MEET THE STAFF: Zoya Tsvetkova, RI Philharmonic Orchestra Musician

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Where did you grow up? I grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia until the age of 16.

Favorite meal/restaurant? At this point – any, but I especially miss fresh seafood and sushi these days.

Coffee or Tea? Tea.

What instrument do you play in the RI Phil? Violin – 1st violin section

What inspired you to take up that instrument and how old were you when you started? My father was a violinist/violist who started teaching me when I was 4. My mother is a pianist so I always knew I’d be a musician. Growing up I didn’t realize that there were other possibilities – everyone around me was a musician.

What’s your favorite composition for that instrument? I don’t think I can even narrow it down to ten, but to me, the Brahms Violin Concerto showcases the violin perfectly in all of its incredible range of techniques and emotions.

How long have you been playing in the RI Philharmonic? I started as a substitute player in 2010 and became a member a few years later.

What is the best performance you’ve ever heard? Unfortunately I don’t get to attend a lot of concerts because often I have a rehearsal or a concert of my own, but seeing Mahler 2 with the Boston Symphony was among the most moving and special concerts I’ve ever seen. When the chorus came in in the last movement, it felt like angels were lifting me up to Heaven, and I’m an atheist.

What do you want people to know about the RI Phil? It’s a group filled with wonderful musicians from New England who love playing great music for sold out audiences in a beautiful hall.

How are you keeping yourself occupied while being at home all day? Well, I have an almost 2 year old, so there isn’t a lot of downtime to be bored or to have nothing to do.

You’re stuck on a desert island… what book, music/album/artist and movie do you want with you? For books I’d take Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. For music I’d take an iPod with my entire 30+ gigabytes of music. As for movies – I can live without them as long as I have my music.

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