Anton Sorokov, a young Russian violinist, is a highly accomplished musician in the world of classical music. Born and raised in a family of musicians, he received his first lessons in playing the violin from his mother when he was only four. His father, Leonid Sorokov, an internationally famous violinist, currently plays with the Vienna Mozart Trio. In 1991, at the age of 12, he left Russia to live in Austria. In 2000, Sorokov gave a concert in Moscow's Gostiny Dvor hall, where he performed together with the great Spanish soprano, Montserat Caballe. Recently, he performed in concerts sponsored by British American Tobacco Company at the Conservatory.
Which of the two countries do you feel is your motherland Russia or Austria? Where do you feel more at home?
Both of them. Even though I only have Austrian citizenship, I feel at home in both Russia and Austria. I left Russia for Austria for education reasons my teacher worked there. Of course, it wasn't easy for me to get used to Austria, but I must say it's a very beautiful country and it offers unmatched opportunities for a classical musician. It's the country of Mozart and the classical music school of Vienna, so it has influenced me very much. But in Russia I feel at home. A lot of my relatives live here.
What did you think of performing together with Montserat Caballe? What do you think is the secret of your success?
Being together on the stage with such a magnificent performer as Montserat Caballe, even for a few short moments, was an absolutely grandiose event in my life.
What's the secret of my success? Well, I'm not afraid of competition. I believe that what I say can be said only by me and it won't be said by anyone else. It's not a question of whether I'm better or worse than others in what I say, or whether I have a better technique. The main thing is sincerity and the desire to say something that only I can say. Musical sincerity is more important to me than technical perfection, although it goes without saying that every musician should have it as well. Also, I try to make every concert I give a unique and exceptional event.
How do you choose where to perform?
I've always been very cautious about this. Especially because each time it is something individual and special and because it means making new contacts with new people. I recently went on tour in Japan. It was wonderfully successful everything went very well. We played chamber music and I was very pleased because I managed to establish contact with the audience and win their hearts. Afterwards, I was invited to return next year and do 10 more concerts.
How has your father, as a musician, influenced your career?
He's an excellent musician. He has even sacrificed moments in his own career in order to help me. For a start, in 1991, he interrupted the work he was doing with the great viola player, Yury Bashmet, to give me support and take me to Austria. I take lessons from him and I trust him 100 percent as a professional. It's very important for a musician to have people around him who he can trust 100 percent. It very rarely happens. I have a few,,,, and my father is one of them.
Most people are interested in rock bands, movies, the Internet, sports and so on. Are you interested in anything like that?
Well, with sports, I have to be extremely careful of my wrists, so some kinds of sports are not for me. On the other hand, I'm a soccer and hockey fan I basically support Austrian teams. I also like playing chess. I do like some rock groups, for example The Beatles and Queen. And I love music from the movies and movies in general. The last film that I liked very much was Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut." I was fascinated. It was so original, and the questions it raised were very interesting. Good and interesting films appear quite frequently, but exceptional films like that are very rare. I like computers a lot as well. I got my first computer in 1985, and now I have my own Website. I listen to classical music on the Internet. The Internet is very useful I can find out about the latest news on it, and deal with practical things like bank accounts and tickets. Sometimes I visit chat rooms and communicate with people, but I've never been carried away by it. Talking live to people is much more interesting.
What's life like for a Russian living in Austria? What do you do in your free time? Do you go to Russian restaurants in Vienna? Do you get together with other Russian emigrants?
Unfortunately, there aren't any Russian restaurants in Vienna. There was one once. It was very expensive, but then it closed. There are some Italian and Japanese restaurants and they're great. When I want to eat Russian food, my father, who is an excellent cook, does the cooking. Austrian food is also very good. They have all sorts of sausages, salami and sauerkraut in that respect, it's very much like German food. In my free time in Vienna, I often go to the opera or to the movies. Whenever I'm in Russia, I go to the theater. It's a sort of tradition. Yesterday, I went to the Mayakovsky Theater and liked the play very much. I don't have much to do with Russian emigrants in Vienna because Russians who live abroad seem to change a lot and, it seems to me, not always for the better.
What things do you dislike in people?
I don't like it when people put on an act and pretend to be welcoming the so-called "generosity of soul," as we Russians say, because often it's very obvious to me how calculated it is.
What's your worst drawback?
Probably the fact that I have frequent changes of mood. I can be capricious and sometimes I'm too tough on people.
I suspect you are literally besieged by female fans after your concerts
It's very nice. The only thing is I always stay within the limits of decency and formality. I don't want to abuse my success and transform it into something else. Anyway, I have a girlfriend who I love she's from Russia.
Do your friends belong to the world of classical music?
Well, yes. And most of them are Slavs. Of course, I don't divide people into national groups I'm very much an international person. What's important to me is that a person is interesting. But it just so happens that most of my friends come from Eastern Europe. One of them is Yugoslav and another is Bulgarian. They're both from the world of classical music. It's very difficult for me to go beyond the horizons of that world and, actually, I don't even try. It's an extraordinarily rich one and a person can get a lot out of it.