First Violin — Stuart McDonald
Second Violin — Dmitry Khakhamov; Savva Zverev

Tell us about your favourite orchestral work to play?
Stuart — It’s very difficult to pick just one! Some of my favourite works to play are by the German composer Richard Strauss, particularly his tone poems such as Ein Heldenleben and Don Quixote.  I’ve always loved how perfectly Strauss depicts the stories through his writing.


Savva — There are many works I look forward to playing or revisiting, but one of my highlights with the BSO so far has been the ‘Queen Symphonic Spectacular’ concert in Meyrick Park – what a way to finish my first season, playing music by my favourite band in front of an audience of over five thousand people!

Dmitry — I would like to mention works by Wagner (for example Tannhauser Overture) and Brahms (for example Ein Deutsches Requiem). Those will always be my favourite pieces among many other works that I have a strong emotional response to.

Quite frequently the piece we are working on becomes the favourite one… until we move on to the next project. The more you play or study something the more you understand its structure, how and why it was composed this way and not the other — this alone can get you excited for quite a while. We do not like what we don’t understand and vice versa, I believe this is in our nature. However, having said all that I believe that the purpose of music is to make you feel. When it touches your heart in some way you can fall in love with it and the rest becomes irrelevant to you.

So far, what do you love most about playing in the BSO?
Stuart — Since I’ve joined the BSO, I have to say that my favourite part of the job has been getting to know my fabulous colleagues in the Orchestra.  It’s a pleasure to make music with such amazingly talented and friendly people, and they’ve been so welcoming and helpful since I’ve joined.

Dmitry — In BSO people around me are very professional, kind, friendly and helpful. They also don’t mind a good laugh. My section has been very supportive of me during my trial and when I started my job with long weeks of Grange Operas. I would like to use the opportunity to thank them for that. The BSO’s choice of repertoire for the upcoming season looks exciting and I am looking forward to starting the next season with Mahler 5!


Savva — I love the versatility of the programmes we do, as well as our guest conductors, soloists, and all the exciting places across the South-West we get to visit! I’m really looking forward to visiting Yeovil and Barnstaple!

What are you doing when you’re not on stage?
Dmitry — When I am not on stage, I am usually in the practice room! Well, that might not be completely true. I am a keen table tennis player and UKCC level 1 licensed coach. I compete in Senior British league for my club in Reading, as well as do coaching sessions.

Stuart — Outside of playing the violin I love sport, particularly football and running.  I take every opportunity I can to travel abroad, and really enjoy visiting the United States.

Savva — As much as I love to practise my morning scales, I also love doing nice things, such as exploring new recipes, reading, and running or cycling along the promenade. I love different cuisines and exploring new dishes, but my favourites are the ones I remember to take out of the oven.


Join Dmitry, Savva and Stuart at the start of our new season…beginning on 5 Oct at Lighthouse, Poole.

To read the full season press release click here