I am happy to announce that my personal piano studio is open from November 2018.
I was very lucky with my teachers. When I moved to Moscow at the age of 9, the head of the piano department at the Central Music School told me after he heard my playing that I should play drums, not piano. He had a very sensitive ear and precise intuition – he was absolutely right: I loved drums and I am still in love with a drum set. Anyway, he decided to give me a little chance to try and share my talents with a young teacher from Tbilisi, Manana Kandelaki. She described my performing skills as “level zero” when I played for the very first time for her. It was good to hear such optimistic news just a month before exams, but we decided not to give up and continued our lessons with her.
She achieved quite a miracle during the space of one month; the boy who barely could play the first page of Beethoven’s Sonatina, a couple of passages from Czerny, and nothing at all from Bach’s first two-voice invention, finally managed to play the complete program at the level which was just enough to pass the exam. And in all the years that followed, we discussed everything about music – and not only about music. Of course she took care about my musical education first and foremost, but she also took care about my general and ethical education. She believed that it was impossible to develop a true musician without having him grow as a person. I can say that I believe that, too.
So, you have a snapshot of my musical upbringing.
I don’t like to “teach.” I hate “teaching”. That sounds weird in the context of this introduction. But rather than teaching what I can call “I perfectly know how I want you to play”, I see my piano studio much more as an art laboratory. Open discussions with students, questions of what, why, when, and how are the most welcome ones, and there are no limitations on how young or old the person is who asks. These are the kinds of questions I constantly ask myself.
I can’t promise I’ll have all the answers right away but I have been through a great deal myself. Just as my teacher helped me during my school years, nine years at the Moscow conservatory with Yury Slessarev, eight years at the Moscow Conservatory as his teaching assistant, my work in Japan, many years of rich stage experience as a concert pianist, and as a composer, finally my two-year experience at Yale University where I got my Artist Diploma (with Professor Boris Berman) – all these factors make me confident that I am able to help others too.
Understanding goals always makes work more pleasant. Understanding the music as a nonstop emotional stream, having the ability to develop this stream, to maintain it and keep under control – these are the qualities enable logic, sense, and true freedom in performing, which is the most amazing thing for me in music. I hope to find people who think in the same direction. Let me know.
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