Updated: Jan 11, 2020
Yury Kunets is a Russian composer, musician, producer and businessman. In collaboration with award-winning American conductor Lee Holdridge and Grammy award-winning British recording producer Christopher Alder, Kunets began recording a series of symphonic music albums. The first album, Renaissance, was recorded 2011 in Kraków with the Wroclaw Score Orchestra. By the end of 2014 he had recorded several new compositions in Warsaw with the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra and the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir for an album called Dedication. A new work, titled Reflection, is expected in 2019.
We corresponded with Kunets about his work in music.
When did you first compose music?
I started to make music at a mature age, but I first experimented with composition when I was five. I heard music and played it by ear, but I always wanted to come up with something of my own – something unique and individual.
Who are some of the composers who have influenced you, and is there a piece of music that has had a significant impact on you?
Russian classics have always been the inspiration to my work. In particular, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. And of course, the classics of classics–Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin. I like nature very much and that’s why I can endlessly listen to the Seasons of all six greatest composers!
It is never too late to begin. It is much worse to regret what hasn’t been done.
Russia has an incredibly rich cultural legacy. Are there other art forms, such as film or painting, that inform your work or your themes?
An artist creates his works with a brush, a sculptor with a stack, a poet writes poems, a musician plays various instruments, etc. All this is art. To me cinema is one of the greatest arts. And of course I pay attention and focus on various disciplines. And many people tell me that my music is cinematic.
What inspired you to begin recording symphonic music at this stage in your life, and what have been some of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Inspiration, in my opinion, is a spiritual, emotional lift, a kind of magic. And there are much more possibilities in symphonic performance, a wider range of sounds, and when you are writing a new piece of work, you imagine these sounds, instruments. But to write is only one part of the story, then comes the arranging, the recording with the orchestra, the album release, the promotion and so forth.
Sometimes it takes years to bring a piano version to the final product. It all needs great patience and funds.
What suggestions do you have for someone who might be considering making a change in their career to pursue a new creative venture?
To start out in a new creative way, you should first believe in yourself and in what you do. And I think, it is never too late to begin. It is much worse to regret what hasn’t been done.
You refer to your work as the composition of sustainable piano and symphonic music. What is meant by the word sustainable?
In my music I aim to preserve my heritage and Russian roots and thus my cultural spirit through timeless classics and symphonic and lyrical melodies. My symphonies mirror my feelings, philosophical reactions, and emotional being at a particular time in my life. Little stories about human existence, always in connection and surrounded by nature are being preserved in my compositions to give it their sustainable character.
How has your work changed since the release of your first album in 2011 and what can listeners expect from your new music?
A lot has changed since the first album. I gained some experience, became more confident in my composing plans. With every record, I take a new approach, meet wonderful people, real maestros and of course I achieve something new. My music is filled with all this, but it remains lyrical.