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Kochat, Yevgeny
Written by   
, 02 2009

Age 35; Russia, Moscow.

Yevgeny Kochat was born in Krivoi Rog, Ukraine, on July 2nd, 1967. His mother was a music teacher. He finished the music academy in Chernovtsy, and then served in the Soviet Army in Nagorny Karabakh from 198789. Later he entered the Gnesin Institute in Vladimir Tonkas class. Vladimir Berlinsky taught the quartet class. After finishing the institute, he worked in as concertmaster for a violoncello group in the Seasons of the Year chamber orchestra, and as assistant concertmaster for the Russian Kamerata orchestra, as well as the orchestra for the Bakhovsky Center.

Filarmonik #4, 2002

Zhenya (Yevgeny) was born in the Ukraine, and Ukrainian was his mother tongue. He practically never knew his father, who had left the family when Zhenya was three. As far as his music studies go, it is an unusual story. He went to music school himself, wanting to play the piano, but they registered him for the violoncello. Zhenya did not want to, he gave it up after only two years and did not learn very much. He went to school, and did not even think about music. Later, it is almost an anecdote. Zhenya had an older friend, who had graduated from the Chernovtsy music academy, returned from the army, and got in at the music school. But he did not have enough students. His friend asked Zhenya: Sign up, I'll count you in my class. Iwon't even touch you, and I'll have enough for a class. It was all going fine, until it was time for exams, and he had to show off his student. Zhenya back then was 16. To help out his friend, scarcely two weeks before his performance he sat down with the cello and remembering that he could play played. His future and most loved teacher, Igor Bogdanovich Kadyuk was on the examination committee. He was an instructor at the Chernovtsy academy. He laughed, and was amused by the whole shady business. Later he went up to Zhenya and said: Come on, let's give it a try!

Musicians understand what it means to learn to play an instrument at 16 it is practically impossible to get anything of value from it. Kadyuk took Zhenya into the academy. Zhenya's mother, Nina Timofeevna Poturai, said that he took to his lessons like a condemned man, working at it for ten-twelve hours a day. Zhenya forbid her from attending his final exam, but she showed up in secret. There were few people in the performance hall, and he played last. Suddenly, before he was to begin, his mother saw that a crowd was coming into the hall, and people were taking up all the seats. She was no longer afraid that he would notice her. He played with a surprising sound, an astonishingly flexible phrasing, and an absolute and natural command of the instrument.

After the academy Zhenya was preparing to attend the Lvov conservatory, but he was overage, and was immediately swept up into the army. He ended up in a hot spot' in Nagorny Karabakh. Zhenya did not like to talk about it, not even to his loved ones. He saw death close up, but did not have a bitter relationship with life, or injuries and guilt. He had not a drop of cynicism.

On returning from the army, had not a thought for music. The father of an army pal was a military commander, and with his help Zhenya got admission to the KGB academy in Moscow. Once Zhenya was back among his Chernovtsy music friends, however, they convinced him to take up music again. He went home, practiced and studied for a year, then entered the Gnesin Institute. He was 22, at an age when most were already graduating. He was absorbed in the quartets; these were always for him the most interesting. He dreamed of forming his own quartet, and entering into competitions, but somehow this never came about.

Later there were many places, and moonlighting. We met in the orchestra. It turned out that we were almost always working together. Zhenya did not want to work in a symph' one bit. He got an idea to start his own group, along a jazz theme, and work that into a quartet. Zhenya started rearranging Chattanooga Choo-choo', Caravan', and Take Five'. It turned out that Zhenya could find the intricate quartet style, with all the free melodies and the most interesting sub-melodies, but he was overworked, and so he wrote very complicated pieces for himself and me. He made a large repertoire for a quartet out of simple songs. It was a lot of work, and very talented. We found a group, got together, practiced, and played wherever we could. Our musician friends, when they heard us, said: Guys, you're so interesting, great! Sometimes we earned good money from this, but the main thing was that it was fun. We planned to play a Schubert quartet Death and a Girl', and Smetana and Beethoven quartets. Zhenya's last work was a big one Trout Quintet by Schubert.

Written by Igor Kadyuk, Yevgeniy Kochats violoncello instructor.

Everything about a person should be beautiful: their face, clothes, and thoughts

And so it was with Yevgeniy Dmitrievich (Kochat): his face, his soul, everything!

A light, bright personality with an improbable charisma and sense of humor, he radiated warmth and energy, which, like a magnet, attracted musicians to him. Hisability to communicate, and his optimism and enthusiasm made the orchestra's atmosphere one confidence and dependability: one was always comfortable around him. An orchestra is a complex organism; each part has a function that assures their vital activity. Yevgeniy was the soul of the orchestra: at rehearsals he was could magnificently combine patience and yet be demanding and touching concerned and kindness to his colleagues.

The world of music was his life, his oxygen. Hebreathed by it, receiving it like a magic gift from nature, which he tried to share with the audience. A talent from God this is Yevgeniy. Asolo performance by him in the concert cast a spell, the virtuosity of his playing caused unique enjoyment. Withthe first notes the unity of performer and listener takes place, distances disappear, boundaries between stage and concert hall are erased spectators instantly are immersed in a wonderful land where the magical violoncello is at first hysterically happy, then alarmingly gentle. It told oft beauty and the joy of life, of eternal truths love, compassion, and self-sacrifice.

Yevgeny's musical endowment was not limited to talented performances of known works; he created his own arrangements, and wrote several interesting instrumental arrangements of jazz pieces. 'Zhenya' dreamed of starting his own quartet, and readied a repertoire

October 26, 2002, was a day of mourning day for our orchestra, 'Times of the Year'. We were orphaned on this day: at the very start of his journey, Yevgeny's s life was cut short. A dependable friend with whom it was possible to go reconnoitering, an excellent musician who generously gave the listener of the wonderful moments of visions of pure beauty.

A low bow to you, Yevgeniy Dmitrievich Bright is the memory of a bright person! We remember!

His colleagues from the orchestra of Times of the Year'


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Comments (1)
1.
Written by , on 03-04-201113:45
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Zhenya (Yevgeniy) was in my music literature class, and was my favorite student. Hehad an opinion about everything, and though it was not always easy with him, it was never boring. Tall, handsome, clever, and ironic, he was the leader of his course. Hewas respected for his decency, honesty, and commitment to the profession: one could sense an inner dignity abouthim.
During the state examinations, he played brilliantly. Heseemed to be fortune's darling, but everything turned out otherwise. Fatewas always putting him to the test: in the army, and afterwards. Whenhe was in the army, he would write me, and Iwould write back. Henever complained about anything, but later Ihappened to find out what horrors he experienced as a soldier in the hot spots.
Zhenya was always in the thick of cultural and historical events. Wewere all happy for him when he got into the Gnesinka (the Gnesin Institute of Music), and were proud of his success. Whenever Zhenya came to Chernivtsy, he would always come see me, and we would talk for hours. Hewas a wonderful storyteller, deep, and a real musician. Hehad wisdom about life, and sometimes Ieven thought he was older than me. Hebrought his wife Sashenka along for inspection once. Theylooked so touching side by side: frail, little Sasha and big, strong Zhenya Herethey are just sitting together at Nord-Ost on the last day of hislife
I still have Zhenyas presents: several books about art, records, and, most important, a cassette recording of a concert by the string quartet that he founded. Hewas proud of it, and that is where Sashenka played.
On my piano is a Zhenyas portrait, from which he looks at me, as always, withirony.
I really misshim.

By Irina Medrish, teacher at the Chernivtsy School of theArts.

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