NewsTradition and people

Azusa, Alëna and Hiwote: Meet the New Girls in the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra

Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra has three new charming members, one might say, from ‘all over the world’.

This information was a great reason for Just Dubrovnik team to visit the three smiling girls – Azusa, Alëna and Hiwote, two violist and one violinist, and learn something more about them.

Azusa Yamauchi is from Japan, Alëna Shapochka from Belarus and Hiwote Tadesse is from Croatia! All three of them are very young, but already very successful – Azusa is 27, Alëna 25 and Hiwote 23 years old. During the rehearsal break, language barriers were easily mastered, and we heard something more about their love for music, impressions about Dubrovnik…

‘As a Japanese, I really, really like Dubrovnik and Croatia! When I saw the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra is preparing an audition, I prepared myself too, and now I’m here’, Azusa, who recently completed the prestigious Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, told us.

She, so far, participated in important international competitions, including the one in Kanagawa where she won first place. She loves European culture and history, and Dubrovnik is her dream place by all means – sea, sun, beaches… That’s why she visited him twice before moving in. She often watches a TV reports about Dubrovnik, but when she told us: ‘Kako ste?‘ (How are you?) in Croatian, with a big smile, we were thrilled!

‘Dubrovnik is an eternal inspiration’, says Alëna, who comes from great Moscow Conservatory, where she graduated in viola.

‘I’m staying here, I hope, for a longtime!’ says humbly this participant of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, adding that she found out about the audition via the friend of her family, the cello player who told them that Dubrovnik is simply ‘a town to spend time some time in life in’.

‘I got the advice to come and live here, and I didn’t regret it’, she added, ‘this is a remarkable city. It inspires me, and for me, it is very important to have inspiration when I work’.

‘I saw the audition while I was at the last year of my studying. My thought was, at that moment, to continue studying or to go to Dubrovnik? The decision was to meet a way of living and working with the orchestra. It seemed exciting’, Hiwote told us.

She comes from the prestigious Maastricht Conservatory, but before that, she finished conservatory in Gent. Hiwote is the winner of numerous national and international awards, such as the Grand Prix at the International Young Musicians Competition in Moscow.

All three of them described our town as a dream place, and Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra as a group of amazing people, very pleasant to work with.

‘They are, simply, like a family to us’, girls concluded.