On Monday, July 2, 2018 Hidden Valley Music Seminars presented an extraordinary family of artists. The Khudyev family, who emigrated to the US from Turkmenistan, has produced a generation of Soviet trained and USA educated master musicians, several of whom gathered Monday night to perform works for clarinet, violin and piano. Emil Khudyev is Associate Principal Clarinetist for the Seattle Symphony, and he was joined on stage by his wife, Nozomi Khudyev, an extraordinary pianist from Japan and a graduate of the Juilliard School, as well as his brother and violinist Farkhad Khudyev, who currently serves as Music Director of the Hidden Valley Orchestra Institute and Youth Music Monterey County.
The evening began in an extraordinary way. As the audience was beginning to quiet down and anticipate a traditional stage entrance, Emil Khudyev started playing his clarinet from outside the hall and walked in while playing, with the audience applauding and welcoming him during the opening phrases of Serban Nichifor’s Carnyx. After this heart-warming solo, he was joined on stage by his wife, pianist Nozomi Khudyev, and together they delivered a masterful performance of Gershwin’s Three Preludes. The warm lyricism of Emil’s clarinet was met with an exquisite blend of pianistic dynamics, rhythms, melodies and famous Gershwin harmonies that everyone has come to love through the years.
Farkhad Khudyev is not only a gifted conductor and violinist, but is also a talented composer. He joined Nozomi and Emil on stage to perform his own work, “Fleeting Miniatures,” which he composed in a single day after returning from a lengthy visit to his homeland. Farkhad’s composition offers a unique blend of textures, passion and clear vision, and clearly evoked an emotional reaction from all listeners.
The trio continued with a performance of the third movement of Peter Schickele’s “Serenade for Three,” and the energy of that performance was uplifting. This was contrasted by a tender and beautiful performance of Wie Melodien zieht es mir by Brahms, adapted for clarinet and piano, and breathtaking rendition of Piazzolla’s “Oblivion.” Emil closed off the program with a piece he performed for a friend’s wedding: Shalom Aleichem, rov Feidman by Béla Kovács. In response to a well-deserved standing ovation, Emil and Nozomi returned to the stage for an encore, performing Chardash by Monti.
As such an extraordinary family gathered on stage, a rare moment in life was shared by all attendees. These are consummate, professional musicians who interact with love, respect and intimacy shared through years of living together, and their ensemble is a unique gift to the arts. This was indeed a historic evening.
[Editor’s note: In the search box above — type in: “Khudyev Brothers and Nozomi Marusawa” to read a review of their debut concert on the Monterey Peninsula that took place in November 2012 at All Saints Church. In our current day political climate where immigration is such a hotly debated issue, the extraordinary Khudyev family coming to our shores is again living proof of how our country is constantly being enriched by talented people whom we want to welcome with open arms.]