Facing the listener: artistic credo of Nellia Chabanova
Nellia Chabanova
The crisis of tonality that occurred in the era of late Romanticism became a catalyst for accelerating the development of compositional thought. It acted as an impulse for the emergence of radical techniques of compositional writing, a new approach to modes structure, experiments in the field of micro chromatics, and so on.

Throughout the twentieth century, the gap between popular music and academic music was constantly growing. By the beginning of the new millennium, the precipice between the musical thinking of the average commoner and the complexity of the language of an academic composer seems insurmountable. One can't help but wonder – can a “serious” composer create works that would be understandable to the general public? The example of Nellia Chabanova shows that yes.

"For me, the main thing is the melody”, – says Nellia. Born in Chardzhou (now Turkmenabad), she took her first steps in composing early, when she was at a music school. Her professional education began in the music college of Chardzhou and then carried on to Turkmenistan national conservatory. Her teacher was none other than Rejep Allayarov – the one and only person who managed to study composition from the legendary Alfred Schnittke.

Among the figures who influenced Nellia's style the most are Bach, Sibelius, Rachmaninov, and Piazzola. Perhaps it was this diverse palette of styles that determined the breadth of her interests and orientation towards the melodic beginning.

Nellia works in a wide range of genres, in her musical portfolio there are chamber compositions (piano cycles, vocal works, quartets, opuses for chamber orchestra) as well as music for drama theater and also symphonic works. Her compositions have received several awards from international competitions, such as the Vienna Classical Music Awards, Vivaldi International music competition, Bach International Music Competition, World Grand Prix, and World Classical Music Awards.

However, Nellia draws inspiration not only from music, she often finds the themes of her new works in paintings, literature and dramatic art. Nellia has created music for a number of productions of the Pushkin Academic Theater: the play “Train to Love”, dedicated to Anna Akhmatova, and enterprise performances about the fates of Boris Pasternak, OsipMandelstam and Marina Tsvetaeva.

The main thing that you pay attention to when listening to Nellia's music is the pictorial nature of her compositions. This is music not of cold mathematical calculation, but of living human emotions, music addressed to the listener. This effect is achieved due to the predominant role of melodicism – even complex and large-scale works have memorable, expressive melodies. Thereby, Nellia continues Tchaikovsky's line in Russian music: orientation to instrumental compositions, clarity of form, and vivid musical images. Don’t let the simplicity and lightness of her compositions confuse you – behind such ease lies the hard work of the composer and many years of training.

In her works, Nellia addresses a wide range of topics, from the philosophical reflection in variations for the symphony orchestra “All'interno”, to the playful and cheerful episode “Spring” from the instrumental cycle “The Seasons". However, whatever the theme, the composer always tries to convey his idea to the listener as accurately and clearly as possible.

In addition to her composing activities, Nellia teaches piano, composition, and music theory to adults and children. The success of her students in the field of composition and performing skills has been awarded by international competitions, such as the lX International Competition of Composers and Arrangers named after I.O. Dunaevsky, the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition.

Nellia’s next goals – completing her cycle “The Seasons”, creating music for the play “Dances of the Sun” at the Theater of Academic Tolerance and writing a new piece for the symphony orchestra. And we can only wish the young composer new success on her difficult artistic path!

Anna Brown