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Alumni | Ianina Khmelik


From Russia with love (for music), violinist Ianina Khmelik is an alumni of ESMAE, Polytechnic of Porto School of Arts

Born on March 9th, 1983 in Moscow, Soviet Union, today the capital of Russia, she began her musical studies at the age of five at the Music School No. 49 in her city and later joined the Professional School of Music Gnessin, in the class of L. Shevrekuko, in which at the age of eight she had her first tour with the Gnessin Virtuosos Orchestra. In 1995, she won the 2nd Prize in the Young Musicians Competition in Moscow and, the following year, she went to study in the Holdstadt Schulle in Schlewig-Holstein, Germany.

It was on one of these tours, in Spain, that she had, for the first time, contact with Portuguese. "I heard someone talking to me in a language that sounded like Russian, but I could not understand anything. There was a click there. It was only afterwards that I realized it was Portuguese." She could hardly imagine that Portugal would be her home in a few years.

She lived through the Perestroika has a 4/5 year old girl. She lived those events and political changes quite closely, since her family was linked to the Russian government. The political instability of the country at war with Chechnya, the attacks very close to home, because of that they decided to leave the country.

With just 15 years of age and a Russian tutor as a contact, she moved to Portugal, with the first stop in Espinho. She then continued to play violin and piano, as a second instrument - at the Professional School of Music in Espinho. She grew up, moved to Porto and took the course at the Superior School of Music and Performing Arts (ESMAE), in the class of Zofia Wóycicka, finishing her degree in Violin in 2006. Those were happy years: "I learned a lot, not only in instrument and chamber music lessons, which were wonderful, but also in the Aesthetics and Scientific Methodology classes. I loved these subjects, the teachers were wonderful! " - she affirms with enthusiasm.

She has excellent memories especially of the people she studied with. "We were very close, a good group" - she says - "I remember that I was always absolutely amazed by the classes in Aesthetics of Professor Miguel Ribeiro Pereira, we talked about not just the subject , but we talked about everything. The classes were really important for the expansion of general culture. I loved to greet Dona Irene and spend a Saturday or a Sunday studying in one of the rooms of the building. Those were very happy times. "

Years of work followed with the contemporary music group of Casa da Música, entitled Remix Ensemble, and shortly thereafter she joined the Porto Symphony Orchestra, where she is currently the 1st Violin.

Ianina Khmelik is also known for her participation in the Porto group As 3 Marias, with which she edited three projects: Quase A Primeira Vez (2009), Bipolar (2013) and Depois (2017), the latter with production by Nuno Gonçalves, member of the group The Gift . With them she gave countless concerts in several concert halls all over the country, with an innovative project that brought together tango, flamenco and the roots of Portuguese music, and the last album also had a more electronic aspect.

In 2018 she started a project in her own brand of electronic music, signing under the name of IAN. That year she released two EPs, entitled # 1 and # 2, in which she had five themes all in English. In 2019 it was the turn of the single Boarding Now and that year she also toured Mexico, where she started presenting her own themes. Her musical project combines electronic music, trip hop, hip hop and pop, despite having a large presence of classical music instruments with the acoustic piano and violin, which are a result of her experiences in this musical genre.

In August 2020, her first work, entitled RaiVera, appeared at the Centro Cultural Vila Flor, in Guimarães. It is an electronic disc with nine tracks, sung in three languages: Portuguese, English and German. For IAN, this disc represents an autobiographical journey, focused on the ideas of freedom and challenge. In Russian, Rai means Paradise, while Vera means Faith. In her concerts, the singer not only sings, she also uses representation techniques that she learned when studying theater. For her, her concert is a multidisciplinary show, very performative.

Today she says she is happy and calm in Portugal: "A tranquility that gives time to creation, to agitation, to development. Unfortunately my country has not yet managed to shake the dictatorship from its shoulders and that saddens me immensely ... Living in Portugal for more than two decades, I do consider Portugal my home, my country and I am proud of that. "


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