Maestro Nikolai Artemovich Amiyants: a story about a Teacher, colleague and musician22.09.2023 | 16:09 |
Nikolai Artemovich Amiyants is an Honored Artist of Turkmenistan, Associate Professor of the Department of String Instruments of the Turkmen National Conservatory named after Maya Kulieva. He is the founder of the violin performing school in Turkmenistan.
A year ago he passed away, but his memory lives on, and stories about his creative life turn into legends. Stella Faramazova, senior lecturer at the department of chamber ensemble and accompanist skills at the Turkmen National Conservatory named after Maya Kulieva, shares her memories of maestro Nikolai Artemovich Amiyants.
Talented musician and performer Nikolai Amiyants received an excellent education within the walls of the Ten-Year School at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory named after U. Hajibekov (class of Associate Professor A. Khodzhumyan) and continued his studies at the Leningrad State Conservatory named after N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov (class of People's Artist of the RSFSR, Professor I. E. Lukashevsky). In the Turkmen musical world, the name Amiyants is perceived as synonymous with the word teacher - Nikolai Artemovich devoted his entire life to the education of young violinists.
His pedagogical activity for many years was connected with work at the Turkmen State Music School named after Danatar Ovezov (now the Special Music School named after D. Ovezov at the Turkmen National Conservatory named after Maya Kulieva), in which he went from a violin teacher to the head of the orchestral department tools. The violin ensemble, created on the initiative of Nikolai Amiyants and under his leadership, took part in many government concerts, and also represented the musical culture of Turkmenistan on the stage of the Kremlin Palace of Congresses in Moscow.
In parallel with his work at the music school, Amiyants taught a violin class at the Turkmen State Pedagogical Institute of Arts, and later at the Turkmen National Conservatory. Over many years of teaching activity, Nikolai Artemovich has educated more than a hundred violinists - among them the winner of the International Competition of Young Performers of the Republics of Central Asia and Kazakhstan Kh. Izvekova, the winner of the national competition “Altyn Asyr” A. Atdaeva, a diploma winner of the International Competition named after Nury Halmamedov O. Myatieva, laureate of the national competition named after Chary Nurymov D. Tumasov, first prize winner of the International Competition “Renaissance” (Republic of Armenia) and Grand Prix of the International Competition “Melos” (Italy) A. Mukhieva. Today, his students work both in Turkmenistan and far beyond the country, demonstrating their talent and valuable knowledge received from their mentor.
My first meeting with Nikolai Artemovich took place during my student years. He was my chamber ensemble teacher. And then for more than 30 years I worked as an accompanist in Amiyants’ class, combining this activity with my main teaching practice. A brilliant musician and teacher Nikolai Artemovich worked wonders with his students. He developed special “decorations” to develop vibration and smooth sliding of fingers along the fretboard. During the lesson, he always stood with his violin near the console with notes next to the student, ready to show any passage and any technically difficult place in the work. Scrupulous and detailed work on each sound, intonation, phrase could last for several hours until the desired result was achieved.
Nikolai Artemovich always believed that the most important thing for a violinist, in addition to pure intonation, is a well-produced sound. It is this nuance that distinguishes the students of N. A. Amiyants’ class. The teacher “played with the hands” of his students and constantly analyzed the technical and line material in order to make the performance convenient and correct for the student. He could change the fingering a few days before the concert, because it was precisely this proposed selection of fingers that allowed him to achieve the greatest expressiveness of the performance. His postulate is singing on the violin: “We should all imitate the most perfect instrument - the human voice.”
For the maestro himself, the world famous performer Jascha Heifetz was his idol. Very often, Nikolai Artemovich brought to lessons recordings of works performed by him, which were listened to with the obligatory analysis of the performance interpretation. When it came to Her Majesty Music, Amiyants’s eyes always shone, and the students were again and again surprised by the breadth of their horizons, encyclopedic knowledge and emotional perception of the master.
Another “Amiyants'” trait is that he loved all his students, both talented and not so talented. Strictness and mercilessness in work, when due to unlearned material “notes could fly out of class,” ultimately brought beneficial “fruits.” When a student managed to achieve the desired sound, he said: “What sound did you play with! Even better than Heifetz!” - and this was the best praise from his lips. But he rarely praised.
And it must also be said that Nikolai Artemovich’s mentoring activities were not limited to just work on performance. He also repaired the violins of his students and even the students of his colleagues - he could tinker with the bow and stand for hours to achieve a good sound. It seemed that Amiyants knew the instrument from the inside. And no wonder. He read many books on this topic, often consulted with leading masters and instrument makers, and was always in search of the ideal sound both on his violin and on the instruments of his students. Therefore, everything that Nikolai Artemovich “touched” became perfect.
Just like his perfect job preparing for the concert. Here his approach was particularly thorough. These were many hours of rehearsals both on weekdays and holidays. The maestro came to the concert hall many hours before the start, prepared the performance, and always looked for the acoustically best place on the stage so that the performer would be in the most favorable sound position. And it was happiness for him when the concert was successful.
I would especially like to note his intelligent attitude towards accompanists. He was always very demanding about the quality of the piano accompaniment and the accuracy of the style of the work. And, as a result, in return he always gave his colleague great gratitude for the work done in the class and for the concert performance.
I would like to end the story about the Teacher with his own words: “In music, in notes, there is text and subtext. If a musician knows how to think figuratively, then his playing will always be modern in the good sense of the word. There is a combination of the composer’s high authorial message and its worthy embodiment by the performer. This is exactly what I teach my students...”