Lydia Kavina (born 8 September 1967) is a Russian theremin player, and is currently the leading performing musician on the instrument.
The grandniece of Léon Theremin, Kavina was born in Moscow and began studying the instrument under the direction of Theremin when she was nine years old. Five years later, she gave her first theremin concert, which marked the beginning of a musical career that has so far led to more than 1000 theatre, radio, and television performances around the world.
Kavina has appeared as a solo performer at such prestigious venues as the Bolshoi Saal of the Moscow Conservatory, Moscow International Art Centre with National Philarmonic of Russia under Vladimir Spivakov and Bellevue Palace in Berlin, the residence of the German President. She has also performed at leading festivals, including Caramoor with the Orchestra St. Luke's, New York's Lincoln Center Festival, Holland Music Festival, Martinu Festival, Electronic Music Festival in Burge and Moscow “Avantgarde”.
Kavina performs most of the classical theremin repertoire, including popular works for theremin by Bohuslav Martinů, J. Schillinger, and Spellbound by M. Rosza, as well as the lesser-known Equatorial by Edgard Varèse and Testament by Nicolas Obouchov.
In addition to giving concerts, Kavina is a composer of music for theremin and teaches the instrument in Western Europe, Russia and the United States. Together with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, she played theremin for Howard Shore's soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film Ed Wood, as well as for eXistenZ (also by Shore) and The Machinist. Additionally, Kavina has recorded several compact discs and is the subject of an instructional video from the theremin manufacturer Moog Music. She was also featured in stage productions such as Alice and The Black Rider (both conceived and directed by Robert Wilson, with music by Tom Waits) at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, and in collaboration with the Russian experimental surf band Messer Chups.
Lydia Kavina is an active promoter of new experimental music for the theremin. In collaboration with Barbara Buchholz and Kamerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Kavina performed a number of concerts of contemporary works for theremin in Germany in 2005-2007 as part of the Touch! Don't Touch! - Music for Theremin project.
The most notable project of her recent career is her theremin solo in The Little Mermaid, a ballet by Lera Auerbach, choreographed by John Neumeier in Copenhagen New Opera Haus and Hamburg State Opera (2007).
Kavina has completed a number of her own compositions for theremin including a Concerto for Theremin and Symphony Orchestra, first performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra under the direction of Gil Rose.
Kavina holds a degree in composition from The Moscow Conservatory, where she also completed a postgraduate assistantship program.
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