By Heidi Trautmann
It has become a tradition for
many of us to follow the invitation for concerts of Rauf Kasimov’s piano
students and we are always in for a surprise. I go there to see the progress
the students make but also for sentimental reasons. Many of his students I have
known from an age when they could hardly climb up the stool and who have now
stepped out into the world studying at conservatoires and entrusting their
education to others than Rauf Kasimov who has laid such a firm base with his
sensitive way of working and teaching.
Only some days ago we learnt
from the media that one his early students, Görsev Tepe, who has left Cyprus
some years ago with her mother for America and has continued to study music at
a conservatoire there, had become second at the 11th International
Music Competition in New York. http://mfa.gov.ct.tr/young-pianist-gorsev-tepe-was-2nd-in-the-competition-in-new-york/ It proves to
me again, that only good teachers who bring with them the passion for their
profession and subject can do the work of uncovering and developing talents
that are there in a rough form. As Konfuzius says: The garden of a human being
contains all the seeds in its soil, it depends on the gardener to develop the
On Sunday, September 13, ten
of his students, among them some new talents, stepped on stage conveying a
seriousness and quiet confidence and as soon as they sat down and concentrated,
bowing the head, lifting the hands….in that very moment they became a new
personality, the music they were starting to bring to life has taken possession
of them. It is a strange phenomenon, a sort of metamorphosis.
Ten young people, the oldest
17 years of age, the youngest has just turned eight. I want to mention them by
Azra Say Ötün, born 2001 in
America: she played W.A. Mozart, Fantasie d minor.
Nursel Hançer, born 2006 in
Lefkoşa: she played J.Ferrie, Serenade Espagnole; I’m an old Cowhand (four
hands with R.Kasimov); J. Kramer, Cowboy Song and O Sole Mio.
Helin Hersek, born in 2001
in Lefkoşa: she played F.Chopin Nocturne d minor and R.Leoncavallo, Aria ‘Vesti
la giubba’ from Pagliacci.
Yaroslaw Kwiatkowski, born in 2000
in Moskow: he played L.v.Beethoven, Sonata op 49 no 2, part 1; I. Kramer, Up
the hill (four hands with R. Kasimov).
Ece Acar, born in 2003 in Uzbekistan:
she played L.v.Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata.
Onur Zaifoğlu, born in 2002
in Lefkoşa: he played L.v.Beethoven, For Elise and K.Veil, Mack the Knife.
Gökçen Mertoğlu, born in 1998
in Lefkoşa: She played F. Chopin: Fantasie Impromptu op 66.
Batu Özgün, born in 2000
in Lefkoşa: he played W.A. Mozart, Rondo Alla Turka.
Ipek Zorba, born in 1999
in England: She played F. Liszt, Liebesträume no. 3.
Suna Alsancak, born in 2007
in Lefkoşa; she played J.S. Bach, Prelude & Fugue c-moll and W.A.Mozart,
Sonatina KV 213 (four hands with R.Kasimov).
Meral Akinci, the wife of HE
Mustafa Akinci, embraced the kids with a smile and gave them their award and
certificate of participation. What a beautiful and happy crowd, we all thought.
Next to me I had grandmom and mom of Ipek Zorba and behind us her father, and
they were all gleaming with pride. I turned around and saw the same joy and
pride in many other faces and all their eyes said: We can be proud of our
children. I smiled and had just the same feeling.
The lovely evening continued
outside under the arches of the 14th century building with a
reception and the guests had the opportunity to congratulate the young
musicians. Little Suna in her white tulle dress and a rose in her long hair looked
a bit lost among all the tall grownups talking down to her. Her little face
with the heavy dark eyebrows looking seriously up at you; she has already won
first prizes at competitions starting at the age of five and preparing for the
next one in Tenerife.
Thank you Rauf Kasimov for
taking care of this fantastic bunch of talents. May your hands be blessed,
yours, and those of your students..
PS: There are some good
recordings on the internet with youtube of the one and other student, so go and
look for them and listen to their recitals.