Natalia Slobodenyuk Semanivska
Natalia Semanivska, a violinist, teaches violin at the University of Montemorelos in Mexico, a position she has held since 2006, and plays as a soloist and in the university's orchestra and string quartets. A native of the Ukraine, she previously taught in three schools of music in that country from 1992 to 2005.
Natalia was born in Khartsizsk, Donetsk, Ukraine, one of two daughters of Victor and Vera Slobodenyuk. She started music study while very young, when her kindergarten teacher, noticing her precociousness in music, had a conference with her parents and told them, "If you do not put Natalia in the conservatory of music, you will be making a great mistake."
The parents followed that advice and enrolled her, subject to the passing of entrance exams. Although Natalia wanted to study piano, after the exams she was told that she must take violin, given the sensitivity of her hearing and innate sense of pitch.
She began formal study in violin at the conservatory at age seven. This study, along with other music classes, continued through primary and high school years, until she graduated in 1988. For the next four years, from 1988 to 1992, she attended and graduated from college in the city of Donetsk, majoring in violin and string pedagogy. During that time, she also did some teaching at the school of music in the state of Donetsk.
From 1992 to 1994 Natalia taught violin in the school of music in the city of Khartsizsk. She resumed teaching in 1996 and then taught violin in the school of music in Ilovaysk until 1998, when she returned to Donetsk and taught until 2005, when the family left the Ukraine.
She is married to Pavel Semanivsky, also born in the Ukraine, who directs the UM orchestra and teaches flute. They had two children, Eugenia and Elena, when they left the Ukraine, and have had a son, Genrikh, since arriving at UM.
Source: Information provided by Ruth Ann Wade, based on Interview with her Natalia’s husband, Pavel Semanivsky, 2008.