A recital at New York City's Carnegie Hall, one of the world’s most celebrated stages, would be a career high point for any musician. For the last few months, Park University’s International Center for Music artist-in-residence Behzod Abduraimov has been preparing for a piano recital there.
Abduraimov has performed around the world, and this will be his third time to play at Carnegie Hall. But, for him, it's special; he says it's "kind of a holy stage."
"It’s definitely a big milestone for any artist to be able to perform at Carnegie Hall," Abduraimov says. "And if you just think that at the opening, Tchaikovsky himself conducted there. Gustav Mahler conducted there and Rachmaninoff played and Vladimir Horowitz. You name them. It’s definitely a big honor."
In November, Kansas City audiences will have a chance to experience a preview of his Carnegie Hall recital. And during a recent practice session, Abduraimov filled the room with sound at Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel, home of the International Center for Music on the campus of Park University in Parkville, Missouri.
Abduraimov's come a long way since arriving at the age of 16 from Uzbekistan to study under his mentor Stanislav Ioudenitch, who also serves as the ICM’s artistic director and associate professor of music and piano. These days, Abduraimov performs as many as 100 concerts a year, in cities such as London, Paris, and Moscow. But he says the pressure to give a peak performance is always intense, in any venue.
"Every concert for me is the same importance," says Abduraimov. "It doesn’t matter if it’s Carnegie Hall or Salina, Kansas. I will prepare as I prepare to any concert and we’ll see. I will hope for the best."
Pianist Behzod Abduraimov performs at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, November 3, at the Karbank 1900 Building, 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, in Mission Woods, Kansas, in a benefit for Park University’s International Center for Music. Abduraimov performs a recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City on November 17.
Julie Denesha is a freelance photographer and reporter for KCUR. Follow her @juliedenesha.