Tatiana Pugacheva. Do not give up, maestro!
Culture and spirituality have always been the connecting links between people. On our beautiful island, one of these links is Tatiana Pugacheva, a person who took on a difficult mission of organising performances with the best representatives of Russian culture. Single events and concerts of famous authors and singers of bard songs for a handful of years turned into the stunning festival ‘ArtKiprida’. The festival has been held for several years under the patronage of the first lady of the Republic of Cyprus, Mrs. Andria Anastasiadis, who is actively involved in the charity life of the island. Tatiana donates all of the proceeds from ticket sales to the children of the Oncology and Leukaemia Centre and the Elpida Foundation (‘‘Hope’’), a charitable organisation. We met with Tatiana and talked about music, Cyprus and the festival itself.
As far as we know, your whole life is closely connected with music, with the music school and the Odessa Conservatoire. How did you start playing music?
The hobby for music has almost always been a part of me. In my opinion, it has always been an unconscious part of me from an early age. In my family, everyone was singing. My mother sang in the academic choir. For holidays, a large company of friends and my father’s colleagues always gathered together. We always sang at the table. Those who did not know the words used a songbook. It was a merry and good time, in the middle of the 60s; the period of the ‘‘Khrushchev thaw’’. In the military campus, where I spent the first 10 years of my life, absolutely all my classmates went to music school. Therefore, already at the age of 6-7 years, I had no doubts about my choice of profession. I knew for sure that I would be a singer and, if I was not lucky, I would be an artist or a music teacher, at worst. Along the way, there were sports, dancing and drawing.
Although it is now fashionable to scold all that was in the Soviet Union, I still believe that nowhere, probably, at that time (and now, even more so) was there a more thoughtful system of education and out-of-school work for children. Any child, regardless of the income of his/her parents, could engage, completely free of charge, with any kind of creativity in the nearest House of Pioneers for schoolchildren.
It is understandable that, after moving to Odessa, to my father’s new duty station, the question of continuing primary music education was not questioned. After the end of the music school, I, of course, entered the higher music school, which I successfully graduated from with honours. Then, I studied at the Nezhdanova Conservatory. In total, my musical education lasted 17 years. With gratitude and a bow, I remember my brilliant teachers, who scrupulously moulded my character, my attitude with people and my approach to music and art in general.
What are your destinies in Cyprus? Was it difficult to adapt to life on the island, where, in those years, there was practically no cultural life?
After Odessa, there was a move to the Far East. Life, there, is remembered, first of all, for its unique nature, amazing, sincere people and the beginning of a pedagogical career. I worked for almost 20 years as a teacher in the violin and chamber ensemble and, later, as a director at the Vanino School for Children. There was also public work in the Russian-Japanese Society of Friendship and Twinning and touring in Japan and the Khabarovsk Territory. Having taken pleasure in the Far East, my family moved to Cyprus in 2000. The complete absence of cultural life in Cyprus, at first, plunged me into an easy shock, but having looked around, I realised that here, there is something to do. Benefits came from the raising up of the ‘‘virgin lands’’, in the cultural sense of practice.
Tatiana, you are known among music lovers as a person who is inviting to Cyprus many famous artists, such as Oleg Pogudin, Dina Rubina, Veniamin Smekhov and others. When and how did you first come up with the idea of organising such meetings?
First, to equip the language environment for my youngest daughter, I opened a kindergarten called ‘‘Harmony’’. Today, it is successfully headed by my eldest daughter, Anna Popova. Then, there was a cycle of Christmas evenings called ‘‘Pugacheva invites’’. After such regular works, what began was a series of invitations to artists of the theatre and stage. Friendship with them is my main ‘‘achievement’’ and an object of special pride. Over the past 10 years, the leading bards of Russia have visited Cyprus, including L.Sergeev, A.Gorodnitsky, T. and S.Nikitiny, Y.Kim, G. Khomchik and the Mishchuki brothers. Everyone knew N.Bregvadze, V.Voinovich, I.Guberman, V.Smechov, A.Arkhipovsky, O.Pogudin, A.Kozlova’s ‘‘Arsenal’’ and A. Sklyar’s ‘‘Va-Bank’’. The performances of I.Kirillova, D.Davydova and M. Golovushkin were celebrated for 150 years at the Moscow Conservatory.
I know that your musical evenings are closely connected with charitable activities. Tell us a little about it.
Fifteen years of work have not passed without a trace. For the last 5 years, we have been working closely with the Children’s Cancer and Leukemia Center in Nicosia, which is headed by a wonderful specialist and a rare man, Dr. Luizos Louisou. Virtually all of the funds received from the concerts are regularly transferred to the Elpida Foundation.
Of course, the award from the hands of the first lady of Cyprus, Mrs. Anastasiadis, for the many years of charitable work (received in 2015) is a high estimation of my modest work, and not only mine! Over the years, many companions and volunteers have been found. Therefore, the creation of the non-profit charity association ‘‘ArtKiprida’’ became a logical continuation of this work.
The flag of your charity association recently went around the globe in the hands of your husband, Sergey Pugachev, the multiple champion of Europe and the world in sailing, who recently made a round-the-world trip.
Yes, it is really so, and I want to express my gratitude to my husband, who travelling on a catamaran this year, with the pennant ArtKiprida, through all the seas and oceans. I would like to thank O. Sobol, H. Neofitou, Y. Onisiphorou and many, many others who help to strengthen the fine thread of hope, love, understanding and compassion for each other.
What a joy it is to see today’s Cyprus, with its many concerts, exhibitions and performances that are so culturally influential and relevant! Well done to everyone who believes, without a doubt, that man does not live by bread alone!
As B. Okudzhava said: ‘‘Do not leave diligence, maestro!’’