Uzbek piano sensation Behzod Abduraimov on his craft and inspirations

The piano sensation's craft is inspired by his idols such as Alfred Cortot, Vladimir Horowitz and Arthur Schnabel


Joydeep Sengupta

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Published: Tue 21 Dec 2021, 11:06 PM

Uzbek pianist, Behzod Abduraimov, 31, recently performed at Expo 2020 Dubai. A child prodigy, Abduraimov is a piano virtuoso. He was only five years old when he started taking piano lessons at Uspensky State Central Lyceum in his home city Tashkent in Uzbekistan. He had good reasons to choose piano among all classical musical instruments.

“My mother is a piano teacher and my sister was also studying music back then. So, I was surrounded by the sounds of piano since I was a toddler. Classical music immediately became a huge inspiration since my mother introduced me to great recordings of legendary musicians at a young age, and started teaching me piano. This sprung up my great love for music and, particularly, to piano,” he says.

Significantly, his arm-blurring octaves evoke eerie command. His rhapsodic flair has to be seen to be believed. “Playing an instrument professionally is a lifelong journey of learning and discovering. There’s always a great deal of challenge as well as incredible enjoyment. I’d say discipline and full dedication is the key. As always, practice makes the craft perfect,” he says.

His calendar was any musician’s envy before Covid-19 pandemic struck early last year. “Even though international travel has become more complicated these days, I was so happy to see that the touring life picked up quite rapidly this year after months of silence,” he says.

He lists the favourite rendition by Ludwig van Beethoven. “There are many great interpreters of Beethoven’s music, it’s a matter of a choice, but one that speaks to me the most is Arthur Schnabel, especially for his sophisticated taste and great respect for the composer’s intentions,” he says.

Abduraimov says he really enjoyed performing in Dubai. “I was definitely very proud to represent the cultural programme of Uzbekistan, the festive atmosphere of Expo 2020 Dubai, and the absolutely mesmerising stage of Jubilee Park made it all the more special. I’ve found the Dubai audience no less enthusiastic and appreciative than anywhere else, and I’m truly grateful for a warm reception after my recital. I’d like to convey my special thanks to the initiators of the concert — Art and Culture Development Foundation under the Republic of Uzbekistan’s

Ministry of Culture,” he signs off.

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