Culture Committee of St.Petersburg Government
Union of the Concert Figures of St.Petersburg
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The First St. Petersburg Music Festival

About author of project 

Europe-Asia Festival in Kazan

A Crossroads of Continents becomes a Crossroads of Stylistic

Musical Trends of the World

By Anton Rovner

The Fifth International Contemporary Music Festival "Europe-Asia" which took place between March 29 and March 31, 2002, in Kazan, the Capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, turned out to a very noteworthy event. Established in 1992 by Tatar composer, Rashid Kalimoullin, the head of Composers' Union of the Republic of Tatarstan, years in Kazan the festival has been organized every two years Kazan with additional concerts held in smaller cities of Tatarstan, such as Almetyevsk, Nizhnekamsk, Zelenodolsk, and Yelabuga. The conception of the festival was to bring together contemporary musicians from Europe and Asia, as well as the United States. Tatarstan's geographical location, being a crossroad between Europe and Asia, proved to be very advantageous for carrying out the plan of the festival. The festival turned out to be an invaluable venue to bringing together musicians from a many countries, as well as for demonstrating the unique culture of the Tatars, a people situated on the Volga with a rich historical heritage and tradition.

Lasting only for three days, the festival presented such s saturating program, that it seemed to many to last for a much longer period of time. Its highly diverse programming presented different styles and genres of music, from straightforwardly "classic" academic music to music with a slant towards folk and popular styles from traditional to avant-garde styles, being an adequate venue for both its own Tatar composers as well as composers from other parts of Russia as well as guests from abroad...

A number of compositions were wonderfully performed by an outstanding Tatar pianist, Rinat Shakirov, living in St. Petersburg. His performance of thee Preludes by Maurice Ohana from the composer's 24 Preludes for piano was superb. They presented themselves as very elaborately textured modernistic pieces, the first two being rather simplistic chordal effects, while the third prelude gaining momentum with more effective piano textures, including quite dramatic clusters.

Shakirov opened the Gala concert with Ligeti's "Open Fifths" Prelue, dedicated to Pierre Boulez. His rendition did full justice to the post-modern, romantic textures of the piece and very subtle cerebral elements inherent in the demonstration of the on-going cycle of perfect fifths.

A very impressive performance was given by Shakirov of a piece by a Russian composer, namely "Brave New World" by prominent St.Petersburg composer Alexander Radvolovich, who was present at the festival. The piece was based on Aldous Huxley's novel and its formal structure corresponds to the development the novel, consisting of three discernable sections. The piece had strong depictive, narrative element with contrasting textures and dynamic, dramaturgical contour, though the chordal textural element predominates.

Р.Шакиров и Р.Калимуллин
R. Shakirov and R. Kalimoullin

The Europe-Asia festival had once again proved the great merit and its enormous success of its initial conception by bringing together a wide variety of interesting musicians from different countries and continents, and by enabling the dwellers of Kasan as well as visitors from other cities and countries to immerse themselves into a wide variety of different styles and trends of contemporary music. Which were organically combined together and found great resonance in the concert halls of Kasan. Let us hope that the Europe-Asia festival will continue to thrive in the future years.

Here you may listen

I know Rinat Shakirov is a gifted pianist being in earnest about his work, he is truly creative personality with his own sense and conception of music and its exalted aims: his interpretation either of the eternal classics or of audacious and sometimes disputable composer experiments is always exciting and emotional. Many composers appreciate him for brilliant performance of their works.

Wheresoever R. Shakirov played, he strove to transforn his consert into celebration where everyone could feel oneself a single whole with the music sounding and the musician playing.

the Chairman of Saint-Petersburg Union of Composers

the President of PSaint-Petersburg hilharmonic Society

Remarkable sincerity is the distinctive feature of Rinat Shakirov's playing, and the sensitive music-fancy feel it accurately. He is the lyric musician first of all, and a few have such ability. I think that the secret of the nature of his sound follows from this virtue. His sound is beautiful, multifarious and, in a certain excellent sense, “unpolished”, i.e.there is nothing common between it and a cold beauty of polished but not spiritualized manner of playing the piano. But very often, you know, the magic of piano sound splendour and the heat of virtuosity may cover the essence of music from pianists — the essence, just for the sake of that they create the music. Shakirov is a musician first of all, and the piano is a tool but not a worship object for him.

Being already a skilled master he is keeping on polishing himself up tirelessly and incessantly. I listen him durind some years and I am astonished at the development of his manner. There are talents like stars, they flash brightly for few time round us. On the contrary, the path of Shakirov is long and continual, up and up. It seems a progressive straight but only the musicians may surmise this enormous and patient labour standing behind. We may indicate Shakirov as a complete master actually now, but we hardly would be wrong foretelling him the great future.

Andrey Frolov, a composer

Saint-Petersburg Musical Herald, № 3, March 2005


Rinat Shakirov was born in 1962 in Karaganda (USSR).

Р.Шакиров и А.Риппе

R. Shakirov and A. Rippe

In music of the beginnings to be engaged per 19 years, having acted in 1981 in Temir-Tau a musical collage in a class by Alfred Rippe. Since 1985 till 1992 he was trained at the St.Petersburg State Conservatory named by N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov in classes of the professor T. P. Kravchenko fnd S. G. Igolinsky (the winner of 5-th Tchaikovsky competition). He was also improved in the master-classes of the professor of Moscow State Conservatory named by P. I. Tchaikovsky Lev Vlasenko (the winner of 1-st Tchaikovsky competition).

Shakirov is the winner of national competitions of the pianists (Alma-Ata, 1984, 1-st prize; Frunze,1985, 1-st prize).

He acted with concerts in Italy, France, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Sweden; participated in international festivals of modern music such as “Geteborg-Art-Sound”, “Europ-Asia” in Kazan, “Retersburg Autumn” and others.

Р.Шакиров, В.Шапкарина, С.Иголинский

R. Shakirov, V. Shapkarina, S. Igolinsky

Shakirov is the author of concert suite on F. Yarullin's ballet “SHURALE” (edited by “COMPOSER” Publishing House in Moscow).

He has recordings at Radio of Russia, State Radio of Tatarstan, Kazakhstan and on 6 CDs.

A member of Administrative Committee of Musical Actions consecrated 1000-th anniversary of Kazan.

The art director of “Names of Petersburg” musical festival.

A teacher of the chair of piano at St. Petersburg State Culture and Art University.

A member of Union of the Concert Figures of St.Petersburg

Rinat Shakirov is awarded a medal “In memory of 300-th anniversary of Saint-Petersburg”.

The list of the repertoire (scroll)

The recorded CDs (scroll)

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Rinat Shakirov, a pianist.

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