By Laman Ismayilova
Not too long ago, a female conductor leading a classical orchestra was a rarity. For instance, Vienna Philharmonic did not invite a female guest conductor to lead its orchestra until 2005.
However, things have changed a lot over the past decade and many women are now presiding at the conductor's podium.
Turan Manafzade breaks down all musical boundaries as a female conductor. The choice of such a rare profession for a woman was influenced by her brother, talented pianist and composer Abuzar Manafzade.
"I was 23 years old when I decided to be a conductor. At that time I did not realize how strategic was the decision that I made on behalf of my country. Before conducting, I graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, where I studied in piano class of associate professor Nurferi Onur. Afterwards, I continued my education in the class of Italian conductor Antonio Pirolli," she told Azernews.
In her interview, Manafzade highlighted the attitude towards female conductors.
"Today people's view on this issue is rapidly changing thanks to "positive discrimination", support provided to women and an increasing number of female conductors.Nowadays women are evolved in many work places. After all, everyone appreciates your work if you are doing it properly," said Manafzade.
Speaking about her most memorable performances, Manafzade noted her concerts in Azerbaijan and abroad.
"I enjoy all my performances in each country or city, especially those in my homeland," said Manafzade.
The conductor stressed a welcoming atmosphere at concerts in Azerbaijan. It is always a great pleasure to her to perform works by prominent national composers as well as her own music pieces and those one composed by Abuzar Manafzade.
Her performance of first ever Concerto for Balaban and Symphonic orchestra was also exciting and spectacular.
After successful premiere in US, Abuzar Manafzade's music piece was presented in Baku on May 25, on the birthday of eminent conductor.
Today, Turan Manafzade is known worldwide as an incredibly talented pianist and conductor who actively promotes Azerbaijan's rich music.
Since 2019, she has been studying MBA program at Istanbul's Bahcesehir University.
"I am writing a thesis on digital culture. There are many extensive and interesting sources on this subject. My main goal is to successful complete my master's degree. I am also planning to compose and record more music. My new piano pieces will be soon released at all digital platforms," she added.
In conclusion, Turan Manafzade shared her advises to future female conductors.
"I consider myself lucky to play before showing interest in the art of conducting. It is very useful to master a musical instrument for conductor. Here is my advise to all ladies who want to be conductors: You need not only talent and hard work, but also courage, self-confidence and openness for self-improvement. I can say that women have to possess these qualities twice as much," she said.
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