Three generations of musical talent came together when Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium violin student, Daniel Tagiev, performed to acclaim in his family’s homeland of Azerbaijan.
The first-year student travelled to the capital city of Baku in September and represented Australia at the 5th International Music Festival, playing in the beautiful Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall.
The 10-day festival was dedicated to legendary Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibayli and Daniel was part of a stellar line-up of conductors, soloists, young artists and ensembles from Russia, Turkey, Germany, France, the United States, Lithuania and Australia.
Now 18, Daniel was just three months old when his family migrated to Australia, but the Tagiev name remains esteemed in Azerbaijani music circles.
Daniel’s grandfather, Professor Murad Tagiev, was the Head of Strings at the Azerbaijan State Conservatorium of Music for almost 30 years, while his father, Emin Tagiev, was a member of the Azerbaijan Chamber Orchestra, Israeli Chamber Orchestra , Israeli Violin Ensemble and is the founder of the Tagiev Chamber Orchestra and the Brisbane International Youth Music Festival.
“I was excited but also nervous when I arrived for the festival because all the music department heads in Baku are my grandfather’s former students. I had to uphold the family reputation,” Daniel said.
He did so with aplomb, his performance even making the front page of the local newspaper’s Culture section. He has also been invited back for next year’s festival.
Ironically, given his obvious affinity with the violin and his family’s proud musical heritage, Daniel admits to being a reluctant student when his father first began teaching him.
“I started lessons when I was seven and I didn’t really want to do it,” Daniel said.
“Dad taught me in the Russian style, which is very strict and ordered, but now I understand and appreciate the value of that teaching. I even have a few students of my own in Brisbane and I am just as strict with them.”
Daniel made his performing debut at the age of eight, playing his first solos with the Mannheim Youth Orchestra in Germany. Two years later he performed Vivaldi’s Spring at the Sydney Opera House with the Tagiev Youth Chamber Orchestra.
Since then he has graced famous stages in cities including St Petersburg, Berlin, New York, Shanghai, Seville, Tallin and, most recently, Baku. At home in Australia he has performed for charity, including concerts for the Queensland Cancer Council and flood relief events.
As for the future, a solo career beckons after graduating from the Conservatorium.
“This is my first year at the Con and it’s been a really different and rewarding experience,” Daniel said.
“It’s the first time I’ve been taught by anyone other than my father, so that has required some adjustment, but I’m enjoying myself and learning a lot.
“And as much as I love the teamwork that goes with playing in an orchestra, my ambition is to pursue a career as a solo violinist.”