Duo MemDi was founded by violinist Igor Kalnin and pianist Rochelle Sennet in the summer of 2010, when they served on the faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. The duo performs all repertoire by memory, as they believe that it allows them to connect with composers’ ideas in a more profound and insightful way. They understand it as internalization and re-composing of the structural, harmonic, and melodic elements of a particular work. Another focus of the duo is to increase diversity and inclusion in the world of classical music, and they have worked with living composers from various backgrounds. These two fundamental ideas created the name of the duo: Mem[ory] and Di[versity] - MemDi.
Since its inception, the Duo performed a broad variety of repertoire by memory, including sonatas of Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms, Franck, and Prokofiev, and a number of violin and piano showpieces. They performed in Europe, Asia, and across the United States, including an appearance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York. Their most recent trip was to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where they performed Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto for Violin and Piano with Chamber Orchestra Turkistan, gave a recital with works of Ravel, Mumford, and Bartok, and conducted masterclasses at Uzbekistan State Conservatory. Duo MemDi enjoy playing and working with younger generations, and they gave numerous performances and masterclasses in high and middle schools around the country as representatives of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.