
DS: You are going to perform in Istanbul on Nov. 26 at Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, so what do you offer the audience on an emotional level?
AM: After touring the world with Pagagnini we can be sure that music and humor are two emotions that nobody on earth can live without. And when we combine them both, there can be an explosion of emotions which can make anybody very happy.