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Roald Topchevsky - Composer from Atyrau

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By Ainur Saparova

Roald TopchevskyRoald TopchevskyOne can hardly find a person in Atyrau who doesn’t know Roald Topchevsky (on a photo). Born and bred in Atyrau, Roald is a well-known musician and composer. This year he is going to celebrate his 75th anniversary and, therefore, preparing a big concert for this event, as well as publishing a collection of his own music pieces and songs.

Songs and Beethoven

I heard more than once Roald Topchevsky's melodious, heart-felt songs at various concerts performed by solo performers and choirs. His songs reminded me the melodies of the famous Soviet song writers such as Aleksandra Pakhmutova, Isaak and Maxim  Dunaevskys. And my intuition didn’t fail me. He confessed that they were his favorite song writers. But he also loves to listen to classical music, especially Beethoven.

Roald Borisovich wrties music to his own texts, as well as to the texts of classical poets, such as Pushkin, Lermontov, Tyutchev, Yesenin. He wrote two songs to Kazakh texts “Atyrau – the oil capital”  and “Atyrau – my dear homeland” (words written by local poets Kadir Zhousip). Roald created many love songs, but he says that he prefers to compose patriotic songs about his homeland.

- I deeply love my native land, my Atyrau. So, I always liked to compose songs about Atyrau, about Ural River. I have a soft spot for the song that I dedicated to the Ural River. It is a choral piece”, - says Topchevsky. I used to work with the poet Vasily Kirillichev, who was then the deputy editor of “Prikaspiyskaya Communa” newspaper. He was the author of the words of the choral piece “The Ural River”.

Talking to Roald Borisovich and getting to know his outlook on life, I feel as if I am taken by the time machine to the old good times when spiritual values for people were above material ones and people cherished honor above benefit and advantage. Roald stays old-fashioned and to talk to such person is a pleasure, since you become spiritually richer from such personal interaction.

- I trust my friends and acquaintances, and my colleagues and they never let me down. I also lend a helping hand when they need me. I help them to arrange songs or to record music, or explain the theory of music. It doesn’t cost me much to help my friends. Maybe that’s why the music college named after Dina Nurpeisova where I work, doesn’t want me to retire. I am nearly 75 and I am still working.

Roald and Grand Piano

Roald says that it was his neighbor who cultivated in him the love for music:

 – During the Great Patriotic War (WW2) our family lived in the house located opposite the machine building plant named after Petrovsky. One engineer geologist moved into the flat in our house. He was evacuated from the blockaded Leningrad. He was fond of music and I don’t remember his name. He had a grand piano that he brought with him and played it in the evening. His music captured my heart. He had many music records, especially classical pieces and I was always around him when he played. Those are unforgettable moments of my life and it influenced me so much that I chose to become a musician.  

Roald went to local music school to attend violin classes. After graduation he entered Almaty music college named after Tchaikovsky to learn music theory. He continued his higher music education at the Astrakhan music academy.

I asked Roald to play his own creation on the piano and Roald Borisovich opened the cover and his fingers gracefully touched the keys and familiar, beautiful sounds of the Soviet song about the River Ural started to flow. Déjà vu and bravo, maestro!

Photos by Kanat Eleuov

January 6 2014, 17:00

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