Music is a unique and powerful art form in every human culture, a universal language that can express the deepest of emotions. Music can entertain us, boost wellbeing, help us work through our emotions, soothe and unstress us, enhance our mood and trigger feelings of joy, melancholy, and happiness.
Vlademir Kornéev’s music has this power. This summer, he captivated a private audience in a concert performance under a grand gloriette pavilion, in the middle of a lush vineyard at Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa. His repertoire about love and longing in French, Russian and English, self-composed and written German Chansons, as well as his versions of the Kurt Weill songbook enthralled his audience and touched hearts as he gave insight to his personal experiences and inspirations. Experienced in nature around sunset, it was magical.
Vladimir is passionate about transforming lives through the art and music that transformed him, as well as healed the trauma he experienced as a child refugee. His inspiring story is one of action and grit, gratefulness and resilience, transformation and strength. Against many odds, he said YES to life and transformed himself.
Born to Georgian-Russian parents in 1987, his mother was a teacher of Russian language and literature, and his father was in the Georgian military. His grandmother took care of him at 3 years old and his favorite game was to turn on the radio and sing, and she would clap after every song. At 4 1/2, his parents took him to a concert and were surprised that he ran up to the stage and sang in the arms of the Russian chanson singer, already knowing the lyrics by heart.
Vladimir moved to Germany with his parents at 6 years, leaving behind their homeland Georgia during the war for Abkhazia in 1992–1993. He did not know that they were going away forever, and he did not know that he would never see his grandmother again. He knew something was wrong and remembered that his mother only packed a small bag with photos and clothes, and she was very, very sad. In the waiting hall of the train station, he remembered there was an old piano with a soldier playing romantic soothing music and he was hypnotised, knowing then that he had to learn to play the piano. After arriving in Berlin, the family was granted political asylum in Augsburg and moved from one refugee camp to another and lived with 15 families or more on one floor with a shared kitchen. Everybody was stressed and aggressive, and the young Korneev was so overwhelmed, he withdrew, lost his voice, then started to stutter very badly. He saw war and violence everywhere and stuttered horribly until he was 17 years.
Vladimir started his education as a pianist at the age of 9, and completed his primary and secondary education in Augsburg, He played every classical piece – Mozart, Beethoven, and adored Chopin. He loved being on stage because he did not have to speak, and everybody was quiet. To him, every music piece was a story and he focused with impact, playing from the heart.
His first visit to a theatre was an amazing OMG moment at 16 years. He joined the theatre club and everyone laughed at him because he could not speak. The drama teacher recognized his energy and passion to act and taught him to play roles where he learned to be a different character with their own conflicts. When he acted, he was so deeply into character that he did not stutter. He was given the main role in their final play and during the premier applause, he shook all over and started to cry, and in this moment his stuttering stopped. From this moment on, he decided to be an actor.
After his A levels, he moved to Munich to complete his civil year as an assistant to the Theatre Director and he worked with everyone and learned to respect every department. He was one of ten accepted annually at the University of Arts in Munich Theatre Academy where he studied acting and singing for 4 years. This is where he met his vocal coach and mentor – Melanie Percu – who inspired this baritone to sing chanson and taught him the technique to open himself so profoundly that his vocal cords sing for him.
Vladimir Kornéev has received many awards as a Chanson singer and became a distinctive member of the ”Bavarian Academy Of Fine Arts“ as the youngest recipient in the department of performing arts in 2020, one of the highest honours for an artist in Germany. He has performed extensively as a guest of symphonic orchestras and his own concerts in Germany, and he is a renowned actor for movie and television.
Today, Vladimir lives in Berlin. He is dismayed about what humanity has done to the planet in the last 50 years which will impact future generations, and he tries his best not to leave a huge footprint and fly less. He is concerned that it’s very late and know that our bold actions or climate inaction now will decide if humanity will survive, yet he does not think that humanity understands this. He is conscious about health and chose to be vegan and prefers to use organic, non-toxic products. He believes that we have to think about social injustice and human rights abuses, consumerism and the negative impact of the meat industry on global warming, deforestation and our oceans; and we should be aware of the toxic effects of chemicals on our health and the environment. He believes in the need for a collective mind change and that art and music can help to communicate and transform. In Vienna, he was involved in the refugee project MigrArt which promotes community rehabilitation and antifragility approaches, and pursues empowerment and social organization in which art is a work tool that allows the youth to communicate the transformations that emerge in their lives.
Meet the passionate Vlademir Kornéev HERE.
Message from NOW Founder
While in Provence this summer, my husband and I had the privilege to attend the private concert by Vlademir Kornéev, and was inspired by his story.
Against many odds and due to the love of his parents, Vladimir is among the less than 1% of displaced people that thrive today.
Less than 1% of all refugees are ever able to resettle and find a new life in safety and security. Half of the world’s refugees are children. According to Save the Children, our world is now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record, and by the end of 2019, around 26 million men, women, and children have been forced to flee their home countries due to conflict and persecution—more than at any time in history.
Each individual can make a huge difference. View what you can do HERE.