“I’m not sure whether the expression ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ is exactly appropriate here” writes Christopher Morley in the Birmingham Post (9/6/05) “but an intriguing example of the phenomenon is happening at St Paul’s Church in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter this evening“.
He goes on to say that Rimma Sushanskaya “… puts down her bow tonight and takes up the baton for her full debut as a concert conductor.“
Her very successful debut was made conducting the enthusiastic and well-regarded Harborne-based Queen’s Park Sinfonia in Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Haydn’s Symphony No.100 and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.
Christopher Morley writes (11/6/05) after the event that “This was the first full concert conducted by the expert international violinist, and all her inside experience from decades of performing and ensembles, plus her intimate knowledge and love of the scores guaranteed a level of preparation and rehearsal which is one of the glories of British orchestral life“
“But all this is nothing without stick-technique and Sushanskaya has practiced hers to a peak of clarity and potential expressiveness.”
The tremendously gifted soloist was the maestro’s own son, Leonid Sushansky, who was reported to have “a full rich tone giving ample proof of a soloist at one with his instrument“. Witts reported in the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald (16/6/05) of their repeat performance in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford, that they “combined their enormous kindred talents” and that “it was self-evident that she’s taken to conducting like a proverbial duck to water“.
“What is difficult about conducting is coordinating so many things at once” said Rimma. “It is also very difficult to read the score. On the same page you have 7 to 15 lines, all playing different notes and in different keys. You have to be able to read them simultaneously, and this is extremely difficult. But at the end of the day, if you are a good musician and you’re capable of learning these new techniques and can read a score, you get rewarded”.
Rimma is “a classic case of someone with several strings to her bow”
Focus, August 2005, pp22/23