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Victor Aviat: “Sometimes we have to break patterns”


Victor Aviat: “Sometimes we have to break patterns”

Victor Aviat is an internationally acclaimed oboist who is more and more successful as a conductor too. He has been working together with the BFO since 2015. On our last Concertino concerts in the season, he will play Mozart’s brilliant, humorous and playful Oboe Concerto in C major. Interview by Júlia Váradi.

When Iván Fischer introduced you as a conductor in 2017, he spoke about you as a wonderful, very sensitive musician with something poetic in his personality. How do you feel about this and what have you learned from Iván Fischer?

Victor Aviat: I have a strong relationship with Iván, dating back to 2005, when I started playing with the BFO as a young oboist. Since then, it has been an enlightening journey. Not only during my conducting studies, but every time I work with him as principal oboist. I learned from him in various ways, particularly about the mission of a musician. You know, the well-known French theater actor Louis Jouvet used to say that as an actor he had to magnify the truth in order to reach the audience but also never lose his inner truth. The illusion of the truth over the truth itself. A bit like a wooden stick folding when dragged into water. The stick bends to our eyes but it is in fact always straight. As musicians we also have to deliver a text but most importantly, we have to bring it to life…and to ears. I can say that with Iván I learned to accomplish that and to own that. But furthermore, values such as the overall purpose of music-making, the freedom we need to give ourselves, the importance of feeding our own creativity, the way we sometimes break patterns and circles in order to reconsider ourselves under a new light, etc. These are values that I cherish in him and that I certainly will bring forward to my students.

Victor Aviat: We got to know you first as an oboe player. What stays closer to you as a musician, playing your instrument or conducting?

V. A.: Although conducting has taught me a great deal over the past decade on conceptual and social matters, I remain closer to playing the oboe. Probably because this is the basis for me as a musician, to be able to produce the sound myself and to literally speak the music. To play as a soloist is something that I used to do more before I studied conducting and I certainly want to do more in the next years.

In the upcoming concerts in Budapest, you will be on stage with your oboe again. Mozart’s famous Oboe Concerto in C Major, which he wrote in Salzburg in 1777, is mentioned as one of his lucid, lightly orchestrated compositions which shows the playful and singing sides of the oboe as well. How do you feel about this musical piece?

V. A.: Mozart’s oboe concerto is for sure the most important piece in our repertoire. Like everything Mozart touches, it is a genius work that combines the brilliance and virtuosity of this instrument with a high degree of musical content: its opening movement with all its majesty and humorous transitions, its noble adagio wondering between shadows and lights, reminding us of certain arias of his late operas. And yes, it is a playful music as for Mozart, life is playful. In fact, he used the theme of the last movement for Blondchen’s aria in his later written opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail “what bliss, what rapture now reigns in my breast!”. You must feel like a singer when you perform this concerto. You must carry all the different costumes in your mind!

You have been working together with the BFO for many years. How do you feel about making music with them as an oboist again after conducting the orchestra?

V. A.: I've conducted the orchestra a couple of times, but I've played with them quite a number of times. It is very natural and pleasant for me to come and perform this concerto with the BFO, because they are my colleagues and friends. The complicity between us goes beyond the stage. It really is a true privilege to make music under such circumstances. Besides we have four concerts and therefore the fun will last longer! I very much look forward to it and I hope that the audience will share this joy with us!