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An International Trumpet Star – Sergei Nakariakov

An International Trumpet Star – Sergei Nakariakov

2011-12-02

Playing the trumpet is easier than breathing

“He plays the trumpet the way the rest of us breathe – if we are lucky”, wrote San Francisco Chronicle after one of Nakariakov’s performances. On December 14th, Wednesday, the listeners are invited to a concert of this internationally acclaimed artist at the Great Hall of the National Philharmonic. This concert is a tribute to the legendary trumpeter Timofey Dockschitzer. Having lived and worked in Moscow for nearly sixty years, Dockschitzer has toured many countries and spent the last decade of his life in Vilnius. He would have been 90 this December.


No More Wunderkind

Had it not been for the Dockschitzer’s recording that Nakariakov heard long ago, he might have not discovered his talent. Nakariakov recalls that at the age of nine he heard a recording of Bach’s preludes performed by Timofey Dockschitzer. The way this trumpeter played brought tears into the eyes of a young boy. “It was the day when I have decided to become a trumpet player”, claims the artist in many of his interviews. One year later, a boy from Nizhni Novgorod, who had trouble staying still before, was performing the most complex pieces ever written for trumpet and his solo appearances were greeted with standing applause of the Timofey Dockschitzer himself. “For me he will always be an important, special musician”, says S. Nakariakov.

Some of Lithuanian listeners might recall the concerts broadcasted in late eighties, where a young and talented performer demonstrated his virtuosity performing together with Russia’s major orchestras. A documentary movie No More Wunderkind about S. Nakariakov features an early interview, where a 12 year old Sergei is asked about what encouraged him to play the trumpet. He sighs: ”People have told my father he could have been a good trumpet player.”… Nakariakov’s father became a pianist, followed by Sergei’s elder sister Vera and the boy learned to play the trumpet.

When he began, the teachers thought that he was holding the instrument somewhat incorrectly. They tried to change that, but soon noticed that the young trumpeter could adjust himself to the instrument in such a way that even the best known performers could not. “I cannot recall how I managed to do that. I do not think I was special, a wunderkind. Perhaps I have discovered myself early. I am no longer the boy who used to play fast,” tells S. Nakariakov. “Sometimes, other trumpeters approach me after a concert praising how technically brilliant I have performed this or that passage. But the aim is not a smooth passage.”

 

Outgrowing the instrument

It seems that S. Nakariakov does not have to inhale air while playing. No musical piece is too complex or unfit for him. Today, the BBC Music Magazine ranks him one of five most influential trumpeters of the world, as he had discovered a special breathing technique that allows playing extended melodies without tiring. The sound of Nakariakov’s trumpet fascinates with its noble energy, yet the artist manipulates it in a way that no detail ever appears to slip unnoticed. And that is a great challenge, since the major part of his repertoire consists of transcribed pieces originally intended for violin, cello and other instruments. In his teen years, S. Nakariakov felt he had outgrown the repertoire of works for trumpet and he proceeded to perform the pieces like Franz Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy or Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D-minor  that would be startling for many violinists, or Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello. “I was eager to perform the key works of the great composers, so my father, who was helping me from the very beginning, has adapted these pieces for trumpet,” recalls Sergei.

Among other pieces to be performed by Sergei Nakariakov in Vilnius are Dmitri Shostakovich’s Concerto for piano, trumpet and strings and Jean-Baptiste Arban’s The Carnival of Venice. The performer will be accompanied by his sister, pianist Vera Nakariakova and the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra (Artistic director Mindaugas Bačkus). The concert will be conducted by Prof. Saulius Sondeckis.

 
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