Estonian Music Days

Tallinn / Tartu

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Michael Buk

Michael Buk: “I was born in 1976 in a small town near Novosibirsk (Russia) in a musical family and developed an interest for music pretty early. I started studying violin when I was 5. When I was 11 I switched to bass guitar. At the age of 19, I graduated from a music college in Novosibirsk with a degree in bass guitar. This completes my musical education, but only officially. Later, when I moved to Germany, I switched to guitar, learned a few more instruments, singing, and also sound engineering. Last and this year, two records by Sergei Malov, recorded at my studio, took first place at various classical music festivals (OPUS KLASSIK award,  Diapason d’Or).

Although I’ve always studied something else, my love for the piano has always been there, and inspired by Chopin’s etudes and Rachmaninoff’s pieces, it has always been my dream to compose and play in this beautiful romantic style. Probably that’s why my Etude C-dur was the first piece I wrote in the “classical” style. Now I would probably call it beginner’s luck, at this time I was about 18 and I was overwhelmed with happiness when I found the “formula” for this Etude, and I have tried to convey all this happiness and youthful love for life in this piece.

That opens for me the door to composing and to things that don’t seem possible at first glance. That is why this Etude is so important to me.

Inspired by this “success” I wrote a few more pieces for piano at the same age, including Shyness, which most consider to be my best piece. It was my experiment to make strange harmonies sound harmonious. I love this piece because it has so many moods that are whimsically rooted together. The title came to me only recently. I think this mood changes describes very well a person who is in love, but is too shy to share it with person he (or she) in love is.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I failed to enter the conservatory as a composer at the time, obviously the professors were interested in completely different music… Either way, it drastically slowed down my euphoria about writing in the “classical style”. And that’s why these pieces sat in the drawer for so long. I wasn’t sure how much value they have, we have Chopin, Rachmaninoff and more great Composers, who needs more romantic pieces?… 

Only now I felt the need to give these pieces the opportunity to develop their own life, search and maybe find their own audience and maybe even performers. That explains why it took so long from birth to appearance.

I am very grateful to Irina for adopting my pieces and it is an honour for me that such a very talented musician will present them for the first time.”