Rudolf Ozolins – Iskander Zakirov
Rudolf Ozolins and Iskander Zakirov both graduated from Michigan State University with the Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. Shortly afterward each started to teach privately piano. There was a lot of experimentation and trial and error in the beginning. There is no support system in place for freelance music teachers, performers, or entrepreneurs. Learning and exchanging ideas between musicians in the professional world is very limited. Musician meet-ups and networking events are non-existent. It can feel like a very lonely place after graduating with a music degree. Iskander and Rudolf thought that, surely, there has to be a better, more efficient way to become a successful music teacher, performer, and music entrepreneur. That’s how the idea for Music Master Lab was born.
Once you have established your self as a successful teacher and performer, there is a lot of joy and satisfaction in being a freelance musician! We envision MusicMasterLab as being an education site for teachers, performers, and music entrepreneurs. MusicMasterLab is a free online community where you can ask questions, exchange ideas, and improve your skills.
Iskander Zakirov was born in Tashkent (Soviet Union, later Uzbekistan) to a family of musicians. At the age of five he entered Uspensky Lyceum for Gifted Children in Tashkent, simultaneously taking lessons in Tashkent and Moscow State Conservatories. In 1992, he continued his studies in Tashkent State Conservatory for Master and Post-Graduate Degrees.
After immigrating to the United States, Zakirov completed his education with Artist Diploma from Duquesne University and Doctor of Musical Arts from Michigan State University. His teachers include Lia Schwartz, Elmira Mirkasymova, David Allen Wehr, and Deborah Moriarty.
As a solo and collaborative artist, Zakirov gives lectures and recitals covering a wide range of solo and chamber music throughout the United States, Europe, and former Soviet Union and make recordings that receive positive reviews from critics.
While focusing primarily upon the performance and teaching of Western art music, Zakirov also pursues interests in other musical styles, such as contemporary and electronic music. Besides performing, Zakirov is an experienced piano teacher and educator whose students actively perform and teach in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Rudolf Ozolins was born in 1978 into a family of musicians in Riga, Latvia. He began his music studies at the age of five at Em. Darzins Music School for gifted children. Soon after starting his music education, Mr. Ozolins began to perform publicly. At the age of thirteen he had his first appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra of Latvia. Mr. Ozolins’ musical education continued at Jazeps Medins Riga Music College and the Latvian Music Academy.
Since 2001, Rudolfs Ozolins had been living in the United States. He has received his Bachelor and Masters degrees in piano performance from Indiana University. He has completed a Doctoral degree in piano performance at Michigan State University. During these years he was under the tutelage of world renowned pianists M. Zeltser, A. Toradze, G. Vatchnadze, T. Bikis, and J. Kalnciems.
Mr. Ozolins has been among winners in several international piano competitions, including the Concours Musical de France, Grand Prix Darius Milhaud and the Beethoven Piano Sonata Competition. He has continuously and substantially enriched his accompanying and teaching knowledge through collaboration with various ensembles and artists including Metropolitan Opera soloist Maija Kovalevska, Latvian National Opera soloist Viesturs Jansons, Detroit Symphony flutists Sharon Sparrow, Jeffery Zook, and Amanda Blakie. He has also performed as a soloist with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra in Latvia. He actively concertizes in the US as a soloist and a chamber musician.
Since 2011 Rudolfs Ozolins lives in the metro Detroit area. He has built and run a very successful piano studio. You can find out more here. He also works as an accompanist at Oakland University for the flute studios of Sharon Sparrow, Jeffery Zook, and Amanda Blakie.