Alicante (EFE).- The Ukrainian Dmytro Demydov is a violin virtuoso who was part of a prestigious symphony in Saint Petersburg (Russia) until the unexpected invasion of Vladimir Putin forced him to rush out in a car to, a year later, being one more in the ADDA Simfònica orchestra from Alicante, where he plays as a guest musician.
For eight years, Demydov participated in one of the main Russian and world symphonies: the Saint Petersburg Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by the famous Valeri Guergiev, and he learned of the invasion of Russian troops in the middle of the night when he was returning with his companions from Moscow. after a performance.
Just like the rest of the musicians, ‘Dima’, as he is familiarly called in Alicante, went into “shock” and that night he couldn’t sleep imagining “what could happen” in general and him in particular, for being a Ukrainian on Russian soil.
“It didn’t take me long to understand that unfortunately I would have to leave Russia because I am Ukrainian. The conflict was not my fault, but I was afraid that something could happen to me and I began to wonder how to leave Saint Petersburg without losing everything”, Demydov tells EFE one year after his escape by road through from the Finnish border.
Hours later (on the night of February 24) the violinist and his companions had a concert scheduled at the Mariinski with the collaboration of the director of the ADDA Simfònica, Josep Vicent, and on the same stage he did not hesitate to ask the latter for help, who offered him mediate in his favor if he traveled to distant Alicante.
Help for the danger he was in
With the Mariinsky, ‘Dima’ had traveled halfway around the world, including Spain in cities like Madrid, Barcelona and also Alicante, where he had already seen the ADDA Simfònica headquarters auditorium on a tour that helped him make friends with Josep Vicent and some of his musicians.
“Josep Vicent held out his hand and suggested that I come to Alicante,” the 36-year-old violinist, who was born in Moscow, recalls emotionally, although he is Ukrainian because he grew up in this country.
“Whatever happens in the future”, he will always be grateful to Spain for the opportunity it has given him to live in good conditions working in what he likes.
With his parents in Italy and his brother already back in Kiev, Demydov misses his friends and colleagues in St. Petersburg, where he keeps good memories because the Mariinsky allowed him to see many countries “and play in the best halls.”
He assures that he is still in contact with other musicians who are still in the Russian city and others who, like him, were forced to leave. And, although he does not have a decided plan for the future, he believes that in Alicante he still has “a long way to go to grow as a musician and as a person”.
In this city of the Valencian Community, for the moment, he has achieved happiness, after a year in which he has discovered “things that he had never seen before”, such as the festivities of the Bonfires or the local celebrations, of which he highlights that “there are a lot of music”.
Diaspora of artists to a new life
Putin’s conflict has meant that, in addition to a good number of Ukrainians, “many Russians have had to leave” in a diaspora of which Demydov feels “proud to see super-brave people who have managed to start a new life from scratch” .
Through the eyes of a citizen of Eastern Europe, he believes that the Spanish should be “very happy for what they have”, for example for “the Sun and the Mediterranean, which are very happy”. “Living by the sea is a luxury,” he adds.
“Maybe the people here don’t see it, but for us who come from far away, it’s very nice and “gives a lot of personal happiness”.
The day to day of the Ukrainian violinist begins in the Provincial Home, where he has lived since he arrived at the end of February 2022 and where he has “a comfortable room to be calm and sleep.” The day continues in the Alicante Provincial Council Auditorium (ADDA) with a job that allows him to meet his expenses.
“I have to thank not only Josep Vicent, when he shook my hand with the possibility of coming, but also the Spanish because this country has been one of the most welcoming to Ukrainians”, repeats the violinist, who enjoys “the the food and the people” and to whom the only thing missing is Spanish, but he is “in it”.