If you don’t believe in the saying:
“It’ll all work out in the end,” then check out Emir Gamsizoglu‘s story.
It’s amazing and inspirational how he came to music by chance.
Emir was a professional basketball player (Turkish Basketball League).
At 20, he injured himself and discovered his talent for piano during his recovery– with no piano education, he was able to play Chopin’s Waltz, Op 64 after hearing it once.
With that, he decided to pursue a career in piano.
Emir was the shortest basketball player on his team; he started piano at 20.
He was the oldest piano beginner at the conservatory,but nothing stops him.
Now he’s releasing his own album of original compositions, producing TV and stage shows like “Notada Yazmayanlar”, and much more.
Emir defies all of society’s common preconceptions and goes on to live the life that he wants.
Emir talks about the musician life that works for him in the mini interview below– I’m excited to feature Emir today!
Emir’s Unique Quality
A student from Juilliard once said that she felt as if she were listening to a pianist from the early 20th century after hearing me play a Liszt Rhapsody, because of the natural quality to my playing that pianists don’t have anymore.
I get this a lot and I think it’s because I was an athlete– not a musician– until I was 20 years old.
I have a different approach to music than that of those who spent their childhoods with long hours of practice.
Emir’s Practice Schedule
Since I also compose, I split my time between piano practice and composing; it depends on how much time I need to compose.
I love waking up early and start practicing with a clear mind, but if I need to do something else in the morning I try to take a 15-20 minute nap before I start practicing.
I think a clear mind will help your muscles relax with the freedom that is essential for piano.
The Utmost Important Skill for Pianists
“[T]he utmost important quality/skill that every pianist must have is… a character which balances all the musical qualities the composer wants to convey… and having his own personality as a living musician who is giving life to the work in the 21st century.”
To me, the utmost important quality/skill that every pianist must have is the same as what every violinist or cellist or any other instrumentalist must have: it is a character which balances all the musical qualities the composer wants to convey and his own personality as a living musician who is giving life to the work in the 21st century.
Dealing With Performance Anxiety and Mistakes
I genuinely don’t make it a big deal.
Naturally, my goal is to not make any mistakes, but I know I’m a human being.
I’m more nervous when I’m going to a chamber music rehearsal with musicians whom I don’t know personally or have never played with before.
This post is part of a series of expert mini interviews:
- Practicing for Smooth Performances with Erica Sipes
- Cultivating Confident Performers with Gail Fischler
- Inspiring Performer Started Piano at 20: Emir Gamsizoglu