PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN
November 30, 2016
UZBEKISTAN: CHERISHING THE TRADITIONS CAREFULLY
Tashkent has been immersed in the atmosphere of the beautiful for about a month. For the first time, Tashkent is hosting the International Festival of Arts ‘Golden Autumn’, the program of which presents concerts of world renowned domestic and foreign musicians.
The country is full of talents, as repeatedly proved by national and international music competitions. Much has been done in Uzbekistan over the past two decades to further develop musical art.
Teaching of young talents has been a particular focus. Children’s music and art schools, culture centers operate in all regions of the republic, colleges of arts enroll students, and a new building of the State Conservatory was built in the capital in 2002. Presidential Decrees ‘On streamlining music education, educational institutions of culture and art in the republic’, ‘On measures to support and stimulate the further development of theatrical and musical art of Uzbekistan’ provide an opportunity to the younger generation to get education on the basis of traditions of the Uzbek culture and international standards.
As noted by great minds, “Genius is one percent of talent and 99 percent of hard work”. The work of specialized musical educational institutions of the country is built on this concept. The major talent foundry – the Uspensky Republican Specialized Music Academic Lyceum (RSMAL) carefully preserves the traditions of the 77-year history of the oldest educational institution. As lovingly called by students and teachers, ‘Uspenka’ has become a kind of quality mark. Bekzod Abduraimov, Nodir Hashimov, Ulugbek Palvanov, Lola Astanova, Stanislav Yudenich and other RSMAL graduates decently represent Uzbekistan on the world stage.
Thanks to the continuous education system, children attend the same school from the age of six till entering the higher education institution. The educational process consists of two cycles - the musical and general education, and includes two stages of education: nine years of schooling and three years of study at the lyceum. The team of teachers, who cultivate the love for music in children, play a very special role in growing the generation of talented children. Many of them are RSMAL graduates, and they do their best to preserve a special atmosphere, which is inherent solely in ‘Uspenka’. Lydia Florenteva, Larisa Mukhitdinova, Alla Kim, theory teachers Marina Plodinskaya, Irina Kovbas and Gulnara Suleymanova, Masuda Ahmedova, Nasiba Satarova, head of ‘Meros’ group Zamira Rakhmatullaeva and others have brought up several generations of musicians.
The Hamza Republican State Musical College merged with Uspensky RSMAL in 2010, thereby significantly expanding the composition of students and the teaching staff. The curriculum was enriched with new disciplines. Students received the opportunity to learn playing folk instruments, traditional singing and sound engineering. Today, there are 12 departments at the Lyceum.
Concerts are the integral part of learning. For example, 387 concerts were organized in 2014 alone. Each actor needs stage performance skills. Children learn soloing and performing with the team. There are seven choirs, chamber, symphonic and folk orchestras, several quartets at the Lyceum.
By performing, students not just share the wonderful moments of touching the high art with the audience, but also learn to be compassionate. There is a striking example of a unique project ‘Children for Children’, initiated by students: the funds raised at the concert are allocated for the purchase of medicines for children, who stay on treatment at the Research Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion. Little musicians inspire them by their performance, strengthen their faith and hope for recovery.
Young musicians decently represent the national music and performance school at international competitions, win many prestigious creative competitions in Germany, Italy, Russia, France, Ukraine and many other countries. This year alone, RSMAL students have won 40 international competitions. Failures happen along with numerous victories. They cultivate fortitude, ability not to give up, but analyze shortcomings and move on.
RSMAL hosts international competitions too. For example, a classical instruments competition Istedod was held for the first time last year. A folk instruments competition ‘Ona Yurt Ohanglari’, where RSMAL students demonstrated the results of introduction of new disciplines, has recently completed. Such competitions are also a platform for teachers to share their experiences.
RSMAL graduates remain a part of it forever. They come back to the native school to ask advice from a teacher, to perform on the first and favorite stage, as well as share their experience with the new generation of musicians.
Henceforth, the baton of the talent foundry goes to the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan. Its new building, which is unique for Central Asia, provides 312 spacious, light and well equipped classrooms, four halls, three equipped recording studios, a museum of national instruments, a laboratory. The Conservatory is attended by 1,400 students from all regions of the republic. Young people are provided with every opportunity to get a decent education. A musical theatre studio, which has been operating at the Conservatory since the middle of the last century, is a platform for the professional growth of musicians. Often studio teams become the first serious step in the orchestra and solo career of students. The program of orchestras is built for the whole academic year, free concerts are held at least once a month. This way, students study a huge world of orchestral life, including rehearsals, selection of the repertoire, and much more.
The learning system in the conservatory is different from that in other universities by the focus on individual classes. In this case, the education of a future musician depends on the teachers. Therefore, the administration ensures that the study at the country’s only music high school was provided by professionals. There are no similar institutions in our country. That is why the administration is currently organizing teacher training in conservatories abroad. Next year, more teachers will share their experiences with their foreign colleagues.
The work on international cooperation has been underway for many years. The Conservatory is not just school, but the country's major music venue. Most of the foreign visitors, who come to perform in Uzbekistan, conduct workshops for students. RSMAL has signed more than 10 memoranda with universities around the world.
The International Jazz Festival, initiated by the UNESCO Office in Uzbekistan, ranks among the most exciting events that are held by the Conservatory. Domestic and foreign jazz musicians perform on different stages of the capital and other cities of the country throughout April. The musical forum has already won its audience, and it is growing year by year. Next year, in addition to jazz festival, it is scheduled to hold the first international festival of organ music. These concerts are held rarely and always collect a full house. There are few singers in our country, so it was decided to invite musicians from abroad, to attach young people to this thrust.
Roots of the Music
The further development of the music art is largely dependent on the continuation of the traditions of composer school. It has existed in Uzbekistan for a long time, and is carefully preserved by modern composers. Famous composers Mukhtar Ashrafi, Manas Leviev, Mutal Burkhanov, Suleiman Yudakov and others stood at its origins last century. They gave impetus to the development of the national school of music, which was built on a unique synthesis of classical Uzbek melodies and world canons of composition.
With gaining independence, domestic composers got a chance to enter the world stage. The works of our composers are constantly heard in different cities of Russia, in Germany, India, the USA, Japan and many other countries. Opuses by Mustafo Bafoev, Dilorom Saydaminova, Habibulla Rahimov, Rustam Abdullayev, Farhod Alimov, Anvar Ergashev, Felix and Dmitry Yanov-Yanovsky’s and others introduce connoisseurs around the globe to the musical art of Uzbekistan.
The Union of Composers has initiated many memory evenings of great composers, competitions and festivals. Tashkent and Samarkand have been hosting the International Festival of Symphonic Music since 1998. Music historians, conductors, performers and composers from different countries are well aware that, along with national art of music, Uzbekistan has been developing international art. The Davr Sadolari Festival, which was held in 2004-2005, 2008, 2013 and 2015, became a kind of creative report of the Union of Composers. The spectators were presented the latest works of domestic composers in all genres.
The Nazira Ahmedova Republican Vocal Competition, which has been held since 2002, has become a tradition. It reveals the best young opera singers. The ‘Young Composers’ contest has been held since 1998 in collaboration with the State Conservatory. It not just discovers the best, but also gives the opportunity for young composers to demonstrate their skills, and present his creations to the public.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)