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...'
Bashkirov with his teacher Anastasia Virsaladze.
Bashkirov's recital in the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on 19 February 1956
Beethoven Piano Sonata no. 15, op. 28
Bashkirov with his teacher Alexander Goldenweiser and fellow classmate Lazar Berman in 1958.
The Goldenweiser Department on stage at the Small Hall in 1959.
Bashkirov playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5 with Natan Rakhlin in the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow on 6 October 1959.
Bashkirov standing beside Grigory Ginzburg, Abram Shatskes and Sergei Dorensky, with Liya Levinson, Alexander Goldenweiser, Lyudmila Sosina and Leonid Roizman sitting in 1959.
Bashkirov's recital in the Large Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on 22 December 1960.
Schubert Wanderer Fantasy
A review of Dmitri Bashkirov's tour of Canada and the US (including Carnegie Hall) in 1961.
Small Hall recital - 21 October 1961
Beethoven Piano Sonata op. 27 no. 1
Bashkirov with the 1962 graduating class of the Odessa Conservatory. He served as the Chairman of the State Examination Committee.
Bashkirov performed Brahms' Piano Concerto no. 2 with Igor Bezrodny in the Large Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on 26 February 1975.
with Nikolai Demidenko
with Sviatoslav Richter
with Tatiana Sarkissova, Murray Perahia, Daniel Barenboim and Dmitri Alexeev
with Dang Thai Son and Lyudmila Roshchina in 1989
Bashkirov's recital in Nizhny Novgorod on 27 September 1995
Schumann 6 Intermezzi, op. 4
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.