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WATCH: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov Takes On New Role At Park University

Julie Denesha

When the International Center for Music (ICM) at Park University in Parkville, Mo., a boutique conservatory for top performers, decided to add an artist-in-residence, they didn’t have to look very far.

BehzodAbduraimov first arrived from Uzbekistan at the age of 16 to study under ICM founder and associate professor StanislavIoudenitch, gold medalist of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Two years later, Abduraimov won the 2009 London International Piano Competition. Still only in his early 20s, he's signed to Decca and performs around the world.

Many say Abduraimov could go anywhere but, at least for now, he’s decided to stay based in the Kansas City area.

Interview Highlights:

On sharing knowledge and experience 

“I was really honored to be a first artist-in-residence here at the International Center for Music,” says pianist BehzodAbduraimov. “It is a humble way to express my unlimited gratitude for knowledge, for experience, for all of the development as a musician and as a person for the last seven years. And I will be really happy to share my experience and knowledge with some younger students.” 

“Music allows me to express my feelings, my emotions and share my love and everything," Abduraimov says. “I got my priceless knowledge here and I’ll be just delighted to see other people having the same path.” 

On gaining a new ambassador for ICM

"Part of having an artist-in-residence such as BehzodAbduraimov...He just recently played with the Boston Symphony and went on tour with them to China. He filled in at The Hollywood Bowl for 18,000 people. It's really mind staggering," says ICM director and composer Ingrid Stölzel. "Our hope is also he’s an ambassador for the International Center for Music. I can’t imagine a better person in this position than somebody who went through this same educational model."

On creating a home base for an artist  

“It is important that he is here. It is important for our students as well," says Stanislav Ioudenitch, ICM founder and associate professor of piano. "He is going to meet with them. They will know him personally. They will look at him. I think it is a huge value." 

Ioudenitch adds, "And also it is going to be good for him because he will have a home. And I consider him as a part of my family...He will have resources and help to further his career. So I think it’s a win-win situation for both ICM and him.” 

Pianist BehzodAbduraimov performs in his Kansas City recital debut on Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Folly Theater, 1020 Central Street, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets go on sale in late October. For more on the International Center for Music (ICM) at Park University in Parkville, Mo., visit their website.

Julie Denesha is the arts reporter for KCUR. Contact her at julie@kcur.org.
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