Sergey Chipenko «I teach to love music»

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Today’s guest of our magazine is the renowned pianist and composer Sergey Chipenko, who moved to America 10 years ago and conquered it with his talent and perseverance. Ufa – Moscow – Los Angeles Sergey came to America from Moscow, but his hometown is Sterlitamak, Bashkortostan.
The friendly Russian-speaking community of Los Angeles helped him a lot in the early stages, especially in a foreign country, especially with children and without knowledge of English. Sergey fondly remembers his neighbor, Professor Lyubov Aronovna Sorochkina from the conservatory, who introduced him to many worthy representatives of the intelligentsia from the former Soviet Union, such as the outstanding poet Anatoly Berlin and the brilliant violinist Daniil Borisovich Shendaryov.
Despite a difficult start, Sergey’s career in America has been very successful. He performs in various concert programs, teaches, and writes music for films. Sergey Chipenko is the winner of the NewYorkArts&Cinema award for Best Composer, as well as a laureate of festivals such as the New York Independent Cinema Awards, Five Continents Cinema Awards, and Chicago Indie Awards, where he received an award for the soundtrack to the cartoon «Sky Grey».
He has played with many outstanding American musicians, such as Dave Koz.
One of Sergey’s favorite compositions, «Kindness,» will be included in his new album, and the title of this piece is no coincidence: it reflects Sergey Chipenko’s philosophy of life.
I am confident that the album will be nominated for a Grammy.
The Note of Dynasty When did your music career begin?
I graduated from a music school for gifted children in Ufa, then from the Ufa State Institute of Arts, where I later stayed on as a teacher.
Your father was a musician. Surely, this played a role in your choice of profession?
Yes, my father’s role was significant; I am grateful to him for his professionalism and talent. I wanted to follow in his footsteps, to be like him. My mother also had excellent musical taste, which also played a huge role in my career choice.
The first teacher is someone who remains in memory forever…
Yes, of course! With great respect and gratitude, I remember my first teacher, Professor Alexander Davydovich Frank, who became both a father and a mother to me during my studies at the music school-internat for gifted children. This person instilled in me a love for music, musical culture, and opened the way to the musical world.
You are associated with jazz. Do you prefer this genre?
Back in 1989, I founded the jazz group «Trans-Atlantic» in the style of Smooth Jazz, and in 1994, we moved as a group to Moscow, already quite well-known at that time. It was a time of change, and we wanted career growth despite performing to full houses. A series of random but fateful encounters led me to Mark Rozovsky from the Theater at Nikitskie Vorota. He provided us with space and complete freedom of action; we have been friends for over 40 years, and he taught me a lot back then, for which I am endlessly grateful. This theater became our home; it was there that we created and performed our hits. It was a time of professional growth for «Trans-Atlantic,» popularity, participation in festivals, and meeting famous people.
Which famous artists have you worked with?
I accompanied Yuri Nikulin, Valentina Tolkunova, Nani Bregvadze, Nikolai Savchenko, and many other artists. For a while, I was the leader of Yuri Antonov’s group, and with «Trans-Atlantic,» we worked in Sergey Penkin’s group. Honestly, the list of famous people I’ve worked with is long, and each of them is very important to me.
Please tell us about your collaboration with singer and composer Eliana Nikolskaya.
For many years, I have been working with various performers who are located in different parts of the world, arranging, and working with them online. We organize concerts, create various projects where I perform not as a producer, but more often as a co-author. My experience allows me to determine how promising a musician is, although I am not a critic, I will say honestly. During my first acquaintance with Lena Nikolskaya, I was amazed by her musicality, the main quality that I like in performers. This is the prerogative of gifted people. Lena is an incredibly talented singer who performs not only jazz but also modern music. She sings beautifully, plays the piano masterfully, writes songs in Russian and English. I can confidently say that Lena Nikolskaya is my musical soulmate; our duet brings me immense pleasure.
For me, a duet is the highest form of musical performance. After all, it is in a duet that the merging of music and vocals occurs, which is almost impossible to teach; it needs to be felt. Lena’s intuition, talent, and gift help us create a concert program. She has recorded many albums that can be purchased at our concerts, and I am sure that true music lovers will appreciate our joint project. Lena is a world-class singer; I compare her to Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, who sing, not just shout on stage. I invite you to our concerts with the wonderful Eliana Nikolskaya; I promise you won’t regret it; your inner aesthete will be charmed.
There is a certain chemistry between a teacher and a student Sergey, please tell us a little more about your music lessons. What age are your students? What do you teach? Do you have students you work with online? To study music, age doesn’t matter. I have students from 6 to 82 years old; the main thing is the desire and love for music. I teach classical and academic piano lessons, and, of course, jazz. There are students I work with online, but nothing can replace live communication. I teach to love music, to write arrangements, to compose melodies, and not to be afraid to learn something new and make mistakes.
How can one become your student?
Call, write, let’s meet and talk about your capabilities and plans.
What are the requirements for future students?
I don’t take students who don’t want to learn, and this is the idea or dream of their parents. I don’t have time to educate. After all, a lesson for me is a kind of chemistry between a teacher and a student, a creative process. And if a person doesn’t have a desire to work and grow professionally, it’s hard to make them love music and start playing.
Interview by
Yana Sanakina and Amalia Benlyan
If you are interested in getting to know Sergey personally, here is the contact information for you:
Phone: +1(818)859-8606

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