Sad news: pianist Dmitri Bashkirov has died at the age of 89. Mar 8, 2021 | News | 3 comments 3 Comments robc cowan on March 8, 2021 at 8:57 am Fond memories of Bashkirov at the Verbier Festival (2009) “Veteran pianist Dmitri Bashkirov, a sprightly Magnus Pyke lookalike, thundered on one of two concert grands from the far end of the local sports hall, storming through Chopin’s Second Ballade, singing ecstatically, shouting, leaping, then nestling up to his student and imploring him to play “eroica, eroica!” A nearby translator helped us out with anything that wasn’t obvious.” Sadly he wasn’t up for an interview. A great player. Reply Ates Orga on March 8, 2021 at 12:07 pm DMITRI BASHKIROV Principal teachers: Anastasia Virsaladze, Alexander Goldenweiser. 1955 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition, joint 2nd; 1970 Robert Schumann Prize. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, of a Russian father and Jewish mother, Bashkirov trained initially in the Esipova/Petersburg tradition before passing on to Goldenweiser, whose assistant he became – ‘a great musician, unbelievably clever, educated, and analytical in his thinking […] on close terms with Tolstoy, Rachmaninov and Medtner. He was like a bridge from the old Russian tradition to our own time. [But] in many ways I was an anti-Goldenweiser pupil, because my style and temperament belonged much more to the school of Neuhaus, whereas [echoing Richter] Goldenweiser was very orthodox, very precise, not very artistic, and without fantasy or temperament’ (International Piano Quarterly, Summer 1999). Following early notice in the West, and a professorship at the Moscow Conservatory in 1957, his career was suspended in 1980 when, according to his official biography ‘he was refused permission to perform and teach [abroad] by the authorities of the former USSR, being detained there until he was finally allowed to leave the country eight years later’. The chances of catching him in concert are infrequent: much of his time is spent either giving master-classes or teaching between Moscow, Madrid (Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía), Salzburg, the International Piano Foundation at Lake Como, Israel and North America. With interval-breaks often the dividing-line between competency and genius, Bashkirov recitals, devotees will tell you, can be unpredictable, memorable more by halves than wholes. At best – the vocalising, uninhibited man comfortable among friends rather than the loner on stage – you’ll meet with pianism that’s cumulatively magisterial and digitally fine-tuned while not being so detailed in dynamics (more loud than quiet overall and often reversing what’s written), nor attentive to rhythmic niceties or articulation marks, and prone to caprice and occasional gratuity. Tone, left-hand pointing, the weighting of chords, the ringing projection of phrases, voicing, define his aristocracy. As artist and teacher, he emphasises, he has ‘no special liking for the word “technique”. I always prefer […] “pianism” instead. Many of our young have brilliant technique, but it is not pianism. For them technique itself is the end. But for me the word “pianism” implies culture of tone and diversity of articulation, intonational subtlety’ (1982). [Ates Orga, Legendary Russian Pianists, Brilliant Classics 2009] Reply Tully Potter on March 8, 2021 at 6:25 pm The trio with Bezrodny and Khomitzer is always worth hearing, apart from his many solo recordings. Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.