Lydia Kavina is a professional musician and theremin teacher based in the UK. She was born in Moscow in 1967 and began learning the theremin at the age of 9 under the guidance of Léon Theremin, her grandfather's first cousin. She also studied piano and holds a degree in music theory and composition from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she completed a postgraduate assistantship program.
Kavina's career started in 1983 when she played "The Vietnam Album" by T.Nazarova-Medtner with the Soviet State Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated extensively with the Orchestra of Electronic Musical Instruments, directed by Vyacheslav Mescherin .
Mrs. Kavina recorded several albums with original music for theremin with labels MODE records, WERGO, Artservice, Solnze records, Distrokid and Teleura, and she played for many film soundtracks, including “The Electrical Life of Luis Wain” with music by Arthur Sharpe, “Ed Wood” and “eXistetnZ” by Howard Shore and ''The Machinist'' by Roque Banos. She also played the role of the theremin performer in film “Me and Kaminsky” by Wolfgang Becker.
Lydia worked for many theatre productions, among them: opera “Baehlamms Fest” by Olga Neuwirth in Bochum 2021, Hamburg (2002), Vienna
(1999) and Luzern (2002), ballet “The Little Mermaid” by Lera Auerbach and John Neumeier, in Copenhagen, Hamburg and Beijing (2005-2018), music drama “The Tragedy of a Friendship” by Moritz Eggert and Jan Fabre, dedicated to R. Wagner’s anniversary (Gent, 2013), musicals “Alice” and “Black Rider” by Tom Waits and Robert Wilson in Hamburg and Cologne (1992-1998). She also played for stage productions of Russian Bolshoi, Optical theatre in Moscow, Karlsruhe ZKM, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and other.
Lydia Kavina is an active promoter of new experimental music for the theremin. She composed a concerto for theremin and symphony orchestra, performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra in 1997. She initiated the "Touch! Don't Touch!" concert project with Barbara Buchholz and Kamerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, commissioning contemporary pieces for the theremin. She has also worked with the composition department of the London Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance.
As a solo performer Kavina appeared in such projects as "Icarus" by Lera Auerbach, with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under Vasily Petrenko (Milan, Turin, London, 2023), 4th Symphony by Ch. Ives, under Kent Nagano (Hamburg and Zurich, 2018-2019), The Film Music of Howard Shore with l'Orchestre national d'Île-de-France (2017), Pittsburgh Symphony and Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife (2016), “The Sound of Hitchcock” with the BBC SSO in Glasgow in 2015, “Tim Burton and Danny Elfman’s show” with BBC Concert Orchestra and London Symphony at London Royal Albert Hall and in the UK tour 2013-2014, “Testament” by Nicolai Obouhov with Netherlands Radio Orchestra under Reinbert de Lewes in 2006, First Symphony by Lera Auerbach with Duesseldorf Philharminica in 2006 , “Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher” by Arthur Honegger with National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia under Vladimir Spivakov in 2005, Big Theremin concert with Orchestra SOSPESSO at New York Lincoln Center Festival in 2000.
In addition to her performance career, Kavina is dedicated to theremin education. Her video tutorial “Mastering the Theremin”, recorded with Moog Music in 1994, was one of the key moments in the renaissance of theremin performing art around the world. Lydia offers weekly Theremin Workshops online and she serves as a master teacher at Theremin Academy sessions in different countries. She taught theremin at Moscow Theremin Center at Tchaikovsky Conservatory, from 1997 till 2006, and she also led several Theremin Festivals in Europe, Russia and both American continents.