In memory of Dmitri Bashkirov

Дмитрий Александрович Башкиров

1 November 1931 - 7 March 2021

Born in Tbilisi, Bashkirov studied there with the legendary Anastasia Virsaladze. He continued at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexander Goldenweiser, graduating in 1955, with postgraduate work through 1957.

From that year he began to teach in the Moscow Conservatory, at first as Goldenweiser's assistant. He became a professor in 1977.

In 1955 he placed second ex aequo at the Long-Thibaud Competition (there was no first prize).

Perhaps no pianist in our time has had such a great pedagogical influence as Bashkirov. His students include Arcadi Volodos, Nikolai Demidenko, Dmitri Alexeev, Dang Thai Son, and a near countless number more.

Elena Bashkirova is his daughter.

From an interview Dmitri Bashkirov gave in Russian in 1986 –

'Our aim is to stir the listener's imagination, to provoke thoughts and feelings in him. I play many concerts and I know that listeners–especially in our country–need more than passive relaxation. In contact with music, with the performer, they are looking for spirituality.

I think about this in relation to the younger generation of performers. There are many problems here. The well-known unification of education and upbringing often results in the young performer not being able to think and feel independently and deeply. But the highest creative achievements rise up on the basis of individual creative thinking. Isn't that what's so attractive in the work of the progressive romantics of the last century? The inspiration of romanticism. This quality has not lost any of its significance today. The freedom of inner feelings, the flexibility of mind (with a firm ideological position, of course) - that is what other young pianists sometimes lack. And one more thing - do not lose the sense of youth over the years. How did Arthur Rubinstein shock us on his last visit to Moscow? He was seventy eight and he felt like a young man. That is not to say that he played like a young man - it was the playing of a man with enormous life experience. But the pristine sensations...'

A photo of young Dmitri Bashkirov as a child.
Young Dmitri Bashkirov with his teacher Anastasia Virsaladze.

Bashkirov with his teacher Anastasia Virsaladze.

A programme of Dmitri Bashkirov's recital in the Moscow Conservatory on 19 February 1956.

Bashkirov's recital in the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on 19 February 1956

Beethoven Piano Sonata no. 15, op. 28

Schumann 6 Intermezzi, op. 4

Chopin Rondo op. 1, Mazurka op. 33/4, Piano Sonata no. 2

A photo of young Dmitri Bashkirov and young Lazar Berman with their teacher Alexander Goldenweiser in 1958.

Bashkirov with his teacher Alexander Goldenweiser and fellow classmate Lazar Berman in 1958.

Alexander Goldenweiser's piano class in 1959, with young Dmitri Bashkirov, Abram and Boris Shatskes, Liya Levinson and Oxana Yablonskaya.

The Goldenweiser Department on stage at the Small Hall in 1959.

In addition to the Goldenweisers, Abram and Boris Shatskes, Bashkirov and Liya Levinson are sitting down. Oxana Yablonskaya stands behind Bashkirov.

Dmitri Bashkirov's programme in the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow on 6 October 1959. He played Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5.

Bashkirov playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5 with Natan Rakhlin in the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow on 6 October 1959.

A 1959 photo of professors in the Moscow Conservatory - young Dmitri Bashkirov, Grigory Ginzburg, Abram Shatskes, Sergei Dorensky, Liya Levinson, Alexander Goldenweiser, Lyudmila Sosina, and Leonid Roizman.

Bashkirov standing beside Grigory Ginzburg, Abram Shatskes and Sergei Dorensky, with Liya Levinson, Alexander Goldenweiser, Lyudmila Sosina and Leonid Roizman sitting in 1959.

A concert poster of Dmitri Bashkirov's recital in the Moscow Conservatory on 22 December 1960.

Bashkirov's recital in the Large Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on 22 December 1960.

Schubert Wanderer Fantasy

Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet before parting, 6 Visions Fugitives, Piano Sonata 4

Schumann Bunte Blätter

Brahms Piano Sonata no. 3

A Russian review of Dmitri Bashkirov's tour in the US and Canada in 1961. He played in Carnegie Hall.

A review of Dmitri Bashkirov's tour of Canada and the US (including Carnegie Hall) in 1961.

The programme of Dmitri Bashkirov's recital in the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on 21 October 1961.

Small Hall recital - 21 October 1961

Beethoven Piano Sonata op. 27 no. 1

Beethoven Piano Sonata op. 28

Beethoven Piano Sonata op. 27 no. 2

Schumann Fantasie, op. 17

Shchedrin Basso Ostinato

Dmitri Bashkirov with graduates of the Odessa Conservatory in 1962.

Bashkirov with the 1962 graduating class of the Odessa Conservatory. He served as the Chairman of the State Examination Committee.

A drawing of Dmitri Bashkirov in the 1960s.
The programme of Dmitri Bashkirov's concert in the Moscow Conservatory on 26 February 1975. He played Brahms Piano Concerto no. 2.

Bashkirov performed Brahms' Piano Concerto no. 2 with Igor Bezrodny in the Large Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on 26 February 1975.

Dmitri Bashkirov with Nikolai Demidenko.

with Nikolai Demidenko

Dmitri Bashkirov with Sviatoslav Richter.

with Sviatoslav Richter

Dmitri Bashkirov with Tatiana Sarkissova, Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim, and Dmitri Alexeev.

with Tatiana Sarkissova, Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim and Dmitri Alexeev

Dmitri Bashkirov with Dang Thai Son and Lyudmila Roshchina.

with Dang Thai Son and Lyudmila Roshchina in 1989

The programme of Dmitri Bashkirov's recital in Nizhny Novgorod on 27 September 1995.

Bashkirov's recital in Nizhny Novgorod on 27 September 1995

Schumann 6 Intermezzi, op. 4

Schubert/Liszt - 8 Lieder

Schumann Kinderszenen, op. 15

Liszt Valse oubliée no. 2

Rachmaninoff 3 Moments musicaux

Dmitri Bashkirov playing in the Goldenweiser Museum in 2015.

Bashkirov playing in the Goldenweiser Museum in 2015

I share this in memory of a legendary pianist - one who began his teaching career in the Moscow Conservatory in the mid-1950s alongside his own teacher, Alexander Goldenweiser, and pianists like Grigory Ginzburg and Abram Shatskes, and up until yesterday continued to shape the future of contemporary pianism. In some manner you will still be able to hear those lessons and that internalised guidance in the hands of Arcadi Volodos, Nikolai Demidenko, Dang Thai Son, and a near countless number of other pianists playing, recording and teaching today.

  • ADGO - 08.03.21