Fuat Mansurov (Conductor)
The renowned Russian conductor Fuat Mansurov worked 37 years in Moscow Bolshoi Theatre and had many operatic and ballet premiers. He had a total of 40 performances in his wide-ranging repertoire as a conductor, including classics of the 20th century - Sergei Prokofiev's "Semyon Kotko", Rodion Shedrin's "Dead Souls", Aram Khachaturian's "Spartak", Valeri Gavrilin's "Anuta" and Boris Asafiev's "The Fountain of Bakhchisarai", as well as 19-century foreign masterpieces, like Rossini's "The Barber of Seville", Gounod's "Faust", Tchaikovsky's "The Queen of Spades" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Tsar's Bride".
Fuat Mansurov who is now above 70, is a man of curious destiny and wonderful personal attractiveness. He is high, stately, with gray hair offhandedly shoved back. Maestro Mansurov can get into contact with any audience without embarrassment, demonstrating his extensive knowledge and brilliant intellect.
Fuat Mansurov says he speaks English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Turkish, Tatarian, Kirghiz and Russian languages. His native language is Kazakh, he studied in a Kazakh school and later graduated from Kazakh University in Alma-Ata. He has been studying foreign languages all his lifetime, trying to read at least a page on each, otherwise he feels "empty".
Mr. Mansurov still continues to train his memory as he used to train his muscles - he has master degrees in alpinism and skating sports. He participated in rescue expeditions heading for tops of Tien Shan and Pamirs and hardening his character. For many years Fuat Mansurov played chess and kept in mind all his games. He believes his sportive toughness taught him how to be staunch and concentrate in difficult life and creative situations. Being a young man he studied painting. Ever since he has accurately defined considerable art things as a man who visited many countries and knows rules of fine arts.
One of his passions is love of literature and, first and the foremost, Russia's prominent Russian classic poet Alexander Pushkin whose poems Mansurov declaims by heart.
Having fundamental capabilities, Fuat Mansurov mastered not only music, but also mathematics. He studied in Kazakh conservatoire and the physical and math department of Alma-Ata University, where afterwards he taught during several years. At the age of 21 Mansurov became the conductor of the Kazakh folk instruments orchestra and then the leading conductor of the Kazakh Opera and Ballet Theatre. Being a well-known musician at home, he entered Moscow Conservatoire where continued to advance his mastery in the class of symphonic conducting headed by Professor Leo Ginzburg. Undoubtedly, the musical life of Moscow in early 60-s largely impacted his artistic growing up. He heard the world's best orchestras, including those conducted by Gerbert Von Karaian, Leonard Berstein, Lorin Maase and other "stars" who toured Moscow at the time. A meeting with Paris Conservatoire's Professor Igor Markevich who held a six-month conducting seminar in Russia left a particular imprint on his career. At the time Fuat Mansurov made a final choice between math and music by preferring the latter. He recollects how he met with Professor Markevich who immediately perplexed him by a question - "Do you really want to be a conductor?" Fuat Mansurov responded: "Of course". And the Professor told him: "I beseech you - learn your work by heart!" This became Fuat Mansuriov's rule. He studies operatic and symphonic scores by heart. All these huge volumes full of notes! What separates a professional conductor from an amateur is a capability to repeat precisely an original version. All composers demand this. If one has a capability to look "under veil" of notes, he or she is a grand master, Conductor Mansurov believes.
Mr. Mansurov is a welcome guest at any Russia's opera house or symphonic orchestra. He is also often invited to tour foreign countries. He has no language bar, let it be Finland, Yugoslavia, Argentina or Slovenia. Anywhere his rehearsals are held easily and in homely atmosphere. Besides the Bolshoi Theatre he is the main conductor of the symphonic orchestra in the Tatar capital, Kazan, and permanently performs in the opera theatre in the city. He features concerts in Russia's biggest cities, including Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Saratov and Ufa. Several years ago he was invited to stage a series of operatic performances in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. The project ran away with Mr. Mansurov to such an extent that he became not only the operas' conductor and producer, but also as a brilliant director and scene and costume designer.
Fuat Mansurov views conductor as a key figure in music. All impulses in music pass through him to link the audience with orchestra or visa versa. He says conductors must be highly expressive and descriptive in music. To this end, a conductor has a wide range of movements, mimics and plastics - all these must be attuned to the music performed at the moment. Furthermore, the profession of conductor, Mr. Mansurov says, demands the highest level of inner discipline.
Photo: from site MTCC