O.J.'s Trumpet Page Interview

Interview with Timofei Dokshizer

Dokshizer 1997
Timofei Dokshizer,
Valery Posvaliuk and Anna Melnychuk in 1997 (photo: VJB)

Kiev, October 10, 1998

The interview took place shortly before the final concert at the Euro ITG Conference in Kiev. A very hectic situation, the interview was conducted by Verena Jakobsen Barth (VJB) with the help of a translator.

Translator Anna Melnychuk: He wants to tell you his impression about the competition.

Timofei Dokshizer: I would like to tell you, that this is the first competition in one of the countries of Eastern Europe. This is because of local authorities and because of trumpeters themselves, Ukrainian trumpeters. Of course, it wouldn't have been possible without the financial support of the ITG. It is very significant for trumpeters of Eastern Europe to have felt that there is such an international unit as a guild, a trumpet guild. This is why I would like to thank local authorities, ITG-authorities, trumpeters, the International Trumpet Guild and the Ukrainian Trumpet Guild. And the name of Valery Posvaliuk should be underlined twice.

I began playing as a child and I began to teach trumpet in a cavalry wind band. I was brought up by military band. I was born in Ukraine in the town of Nezhin. I had the opportunity to visit Nezhin today. There is my museum there, which has lots of materials now. Of course I couldn’t recognize the city, instead I was recognized by local residences. 

I have played trumpet for 65 years, since I was 10. My last recording was done, when I was 75. I worked in the Bolshoi Theatre for 38 years and I worked as a professor at the Gnessin Music Conservatory for 35 years. I have many students who play and who teach in Russia and in many other countries also. Of course I perform many concerts abroad and I have many recordings, definitely more than 50. 

VJB: Could you please ask if he is working together with composers.

TD: I necessarily work with composers, because we had no own trumpet music.

All my life, since my young years I performed compositions made for me. There are more than 40 concertos written for me. Well, friendly speaking you could play 5 or 6 of them - Arutiunian, Vassilienko, Goedike, Weinberg and Tamberg. I myself am engaged in transcriptions, mostly it’s my repertoire. I play so called strange pieces, pieces not written for trumpet.

I graduated from the Music Academy in Moscow as a trumpeter and as an opera and symphony conductor at the Moscow Conservatory. I have conducted for three years in the theatre and then I realised it is not my thing. I shouldn’t have put my trumpet aside. It was impossible to take two or three chairs at the same time, because I performed concerts, I conducted and I arranged many big pieces for example Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin. It’s a very well known concert piece for the trumpet. Well, my last work is a piano concerto by Shostakovich, a concerto which from my point of view is even better performed on trumpet than on piano. Or some vocal pieces, for example a concerto for voice and orchestra by Glière. I mentioned some big works; I have lots of pieces, beginning from Paganini through Liszt, Rachmaninov, all kinds of impressionists, both Russian and Soviet composers… My music collection was published and is called Collection of Timofei Dokshizer. I have more than 100 pieces, published by Marc Reift from Switzerland.

VJB: I would like to ask about the Russian trumpet playing tradition.

TD: There are some differences; in the Russian school the sound is very important: the quality of sound, volume of sound, dynamics of sound - it is connected with the character of the nature of Russian music - Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Rimsky-Korsakov. Very exact performance and development of technique is also Russian school. But today the difference between schools is less and less, due to radio, TV, recordings, CDs getting more and more common.

oj / vjb March 2005
Even if this is a short, unfinished interview, we decided to publish it here as a memory of the great musician Timofei  Dokshizer, who died the afternoon of March 16, 2005.