When Abduraimov says young, he means young. His mother taught him the basics of the piano when he was 5 years old. At the age of 6 he started studying with Tamara Popovich at the Uspensky State Central Lyceum.
“My first teacher was very, very strict,” he said. “She was like an iron woman. Everyone at school was afraid of her.
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“I studied with her for a year and then had to do a three-piece concert. I failed the third piece. She kicked me out of her school and said I would never play again. But my mother wouldn’t give up. One She brought me back a year later. So I wouldn’t say I’m a child prodigy, but maybe I was. “
When Abduraimov was 13 years old, Popovich said to him: “I’m done with you. We did everything I could offer you. I can no longer teach you. “
But he had to wait until he was 16 and was able to get a passport to begin his international studies.
“I could have gone to Julliard, London’s Royal Academy, but I came straight to Kansas City,” he said. “I made the best decisions of my life to come to Kansas City, in the midwest, to study with (Stanislav) Ioudenitch.”
Ioudenitch, who is also from Uzbekistan, won the gold medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001 and now teaches at Park University.
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In 2009, Abduraimov won first prize at the London International Piano Concert and began a career performing with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin San Francisco Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Orchester de Paris.