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Turan-Mirza Kamal (Guitar)

Born: July 22, 1951 - California, USA
Died: November 19, 2004

Turan-Mirza Kamal - Kazan Tatar in his mother's side, paternal line Bukharan Tatar - happens to be a native Californian. Born in the USA, he was a classic example of modern day nomad, for he was reared and for the most part educated in Turkey, Switzerland, Spain, England and France.

At thirteen years of age taken note of in Europe consummate musical talent, Turan-Mirza Kamal had behind him six years intensive training under Spanish classical guitarist Antonio Ortega. At 15 the boy was veteran of Master studies under Maestro Andrés Segovia, Maestro Emilio Pujol, and the renowned Julian Bream. Turan-Mirza stood for 1967 London Examinations and to the dismay of his father was accepted by both the Royal Academy and the Royal College of Music.

Brakes were applied. Kamal's father insisted that his son pause for growth and maturing. The youth, barely sixteen, was admitted to the University of California as freshman - by special permission allowed certain upper division studies and graduate work in music. Only upon completion of two years of university was the young man granted that he return to Europe, solo; this time to France's Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, where he completed his education.

Virtuoso instrumentalist, power musical interpretation already topic of acclaim in Europe, Turan-Mirza Kamal returned to the USA (residing in Santa Barbara, California) and made his American professional debut in 1972. During the second half of the 1970's he played and gave master-classes in California, Wisconsin, New York and Washington, D.C. However, he was better known as a concert artist in Israel and several Eastern European countries. His Arabic-sounding name, however, made bookings in the USA harder to come by. For him, Israel was a friendlier venue. For example, in November 1978 he played Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with the Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra in Kibbutz Shefayim.

Turan-Mirza Kamal did not have particularly large hands, but he played with incredible power and control over the instrument. In concert he demonstrated this ability beautifully. He stopped playing the classical guitar in concert in the early 1980's for personal reasons (probably because of an accident and an operation on his left wrist, which made it hard for him to play). Kamal was gifted in many fields; not the least of these, however, was his love of languages. He was equally fluent in English, Tatar, French, and Spanish.

Source: Liner notes to the LP 'Classical Guitar' (1972); Discussion in Classical Guitar Forum (June 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2008, March 2013); Mark Naim (March 2013)

Turan-Mirza Kamal: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Turan Kamal? (Classical Guitar Forum)


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