1. You were only 10 years of age when you moved to Moscow from Almaty to continue your music studies. Were you selected by your tutors for this and how did this move develop you?
My parents were looking for the best ways of developing me. Moscow is a renowned city with a large history of great musicians - performers and teachers. I went to audition for the Central Music School and received a place with a full scholarship.
2. Is your family musical?
My family members are not musical at all. I’m an only child in the family and one day my dad happened to take me to a toy store on my 5th birthday, where I happened to pick out a little toy piano. It was then replaced by a digital piano and afterwards by a real upright piano.
3. Who was your first music teacher?
My dad managed to find somebody to teach me to read music and play. She then advised my parents to take me to a music school. I went to the Music School named after Baiseytova in Almaty.
4. In the same year you moved to Moscow you won the televised, international competition for young talented musicians “Nutcracker”. How were your feelings at the time and do you remember which piece you played?
I applied for that competition several times, each time progressing to the further round. It was a delight, it was the biggest competition I had ever done then. I remember playing pieces such as Chopin Fantaisie-Impromptu, Bartok Six Romanian Dances, Beethoven 1st Piano Concerto.
5. In 2010, you recorded Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Symphony Orchestra “New Russia” under the baton of Evgeny Bushkov. How was it like to work with this master and were you happy with the result?
I always enjoyed working with orchestras and conductors, and I was always excited! I tend to never by totally happy with my performances.
6. In June 2015 you won the First Prize in the inaugural Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. What piece did you play and how did the audience respond?
Consisting of 4 rounds and 5 performances, it required 90 minutes of solo performing and a concerto with orchestra. I played the Tchaikovsky 1st Piano Concerto in the finals. The audience was a delight to play to. A lot of them were very experienced listeners who attend the big Cliburn Competition every four years.
7. How often do your practice?
It varies. 4-6 hours a day depending on forthcoming commitments.