When the Mondavi Center sponsors a young performer on the Debut series, the same question comes to mind. Is this the next one who’s going to make it big? Several have.
Primakov certainly dresses like a star. For our interview, he wore handmade pointy-toed Italian shoes, no socks. And he had a necktie with colors loud enough to wake the dead. I asked about the tie.
“It’s not that I have designer mania, but I do collect ties. And I have now about 45 ties, that are sort of edgy.”
Primakov’s playing is kind of like his clothes. He’s got a lot of colorful, passionate repertoire, he’s bold, but conscious of tradition, even refined.
This weekend he’ll play Ravel’s “La Valse,” which surges wildly, almost out of control.
“And I like to conclude my program with something like that, something that is very intimate, actually, and at the same time very bombastic, very open and decadent.”
Primakov just signed with a big artistic management firm, and has released a CD. Can he parlay his talent into stardom? He made his case with two concerts at the Mondavi Center in October 2006.