Arts4All Blog

Get to Know Temirzhan Yerzhanov

Posted March 20th, 2017  |  By A4A.admin

Blog Images

CSMA is excited to welcome award-winning pianist Temirzhan Yerzhanov for a free concert in Tateuchi Hall on Saturday, March 25 at 7:30pm. Temirzhan has been on the CSMA faculty since 2012. Get to know him as he discusses how music education in his youth helped shaped him, and shares some advice for music students.

How did you begin playing music?

I showed my musicality at the tender age of 3 when I liked to dance trying to imitate ballet dancers and figure skaters. When I was 7, it was natural for me to be selected for a special music school.

Did you have you access to music education in school? If not, how did you find your way into music?

My native country Kazakhstan was part of mighty USSR then, and free education, particularly music education, was one of the ideological and political cornerstones. With no social, economic or cultural barriers, musically-gifted children were selected and educated at special music schools of a national status. Later I moved to the very top of this pyramid, Central Music School, where I studied regular subjects with all possible music subjects – piano, theory, music history, rhythmic, choir, harmonization and form analysis… about 10 lessons a week and for 11 years (!) followed by years at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

Tell us about a great music teacher you had.

Whether good or bad, I was raised in a world where students rarely changed teachers; our relationships were built on respect and trust. However since I moved several times, I had several teachers. The greatest of them, who influenced all my life, are surely Mikhail Voskressensky, now patriarch professor of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, professor of accompanying Vazha Chahava, and conductor Imant Airea. I cannot call them simply ‘teachers’, they are true gurus.

How often do you practice and/or rehearse?

While at high school, our standard practicing was three hours a day, at conservatory level, it was five hours. My personal record is eight hours, but it happened only once at the very height of preparation for a major competition which I eventually won. Now, with limited time and a busy life, I have learned ways how to use every spare minute and sometimes ‘to practice’ in my mind just reading music or even driving my car.

What advice do you have for young, aspiring musicians?

Almost everyone who has musical talent is also a talented hard worker. The problem is how to work, not how much, and how to get maximum results in minimum time. What makes a musician special is not a skill, knowledge or exam certificates, it is a depth of one’s inner world. That is why I advise young people to read, listen to, and watch arts and other things than just practicing music. 

Tags: eventsmusic-school