Taras Gusarov: biography, path to success and thoughts about future work
We haven't talked much about the relationship between classical music and contemporary multi-genre music. And even if there is such a connection, it cannot replace the classical sound, the standards of which have been handed down to the present generation for hundreds of years!
Today we want to talk to Taras Gusarov, a unique contemporary performer of classical music. We will find out what kind of creative path he has taken, and how he sees the current state of classical music.
Fuzz Music: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
T.G.: Taras Grigorievich Gusarov. Russian saxophonist. Composer. Founder and leader of the most unusual orchestra of the country ImperialisOrchestra.
In addition, I am vice-president of the Eurasian Saxophone Association, guest artist of the MusicAeterna orchestra under the direction of Theodore Kourentzis, artist of the Selmer - Paris company. I am a graduate of the Gnesins' Academy of Music.
Fuzz Music: How do you present yourself in terms of genre?
T.G.: The program repertoire is based on music from all times and directions. From traditional classical music to contemporary styles, including pop and rock.
Polystylistics and improvisation are my hallmarks. I try to be a vivid and modern artist for my listeners, without departing from the standards of classical music.
Fuzz Music: How do your performances go?
T.G.: All of my programs are actively performed both with large symphony orchestras and in chamber ensembles. There is also a program called Neo-Sax, which presents contemporary music written by me for string orchestra, piano, and saxophone.
Fuzz Music: Taras, what are your hobbies besides music?
T.G.: I take an active part in the political and social life of the country.
Quite often I perform as a guest on such radio stations as Mayak, Radio Moscow, Orpheus and many other regional ones. I also carry out educational activities through master classes and creative schools. In addition, I work at creative competitions as a member of the jury. I run my own educational blogs on various Internet platforms.
Fuzz Music: Taras, you really have to go a long way to come to all this. But tell us how did it all begin? How did you get acquainted with music?
T.G.: At the age of 8 I heard a recording of "Lambada" on an audio cassette of my neighbor, Illyinur. It was in the city of Nefteyugansk, where I grew up. I don't remember what caught my attention, but I listened. Later I told my mom that I would like to learn how to play this instrument. My mother took me to the Children's Art School (ed.). She was the only one in the town at that time. The frosty countryside was beautiful, because nothing else but music attracted me. I secretly dragged my stepfather's cassettes from his forbidden and "very important" cupboard, which contained recordings of Strauss and, as I found out later, the Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach. And it wasn't that I was forbidden to listen to music, it's just that all I had were cassettes. I grew up on them. They were later given to me as a gift. So, I started to learn how to play the accordion. They tried to give me good knowledge, but I wasn't making any progress. My grandmother found an accordion and even bought it for me so that I could play my own instead of the school accordion. But something didn't work out. Eventually I gave it up... But I never stopped listening to music. One day I asked my mother to find me a tape of organ music. They were compositions by the organist from Notre Dame de Paris. I remember looking at the picture of this historic organ and wishing I was there... to see this instrument of incredible beauty and sound in person. That was my dream.
Fuzz Music: When did you realize you wanted to play the saxophone?
T.G.: The years went by. At the age of 13 I wanted to study again. My sister Lena went to the new, recently opened art school N2. I don't remember where I learned about the existence of the saxophone. I think we had always been familiar with it, I just wasn't ready to get to know it better before. Anyway, I was taken to the saxophone in the DSHI N2. Ensemble. First improvisations. Learning from the excellent teachers.Then the variety department of Magnitogorsk state Conservatory music college named after Glinka. Glinka. And, of course, the department of woodwind instruments of the famous and legendary Gnesin Academy. Gnessin. It was there, in the final year, that the most unusual orchestra of the country -ImperialisOrchestra - was conceived and created. My love of baroque from my very childhood helped me to create the orchestra. Few people know, but one of the varieties of the saxophone, the soprano, can sound like a flute or like a baroque oboe. The saxophone generally has more capabilities than many people, and even professional musicians, realize. It has proven its worth in jazz and popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries, but it was conceived much earlier. In the middle of the 19th century it was supposed to serve classical music, but it turned out to be a more free-spirited instrument. And now we know very bright performers, who have opened it with a new dimension.
Fuzz Music: There's an expression: "It's not the musician who chooses the instrument, but the instrument of the musician. Would you agree with it?
T.G.: I never chose the saxophone. It chose me, like a wand chooses a wizard. It won me over with its outward brilliance and, like a Christmas tree, caught my attention. I remember the recordings of the pop saxophone, which I liked very much. Of course, I listened to Igor Butman and many other saxophonists of the world: Kenny G, Felix Slovacek. But the first classical saxophone sound I heard was performed by my college professor Vladislav Waltz. I will never forget that concert at the Tyumen Puppet Theater as a part of the interregional contest, where I came when I was 16. It was after that concert that I decided to become a musician. So beautiful this "other saxophone" seemed to me. No, outwardly it is the same, but the manner of performance is so unusual and unlike anything else, that, as my mother says, "it's as if the soul is singing".
Fuzz Music: It's very important for any musician to write not just music, but to put into it a part of his soul, his experiences and life experience. How true is this for your classical music?
T.G.: Now I have started to write music that bursts into my consciousness from my childhood and, of course, reflects pictures of my present life. No events have passed me by. Anxiety, pain, loss. But at the same time a childlike naivety, openness and sincerity. The desire to change the world for the better. To stop the senseless violence on earth. All these good ideas still live with me and are reflected in my music.
Fuzz Music: Would you say that professionals are "addicted" to music and can't imagine their life without it?
T.G.: I keenly feel the need to write and create new and new sounds.
My first musical cycle is 6 "closures". We have already recorded them with ImperialisOrchestra and hopefully this music will be released soon.
It was always the music I was going for. I hope I never reach it. I just love this mysterious and picturesque trail that can lead anywhere. Walking along it, you can meet anything.
Fuzz Music: Taras, thank you very much! What can you tell to the aspiring musicians and classical music lovers at last?
T.G.: I would like to end with the words of the famous but now deceased conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky: "There is no art without magic. Create!