• Namik Sultanov, piano

    Namik Sultanov, piano

    NamikSultanov is well-known as a distinguished pianist and pedagogue with exceptional lyrical gifts and a distinctive performance style. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, He showed extraordinary musical talent from a very early age. Playing violin and flute, he was a serious student of composition in his youth, composing more than 150 pieces that were featured at music school concerts. Although at that time a string student, he won first prize in the music school’s piano competition. At 12, deeply impressed by Van Cliburn’s stunning performance at the First Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, he began to self-study Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. Practicing day and night, he soon played all three movements for Ahad Israfilzade, chief conductor of the Azerbaijan Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Israfilzade immediately asked him to play with the Philharmonic, and the triumphant concert was a big sensation in the musical life of this capital city.

    After this success, the Azerbaijan government sponsored Namik at Russia’s most prestigious conservatory, Moscow’s Central Special Music School. He studied under Professor Lev Naumov, a follower of the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus. Continuing his education under Professor Naumov’s supervision at the Moscow State Conservatory, he received his doctorate in performance in 1973. After graduation, he was invited to join the faculty of the Azerbaijan State Conservatory, soon appointed an associate professor with the added title “Honor Artist of the Azerbaijan Republic”. Participating in numerous national festivals throughout Eastern Europe, Dr. Sultanov represented his country at International Music Festival in Moscow , International Piano Festival in Istanbul , the International Music Festival in Mexico City and the International Music Festival in Germany.

    He has performed in various concert venues including Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, in San Francisco Bay Area, in New York City ( Carnegie Hall), Vancouver, Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul , Izmir, Ankara, Mexico City, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Tallinn, and Baku. In 1991, Dr. Sultanov was invited to join the piano faculty of Turkey’s Bilkent University, where he chaired the Piano Department and was Vice Dean of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts. During his teaching years in Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the United States, he nurtured many students who have become winners and laureates in regional, national, and international piano competitions. In 1999, the Turkish Ministry of Culture formally recognized his distinguished teaching. Dr. Sultanov has been invited to serve on juries for national and international competitions and is sought for master classes in Europe, Canada, Mexico and USA. He recorded several CDs. Currently, he holds a faculty position in San Jose State University, California, USA.