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Vera Gornostaeva: the whole world in piano art

personalities : Vera Gornostaeva: the whole world in piano art
Vera Gornostaeva carried her love for music and her service through her whole life. Among the students of Vera Vasilievna Gornostaeva, more than fifty laureates of international competitions.

The name of Vera Vasilievna Gornostaeva is familiar to the whole musical world. A wonderful musician, an amazing teacher, a delicate and intelligent person, Gornostaeva is especially well known to the pupils of the Moscow State Conservatory. It was within the walls of this educational institution that Vera Vasilievna spent most of her life. Among the graduates of the piano faculty there are many of her musical “children” and “grandchildren”, people who are fortunate enough to learn from Gornostaeva and to communicate with her.

Vera Gornostaeva was born in Moscow in an intelligent family. Her father was an engineer-economist, her mother was a music teacher, a graduate of the conservatory. Needless to say, young Vera received her first piano lessons at home. Mother closely followed the girl’s musical development and soon gave her to the Central Music School. There, Gornostaeva studied with Ekaterina Klavdievna Nikolaeva, whom she later remembered all her life with warmth and gratitude. And ten years later, Vera Gornostaeva fell into the hands of Heinrich Gustavovich Neuhaus himself.

The content of the article

    • Conservatory
    • Pedagogy
  • Creative features of Vera Gornostaeva
    • Literary talent
    • About creative youth
  • Range of activities
      • Last chord


During the years of postgraduate study, Vera Gornostaeva began her teaching career. She worked in one of the children's music schools in Moscow, a little later - at the Gnesins Institute. And a few years after graduating from the conservatory, Gornostaeva again returned to her native walls - already as a teacher.

The connection of Vera Vasilievna with the Moscow Conservatory is deep, strong, and vital. After all, her mother at one time studied in these walls. There, the pianist received education and upbringing, formed as a multifaceted creative person. She decided to devote this whole life to this place. Whenever she was offered to go to work in other music institutions (and she was offered many times, moreover, the best world universities), she was surprised:

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Vera Gornostaeva: If we talk about teaching, this must be very loved. But any business that you do must be loved very much, it’s understandable, yes ">

In an interview, Gornostaeva said that it was pedagogy that formed the real musician in her. After several years of teaching, Gornostaeva felt that now she really had something to say to the listener through music.

She began to give regular concerts, go on tour, record records.

The music performed by Gornostaeva is always filled with depth and significance. In the game of Vera Vasilievna there is no emphasized emotionality, no love for external effects, no desire to shine with technology. In no case. Gornostaeva is always calm and immersed in music.

Extraordinary, with his own creative style, V.V. Gornostaeva, both in life and on stage, always led people to music, and only to it alone.

Creative features of Vera Gornostaeva

Professionalism in art is a means by which a person reveals his inner world. And the content of this inner world we always feel in the collection of poems, and in the play of the playwright, and in the solo concert of the pianist. You can hear the level of culture, taste, emotionality, intelligence, character.

The game of Gornostaeva herself is an excellent confirmation of this statement. Indeed, a lot can be heard in her performance. Not only and not so much power, vividness of performance, phrasing, chord and small technique as the subtle mind of the performer, her aristocracy, intelligence, sophistication ... The best in Gornostaeva's performance is musical expressiveness.

In his game, Gornostaeva fully realizes his performing abilities. The piano unquestioningly submits to every movement of her hand. Someone in the game of Ermine may not have enough power pressure, energy, a storm of emotions. This is really not in her. But there are surprisingly subtle emotional experiences, shades and midtones.

Most of all, Gornostaeva succeeds in lyrical-contemplative music, a broad, brooding cantilena. For example, the sound of the second part of Beethoven's “Pathetic Sonata” performed by Gornostaeva is approaching an absolute ideal. But the stormy, rich music played on fortissimo impresses a little less.

The piano language of Vera Gornostaeva is rich and metaphorical, not only music is heard in her music - the pianist’s play reveals to the listener many images behind the sound, affects figuratively associative spheres, makes one think, feel, experience, look at the world through a musical prism.

Literary talent

Vera Gornostaeva conducted an active concert activity, taught at the conservatory, participated in television programs, wrote literary essays ...

They say that a talented person is talented in everything. Indeed, Vera Gornostaeva inherited from nature not only a penchant for music. She is pleased to write articles about famous music artists with whom she brought life. The book “Two hours after the concert” was published, in which Gornostaeva shares her musical and life experience.

Her literary notes and essays are read very easily, they are written in a lively, subtle and elegant language. Accurate characteristics, interesting observations - all this makes Vera Vasilievna's articles an excellent reading for everyone who is interested in music to some extent.

Gornostaeva’s sketches about Mikhail Pletnev, Yuri Bashmet, Svyatoslav Richter, an essay about Heinrich Gustavovich Neuhaus, and memoirs about Alexander Slobodyanik and his other students are wonderful.

About creative youth

Often Gornostaeva writes about the fate of creative young people. He talks about his students, reflects on what helps and what prevents young performers from becoming great musicians, masters of their craft.

During her life, Vera Vasilievna saw a lot: what is happening behind the scenes of the Philharmonic, in educational institutions, at concert venues. Her rather harsh article “Does the director of the philharmonic society love music” quite accurately reflects her opinion on this subject. But too fast and early achievements of young people alarms Vera Vasilievna. In one of the articles, she called success “a very powerful means”, and indeed, how many creative boys and girls in life could not keep the bar that they set themselves at 17 years old ...

Harmful to young musicians, according to Gornostaeva, and banal handicraft. It is terrible when a young talented person never becomes an artistic person, does not develop intellectually and spiritually, and with age loses his spontaneity without receiving wisdom and deep experience in return.

Range of activities

Television show “Open Piano”, 1987

Vera Gornostaeva is known to the general public not only for her performances on the concert stage and for articles. She performed a lot on radio and television, conducted cycles of musical and educational programs. Some of them can still be found on the Internet.

It is unusually interesting to hear how Gornostaeva talks about famous composers and their works, immediately illustrating her speech on the piano. Particularly popular at the time enjoyed her television program "Open Piano" and "Introducing the Young."

Among other things, Vera Vasilievna managed to attend a variety of seminars and conferences on musical pedagogy and piano performance. She constantly read reports and messages, gave open lessons and master classes, held consultations, helped young musicians in every way on the path to excellence.

I have visited such seminars and symposia (they are called differently) in Weimar, Oslo, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Bratislava and other European cities. But, frankly, I like the most of these meetings with colleagues in our country - in Sverdlovsk, Tbilisi, Kazan ... And not only because they are especially interested in them, as evidenced by crowded rooms, and the atmosphere itself, which reigns at such events. The fact is that, in our conservatories, the very level of discussion of professional problems, in my opinion, is higher than anywhere else. And this cannot but rejoice ...
I feel that I am doing more good here than in any other country.

Gornostaeva constantly said that the main thing in pedagogy was not to impose ready-made decisions on the student. Creating and developing a performance concept for each student, Vera Vasilyevna always based herself on the natural abilities of her students, on their creative individuality and spiritual orientation. In her opinion, for a real teacher there is no other way but this. And practice shows that Gornostaeva was completely right.

Over the long pedagogical life of Gornostaeva, many talented students passed through her amazing hands. It is worth mentioning such names as Alexander Slobodyanik, Dina Ioffe, Eteri Anzhaparidze, Ivo Pogorelich, Alexander Paley ... But without exception, all students of Gornostaeva, even if they did not receive high awards at world competitions and did not become famous performers, had joy during their studies at the conservatory touch the world of high musical culture and spirituality.

Last chord

Vera Vasilievna Gornostaeva died on January 19, 2015 in a Moscow hospital at the 86th year of her life. Until the last weeks of her life, she continued to be active, to teach, to speak at conferences.

The life of Vera Gornostaeva was always full of events. And she herself was an event - for everyone who had the joy of meeting her, working with her, learning from her.

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