Photo: Tema Bryansk
Why do you take a wide stance when playing the flute?
Maxim: For better breathing and balance. During a long performance your body, chest and throat must be open. You become like a breathing machine. For me this is a natural way to stand.
Why don't you stand in the well of the piano, as most soloists do?
Maxim: This has to do with sound and what I hear. When I stand by the piano strings, especially if the lid is open, I hear too much of the piano sound and not enough of my flute sound. Also when I turn toward my accompanist, my flute sound goes to the back of the stage. If I stand on the other side, my sound goes out to the audience. I can hear my sound and the piano better--and get a better balance. Then I feel more as if I am playing as an ensemble with the pianist, not as a soloist. We have a closer connection, and actually on most pianos the music stand has a reflective surface and the accompanist can see me, as if in a mirror.
How does dance training affect your music?
Maxim: Well, I guess I feel the music with my whole body and I'm not afraid to move. Mainly, I just understand how much dancers want to perform on stage with live music, and I like to be there with them--dancing a little bit with my flute and my feet.