Rauf Kasimov and his students meet their audience in
Bellapais in November 2013
By Heidi Trautmann
In his book ‘The Alchemist’ Paulo Coelho writes about
our ‘personal calling’, the dream to follow our personal calling in-spite of
everything, of fights and tears, of happiness and joy that comes along with it.
“…. once we have overcome the defeats – and we always do – we are filled by a
greater sense of euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know
that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of life….”. This is said so
beautifully and I want to share it with the twelve young people who have
decided to make music and to make music their life, especially with the ones
who will make music their profession. Some of them I have accompanied through
the years, have been to their concerts with Rauf Kasimov as their tutor, some
of them I still know before Rauf appeared on the scene, when they were with children
music groups or performed on school stages and could not yet reach down to the
They are grown up now, I could see that when I greeted
them this last Sunday on 17 November, still children by age but young adults full
of confidence and euphoria, by their appearance and their poise; this is
something Rauf Kasimov, their teacher, said to me: with the understanding of
music goes the understanding of life, the attitude of mind and heart and it
influences automatically posture and body language.
I can read this in the faces of my young friends,
there is this open, satisfied look after the work they have delivered at the
concert. Twelve young musicians taught by an extraordinary fine piano teacher
have demonstrated with full commitment what music is for them, that is was
worthwhile to give up part of a normal childhood, to practice for many hours a
day, year after year. This is what Paulo Coelho speaks about.
We all appreciated the good information on the young
performers, about their age and the school they are attending and what hobbies
they have. Our youngest musician is just six years old, the oldest 16 years.
Tell me, what did you do when you were a teenager?
The programme was well designed, not only with music adapted
to the character of the young musicians but also as a whole: there was no break
which I found very good, it would have been unfair to the youngsters to wait so
long in the cool corridors of Bellapais; and, in the middle of the programme we
were hearing non classical pieces, some jazz, some pieces from musicals, love
songs, so that a certain tension was kept when in the sort of second part it
became classical again. We also heard some lovely compositions by Rauf Kasimov,
some of the pieces are especially made for children, like ‘snow ball game’,
‘rain drops’, ‘Bear in a forest’ and more.
I do not want to comment on the individual skills of
the young pianists, I want to see it as a whole; I was delighted, touched by the obvious
progress of the ones I know and by the presentation of those that are new to
me. The little one, Suna Alsancak, with her six years won the hearts of us all,
what a brave little pianist, but little in height only; my heart went out to
all of them when they came on stage, I was proud of them. In some there was
obvious shyness in facing the audience, some knead their fingers with a little
nervousness, and you could see the gathering of deep concentration before they
started to play, and they played well and made good music; there was one who
really had rhythm in his venes for jazz; one that obviously loved Mozart deeply
and looked like Queen Guinevere about to meet Lancelot, another one who still
wore teeth braces last year and is today a young woman and one who is out to
conquer the world.
They all had begun a love affair with the piano and
had something important to say in the terms of music and we all listened
attentively and recognized it.
The young pianists performing were in the order of
appearance: Suna Alsançak (2007); Barlas Balabaner (2001); Cemile Özcan (2000)
Onur Zaifoğlu (2002); Yaroslaw Kwiatkowski (2000); Ilke Aslım (2001); Batu
Özgün (2000); Ismet Ersalıcı (1998); Svetlana Timashava; Miriam Marancos (1997);
Ipek Zorba (1999); Erol Emmioğlu (1997).