Interview with Timofei Dokshizer
Timofei Dokshizer, Valery Posvaliuk and Anna Melnychuk
in 1997 (photo: VJB)
Kiev, October 10, 1998
The interview took place shortly before
the final concert at the Euro ITG Conference in Kiev. A very hectic
situation, the interview was conducted by Verena Jakobsen Barth (VJB) with the help of a translator.
Translator Anna Melnychuk: He wants to tell you
his impression about the competition.
Timofei Dokshizer: I would like
to tell you, that this is the first competition in one of the countries
of Eastern Europe. This is because of local authorities and because of
trumpeters themselves, Ukrainian trumpeters. Of course, it wouldn't
have been possible without the financial support of the ITG. It is very
significant for trumpeters of Eastern Europe to have felt that there is
such an international unit as a guild, a trumpet guild. This is why I
would like to thank local authorities, ITG-authorities, trumpeters, the
International Trumpet Guild and the Ukrainian Trumpet Guild. And the
name of Valery Posvaliuk should be underlined twice.
I began playing as a child and I began to teach trumpet in a cavalry
wind band. I was brought up by military band. I was born in Ukraine in
the town of Nezhin. I had the opportunity to visit Nezhin today. There
is my museum there, which has lots of materials now. Of course I
couldn’t recognize the city, instead I was recognized by local
I have played trumpet for 65 years, since I was 10. My last recording
was done, when I was 75. I worked in the Bolshoi Theatre for 38 years
and I worked as a professor at the Gnessin Music Conservatory for 35
years. I have many students who play and who teach in Russia and in
many other countries also. Of course I perform many concerts abroad and
I have many recordings, definitely more than 50.
VJB: Could you please ask if he
is working together with composers.
TD: I necessarily work with
composers, because we had no own trumpet music.
All my life, since my young years I performed compositions made for me.
There are more than 40 concertos written for me. Well, friendly
speaking you could play 5 or 6 of them - Arutiunian, Vassilienko,
Goedike, Weinberg and Tamberg. I myself am engaged in transcriptions,
mostly it’s my repertoire. I play so called strange pieces, pieces not
written for trumpet.
I graduated from the Music Academy in Moscow as a trumpeter and as an
opera and symphony conductor at the Moscow Conservatory. I have
conducted for three years in the theatre and then I realised it is not
my thing. I shouldn’t have put my trumpet aside. It was impossible to
take two or three chairs at the same time, because I performed
concerts, I conducted and I arranged many big pieces for example
Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin. It’s a very well known concert piece for
the trumpet. Well, my last work is a piano concerto by Shostakovich, a
concerto which from my point of view is even better performed on
trumpet than on piano. Or some vocal pieces, for example a concerto for
voice and orchestra by Glière. I mentioned some big works; I
have lots of pieces, beginning from Paganini through Liszt,
Rachmaninov, all kinds of impressionists, both Russian and Soviet
composers… My music collection was published and is called Collection
of Timofei Dokshizer. I have more than 100 pieces, published by
Reift from Switzerland.
VJB: I would like to ask about
the Russian trumpet playing tradition.
TD: There are some differences;
in the Russian school the sound is very important: the quality of
sound, volume of sound, dynamics of sound - it is connected with the
character of the nature of Russian music - Tchaikovsky, Scriabin,
Rimsky-Korsakov. Very exact performance and development of technique is
also Russian school. But today the difference between schools is less
and less, due to radio, TV, recordings, CDs getting more and more
this is a short, unfinished interview, we decided to publish it
here as a memory of the great musician Timofei Dokshizer,
who died the afternoon of March 16, 2005.