Celebrated concert pianist and impresario, Aza S. was born into a musical family in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic, a former part of the Soviet Union.
A member of Moscow’s International Academy of Creative Endeavors, Aza has been the recipient of many awards, including First Prize at the Musician of the 21st Century International Piano Competition in Kazakhstan and First Prize and the Grand Prize at the Euterpe International Piano Competition and the Euterpe Chamber Music Competition in Italy. He has also been awarded first prizes in numerous national and international music competitions in his native Kyrgyzstan. He is a fellow of the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation, the New Names Foundation, and the Nikolay Petrov International Philanthropic Foundation. In 2012, he received the Honorary Diploma of Kyrgyzstan from Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva.
Aza has performed all over the world – in Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Turkey, Finland, Iran, Ukraine, China, and the United States. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Great Hall of The Moscow Conservatory, the Kyrgyz National Philharmonic Hall, the Palace of Nations in Geneva, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. His recordings with the Kyrgyz State Symphony Orchestra of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, Liszt’s First Piano Concerto, and Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto are a part of the Golden Archive of the Kyrgyz National TV and Radio Broadcasting Corporation. He made his professional debut at the Moscow International House of Music, performing with world-renowned pianist, Andrei Gavrilov and the National Philharmonic of Russia under the baton of Vladimir Simkin.
Aza has also served as artistic director of numerous music festivals and concerts. For two years he led the Musical Friendship Necklace International Festival in Saint Petersburg. In 2010, he was artistic director of a concert series in Kyrgyzstan celebrating the 170th anniversary of Tchaikovsky’s birth.
At age 7 Aza began his formal musical education at the Kyrgyzstan National School of Music, where he studied with Svetlana Krivopalova. At age 14, he was admitted to Moscow’s prestigious Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he studied with Anatoly Ryabov and Nikolai Petrov.
Since 2011 Aza has lived in the United States, where he has continued musical studies with Pavlina Dokovska at New York City’s Mannes School of Music. Professor Dokovska has described him as “a pianist of uncommon sensitivity, technical verve and refinement beyond his years.” In 2013 he was awarded the New School University’s Presidential Scholarship and a Schoenberg Piano Stipend to pursue a Master of Music degree at Mannes.
In 2014, he was the first Kyrgyz performer ever to appear in solo recital at Carnegie Hall. On this occasion he performed the world premieres of works by several composers from his homeland as well as pieces by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. He returned to Carnegie Hall to perform again in 2015 and 2016.
Aza has dedicated his artistic life to preserving the musical heritage of Eurasia by promoting and performing works by Eurasian composers. As President of the Kyrgyz American Foundation
, he works diligently to build and strengthen cultural ties between the Kyrgyz Republic and the United States. He is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Eurasia Festival
in New York City, the Wilmington Music Festival
in North Carolina and New York International Vocal Competition.