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Azamat Sydykov – first Kyrgyz at Carnegie Hall

The other day the first solo concert of the Kyrgyz pianist Azamat Sydykov was held on one of the world's most prestigious venues for classical music - at Carnegie Hall (USA). He has a broad education - the Republican School of Music named after M.Abdrayev in Bishkek, study at the Central Music School in Moscow and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory as well as post graduate course there. Currently Azamat Sydykov - graduate student of Mannes College of Music in New York. Young musician shared his impressions on his performance at Carnegie Hall with 24.kg news agency.

- How was the concert?

- It was beautiful and memorable holiday music. I and my professor are very satisfied. It was a success.


- What have you performed and how free are you in choice of repertoire for recitals?

- The program consisted of two parts. At first I performed "Fantasy Pieces", Op. 3 and "Six Musical Moments", Op. 16 of Rachmaninoff, the second was opened by the music of Kyrgyz composers: "Kairyk" by Muratbek Begaliev and "Mash Botoi" by Atay Ogonbayev arranged for piano of Mikhail Burshtin. Then the program included transcriptions of the great Franz Liszt, and finally there was his "Rapsodie espagnole".

Originally I selected the program. I played the music of my favorite composers.

- What audience came to your concert, are there many compatriots in the hall?

- To my delight, that evening the hall was full. The concert was attended by outstanding musicians and artists of America, professors and students of my university, a number of ambassadors, my friends and many others. But most of all I was pleasantly surprised by a large number of my countrymen. My God, how they supported and were very proud that night!.. By the way, my fellow Americans still can not move away from the experience of the beauty of our girls, there were plenty of them in the audience. So we amazed all.

I think that the concert program contributed to the success. For example, I played the Kyrgyz classics, which immediately aroused great interest and success with the public. I decided that I will continue to include more Kyrgyz classical music in my future concerts. After all, we are proud of what we can show.

I was very pleased that in that day the rector of the Kyrgyz National Conservatory named K.Moldobasanov, the composer Muratbek Akimovich Begaliyev arrived to support me. He was, perhaps, the only one from Kyrgyzstan, who understands and feels the seriousness and importance of this event for our musical culture.


- What distinguishes your performance at Carnegie Hall from the others?

- For me there is no difference. The point is not in the halls. People and humans are important. Always need to be on top and be given the same music that you play, and his listeners. However, I confess I was very worried: not every day you play at Carnegie Hall. The more that the artists acting in this place, people require more and expectations. As they say, you need to keep the brand.

- Many famous pianists and pedagogues today complain that modern artists "interpret" the works to such an extent that not a trace remains from the author. What do you say about your performance?

-Music, like art in general - very delicate and subjective thing. Interpretation, that is the skill of reading manuscripts of the great composers, the embodiment of their thoughts and aspirations, creates a difference as in skills between the musicians. Since then, as composers write music and it is fixed in notes, it ceases to belong to them. Further works already live their eternal life and belong to all mankind. One can interpret music in different ways. Just as the works of Shakespeare in theater. After all, he did not leave instructions to actors on how to pronounce phrases. It is an art within art. This opens up endless scope for creativity of performers. But it should serve as a maximum transfer of thoughts and feelings of great creators. After all, a performer - a bridge between the great writers and people. In general, I am against any interpretations of various works dictated by fashion, the desire to impress and show your originality. I believe that we must faithfully and devotedly follow the great composers. We need a lot of reading, listening, learning the differences between manuscripts and notes after the revisions. So it's a big work. However, this does not guarantee that you will guess the essence of the work. The main thing is that you can not change the Muse, that inspires and guides our Lyra. As the great Medtner stated (note 24.kg new agency: Nikolai Medtner - Russian composer and pianist), musicians should always keep clean their inner musical structure. For only in these strings of the soul truly unique great music can be sounded and reflected. And this is the interpretation, in my view. I would not want to say about other musicians, especially that commenting on creativity of your colleagues is considered dishonorable deed.


- In an interview you said: "Personally I can not imagine piano without music of Liszt and Rachmaninoff." What their spirit or secret of these composers is hidden for you?

- A lot of books are written about these two great composers and their role in world culture, so I'll tell you why they're so close to me.

With music by Rachmaninoff and Liszt my personal musical career is connected. For the first time, I heard recordings of Rachmaninoff's piano concertos played by himself. I was strongly impressed and I could spend hours listening to his recordings, looking out the window and thinking about something serious and sublime.

 At home we had a book of Yuri Vsevolodovich Keldysh about Rachmaninoff. I read and speak in Russian not well, so I liked to look at pictures and tried to read and understand what the book is narrated. I especially enjoyed reading about his studies at Moscow Conservatory, about his strict mentor Zverev, and, in particular, I liked the stories about his pranks and disorderly behavior. On these days my children's imagination drew my future life only in Moscow, where I was supposed to be necessarily the same great pianist like my idol. My dream has come true, and after a while I went to Moscow as much as 12 years. Then, as Sergei Vasilyevich, fate brought me to America.

My university is literally a stone's throw from the house number 505, on 85th Street and the West End, where he lived and worked until his death, where I often go to ask him something good in my mind. So, my relationship with Rachmaninov is very personal, and it is very dear to me. Thanks to his brilliant music and playing the piano, I became a pianist.

Franz Liszt also holds a special place in my life and repertoire. From the early age I was interested in everything that is connected with this person. By the way, about 6 hours of his music are in my repertoire. This is an amazing and inspirational artist. After all, he was not only a great composer, pianist, but also a teacher, an educator. Judging only by his piano transcriptions you can say about the breadth of his interests and outlook, his openness and generosity. He never envied other geniuses. He was one of the first who wrote a book about his Polish friend Fryderyk Chopin and supported many outstanding personalities of his time. About him I can talk forever, but it is important to know and remember that Liszt is the founder of the Eastern European, in particular, the Russian piano tradition and modern piano art, in general. Among his many students was the cousin of Sergei Rachmaninoff - Alexander Siloti. So, we can say, that Liszt is in our blood.


- It is believed that real than chronological age is determined by human curiosity: the more you have it, the younger you are. Do you have a dream, a desire for something new to see, to experience, to play?

-My dream - always to be engaged in my favorite deal. Namely, to create, to make people happy and to discover more new music and expand the horizons, visiting many countries and learn about different cultures.

- How do you think, what will you do in twenty years?



Photos provided by Azamat Sydykov.