Staying upright at the world’s most exclusive piano masterclass

Staying upright at the world’s most exclusive piano masterclass


norman lebrecht

August 02, 2014

This is Dmitri Bashkirov on peak form, upright and prone.

dmitri bashkirov


  • ruben greenberg says:

    The student didn’t seem overly concerned when Bashkirov toppled over. Maybe she thought she was finally rid of him.

  • SVM says:

    I am intrigued by the musical content of this masterclass: assuming that Bashkirov was referring to bar 66 of Chopin op.9/3, I would be very interested to know the basis on which he cites the rhythm the student had originally been playing as an “absolute mistake”, given that it is printed that way in many editions, including the first editions (see

    for scans thereof). I am not suggesting his interpretation to be invalid, but to describe going with the first edition as an “absolute” error seems strange.

  • pianomuse says:

    Having suffered through Bashkirov’s master classes as an observer (he stops the students after every note, as he screams “NO” — the man is painfully pompous and a pedagogical fraud. I’ve also suffered through his recitals – clearly he doesn’t practice, and doesn’t care how sloppy he is.

    • Olaugh Turchev says:

      “Pro Bono Musicae Masterclasses guarantee the highest quality of master education.”
      You have a chance to show your mettle.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Very funny.

    But what a bugger. Bashkirov has a formidable reputation as a super piano pedagogue. This kind of teaching is wrong however and went out with the dinosaurs.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Hmm, I dunno–when I teach a Chopin phrase, I have the student sing it as he/she plays it. I also ask them to take the two hands and play the theme an octave apart from each other and sing it. I then ask them to conduct it and sing the phrase. Such easy things to teach and get quick results. Nothing beats singing out loud.
    In support, however, of Maestro Bashkirov–in the late 1980s, I heard him in recital and it was simply beautiful.

    • Norman Krieger says:

      Oh…..dear!! Reminds me of someone……. No can do today.

    • ruben greenberg says:

      I too heard a piano recital by him, and it was one of the most beautiful I have ever heard-a truly memorable event. Mind you, this was twenty years ago. I think a student has to be a little masochistic to study with dogmatic martinets like Bashkirov and the late Janos Starker. That said, I hope he’s all right. His fall could have resulted in a fractured hip.

      • Jeffrey Biegel says:

        That recital was in Paris, if I remember correctly. His sound was warm, and phrasing very natural.
        As for teaching, the one thing I uphold is, music first, always. We are the conduits…period.

  • Fabio Luisi says:

    Thank you Jeffrey for the last sentence in your statement. Too many teachers/performers seem to forget it from time to time….. (lol)

  • ruben greenberg says:

    Mr. Biegel: Yes, in Paris at the salle Gaveau. How did you know? He played Brahms’ second sonata. How do you explain that with his teaching style, he attracts so many students? My explanation is that many music students will put up with aything if they feel it leads to a career.

  • esfir ross says:

    I saw a documentary where D.Bashkirov Play R. Schumann piano concerto in Riga , Latvia. He should be ashamed of his performance. His good technic’s gone. I attended his concert from the 60th and have a lot of LP records. He was my hero than. I woulldn’t take classes from him.