Every so often, MT poses 60 questions to a local or visiting artist in Toronto who has made our classical music community that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers. A kind of Rorschach personality test, if you will.
Samuel Andreyev (1981) was born in Kincardine, Ontario and studied at The Royal Conservatory of Music, and at the Paris Conservatoire and IRCAM. Besides being a composer, Andreyev is also active as a poet and has published two books, Evidence (Quattro Books – 2009) and his The Relativistic Empire (Bookthug –2015). His composition Night Division was awarded the grand prize of the Concours Henri Dutilleux in 2012. In the same year, he was granted a one-year residency at the Casa de Velázquez in Madrid.
For more about Andreyev, hear him in his own words as part of Esprit Orchestra’s latest exposé: Musical Minds #10.
What are three things about Toronto that make you want to live here?
The many friends and colleagues I have there; my family; the beautiful, snowy winters; and the openness of the culture.
The historical personalities, both good and bad, that fascinate you the most?
Right now it would be Isidore Ducasse, better known as le Comte de Lautréamont, the enigmatic author of les Chants de Maldoror who died in Paris in 1870, aged 24. Ask me tomorrow and you’ll get a different answer!
What are the three things you’d like to change about Toronto?
I would like to impose a total ban on all motor vehicles, a ban on canned music in restaurants and coffee shops, and a mandatory dress code for all citizens of black suits or dresses. Elect me mayor!
The strangest place you’ve ever been to?
That’s easy — London, Ontario.
Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure?
I went to Paris last week for a meeting with my manager. There are worse places to have to travel for work!
What is your biggest phobia?
Going anywhere or doing anything.
The different career path that you could have gone on?
Actually, I lead several parallel careers: Besides being a composer, I’m an author and a teacher. I would have enjoyed being a private detective.
Under what circumstances would you join the army?
I would certainly consider joining the Swiss army. They pay is great. You spend most of your time doing training exercises in the alps, and you don’t get deployed very often.
Your major character flaw?
I’m a liar. I’m even lying right now.
What is the best thing about your work?
Being able to do something meaningful and that I am passionate about every single day.
The talent that you wish you possessed?
I always thought it would be fun to be one of those rubber men you see at the circus.
What are you listening to as you answer these questions?
The muffled sounds of my upstairs neighbor talking on the phone, and the sound of trams rolling by in a light rain.
Your favourite word?
Your least favourite word?
Name three pieces or composers that you never want to hear again
I could live just fine without Wagner, Corelli and Saint-Saens.
The first three things that you do every morning?
Drink three glasses of water, make breakfast for my wife and exercise.
The one place that you have the least interest in ever visiting?
It’s a tie between Tuvalu and Whitby.
To hear more of Samuel Andreyev, Toronto Esprit Orchestra will premiere his latest piece, Movements and Measures on January 24th, 2016. Tickets and details found here.