Lev Naumov on Anna Malikova
from:talks with Ekaterina Zamotorina
"Lev Naumov: Pod Znakom Neugausa"
RIV Antikva, Moskau 2002
(translated from Russian)
First it was Anna Malikova who came to me, who also had been student of [Tamara] Popovich in Tashkent. She is a wonderful girl, an outstanding musician, gifted with great musical naturality. At the beginning she lacked maybe a little masculine dramatism. But she is very clever and sensible and showed a unique mixture of being emotional and at the same time in a natural way intense. She had huge success, played beautifully the Carnaval and other works.
She was living in the dormitory of the conservatory, while having to endure a lot of discomfort and great difficulties. There she had hardly the chance to practice on normal grand pianos (for this you had to get up very early in the morning), additionally she had to organize food to survive... But she mastered all difficulties with bravura, stoically, was always enjoying life.
She surprised me totally: I myself was since my childhood suffering from stage fear, at each single performance and especially at the conservatory. But she had nerves like steel, came out onto stage completely calmly and played for the public as if she was only in the classroom. This impressed everybody a lot.
Unfortunately with competitions things did not go very well at the beginning. I called her my "Queen of the 5th prizes", because she received several ones in competitions. Usually she called me afterwards and commented simply: "Ouch, again a fifth prize..." But then it "flashed" - at the most serious ARD Competition in Munich [where she was awarded with the 1st Prize].
After Anna had finished the conservatory she worked as my assistant, helped me wonderfully, accompanied on the second piano at my class concerts. She has an open and good character, is surprisingly straightforward and natural. And the same you can say about her talent. It is a pleasure to see a person so well outbalanced and in harmony with herself.
Today she is married with Peter Grote, Artistic Director of the company Kawai, who is himself a very nice person and gifted musician. He is cellist and they play sometimes concerts together. Peter speaks Japanese (his first wife is Japanese), English - and now even Russian! They often come to see us and I have been at their house. For Anna everything has turned to good, her fate pleases me.
Malikova - this is one of very few woman who became a true pianist. She plays outstandingly Chopin, with an incredibly transparent sound! Even if at moments she could, maybe, show more dramatism, she compensates this more than enough with that noble taste, which many of the so-called "Chopinists" are lacking.
Anya is today performing on big stages - I recall how wonderfully she played once in Germany, in a castle - its windows gave you a look out onto a big lake... Her career is skyrocketing, she plays everywhere and has released already a lot of CD.