Tobias Timofeyev, Oleg Timofeyev, and Isabela Cruz-Vespa rehearse for a Korona Konsort performance, an ensemble they created in Timofeyev's home in Iowa City. Photo by Sabine Gölz/Special to the Press-Citizen.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bard students Tobias Timofeyev ’21 (mathematics) and Isabela Cruz-Vespa ’22 (Conservatory and pyschology) began Korona Konsort while hunkered down in Iowa City. With Cruz-Vespa playing the flute, Timofeyev the cello, and Timofeyev’s father Oleg accompanying on a guitar or lute, the trio performs Baroque music of the 17th and 18th centuries in pajama bottoms, an ode to how Zoom learning and work often meant only needing to look presentable from the waist up, for a video-only audience.
“It was a privilege,” Tobias Timofeyev says. “When you perform in person, that’s one thing. Trying to imitate that with a Zoom concert or something is really tough, and it sometimes can set you up for failure in terms of expectations. I really liked that we were mostly dealing with a completely different medium, and really we embraced that this was a video that we were making, and that we could really do whatever we wanted [with it].”