DePaul University School of Music > About > Featured Profiles > Dmitri Pogorelov

Dmitri Pogorelov

Graduate Student, Violin Performance


A native of Voronezh, Russia, and graduate of Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL, Dmitri counts soccer and '80s music among his interests.

What were your early experiences with music?
Both of my parents are wonderful pianists (it really is kind of nice to always have an accompanist at hand), and my older sister is one of the best violinists I've ever heard (when I was little she'd help me out with lots of technical things on the instrument and give me advice; she still does actually), so I grew up having music coming at me from every possible direction.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I never had any doubt about what kind of career I wanted to pursue since, at age 13, I'd given up hope of becoming a soccer World Champion.

What were your main criteria in choosing a school, and what made you choose DePaul?
After considering schools like Yale and Eastman, one of the main reasons (if not THE main reason) for choosing DePaul was having the chance to work with violin professor Ilya Kaler. Studying with him has exceeded all of my expectations. Mr. Kaler makes you a better player by the end of each lesson, so every opportunity I have to play for him is a great experience.

Some of my good friends studied at DePaul before me, so I had a pretty good idea about what to expect here. Being at DePaul has taught me a lot. I think now I'm much more ready to venture into the professional world, and I'm very thankful to my DePaul experience for that.

What do you like most about the School of Music?
There are lots of great things about DePaul. I like the fact that the School is not too big, and every student gets personal attention; the administration is always there for us and faculty is always ready to help with both professional and personal matters. And of course the level of faculty is just great; some of the finest musicians in the world teach at DePaul.

I have a feeling anybody who is dedicated to music and is willing to learn could have a great experience at DePaul. The level of students is very high, which is important because being able to learn from your fellow classmates is just as essential as learning from faculty. And the DePaul Symphony Orchestra is probably one of the finest in this country. Being a part of this ensemble is challenging but very rewarding at the same time.

How do you feel about Chicago as a music city?
Hearing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is always an incredible experience, so I attend their concerts whenever I have a chance. And of course the faculty recitals at DePaul are a major attraction. I love Chicago, and I could totally see myself sticking around here for life. Now I just need to win the CSO job!

Any last thoughts?
I've learned a lot of wonderful things at DePaul not just concerning music performance, but also about what I need to do to be successful in the music world. A career in music is not just about playing the notes well; it's also about who you are as a person, about your discipline and attitude, about how well rounded of a person you are. I'm confident because of my DePaul education I will be able to not only get a job, but to keep it as well!