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Banque Populaire Corporate Foundation: interview with Sasha Boldachev, harpist

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ of the Banque Populaire Foundation, Groupe BPCE interviewed one of the winners

Where does your passion for the harp come from?

I've always had it in me. If I think back to my childhood, the harp has always been with me. The first time I went on stage I was five years old. And even then I could move people with small, easy pieces. Since then I have been looking to discover new pieces, to train in order to be able to bring new colors to the harp, while staying in touch with my audience and offering them sounds they have never heard before.

How did you discover the Banque Populaire Corporate Foundation?

Sometimes when I try to look back over the chance encounters and coincidences that have occurred in my life, I get a little lost! In Argentina, I met a wonderful person, the harpist Marielle Nordmann, who embodied French music for me. We immediately became friends – me, in particular, because I believe she embodies the truth of culture and the talent of creating intimate music. For her, I must have been an interesting young man with great determination. She was the one who introduced me to the Foundation.

I remember it was very cold that day, but I was happy to start something in Paris, and the idea warmed my heart.

How did your relationship with the Foundation go?

Martine Tremblay, Director of the Foundation, is really a wonderful person. For artists, she is a kind of bridge between the coldness of money and the warmth of culture and art. She is highly motivated and allows each new person in the Foundation to discover their own story.

As I'm not in France all that much, it was very difficult to see each other and work together for the concerts. But that's how I see my life now, and despite all my love for France and the people I really miss, I can't stay long in one place.

What has the Banque Populaire Corporate Foundation brought you?

It came into my life just at the right time, when I needed more freedom. The Foundation gave me a break: I was able to rent an apartment instead of an 8 m2 student room in one of the student halls of residence, I was able to pay off my debts and look to the future more calmly. Thanks to the Foundation, I started to set up my HarpTime Projects initiative, which aims to develop the harp in many forms: such as harp therapy, meditation, more intimate concerts, electro music, etc. And it allowed me to really focus on what was most important to my career and those who support me, not just my financial needs.

What have you learned from this experience with the Foundation?

I don't know. I'm not a typical prize-winner! Of course I know many people at the Foundation, I love my colleagues and I am extremely grateful to the whole team. But I still don't speak French very well and I can't spend any more time in France, so I feel a little out of step. It doesn't matter, but it takes time to get into the rhythm. My message to the new candidates would be this: you are about to enter the most welcoming Foundation I know, it is a bit like a family. Keep an open mind and if you are part of the team, you have a secure future ahead of you. Because the first thing the Banque Populaire Foundation offers its protégés is motivation!

For more information: Sasha Boldachev's website

For more information about the Banque Populaire Corporate Foundation:  Click here

  • Banque Populaire
  • Corporate philanthopy and partnership