"I got very lucky with my teachers, and with people who at certain stages in my life turned out to be near," states Karen, "Of course, their part in my professional success is enormous, not to mention that meeting prominent musicians has influences me heavily both emotionally and morally. I appreciate my teachers very much."
Maria Iakovlevna Rozenberg was Shakhgaldyan's first violin teacher, still in Briansk. At seven, Karen entered the Specialized Central Music School under the Moscow Conservatory (TSSSMSH) and began performing regularly in the famous Conservatory halls. Here his mentors included M.A. Ostapchenko, L.E. Chistiakov, G. I. Feigin, and I.I. Iordanova.
In 1993, Karen continues his education in the school-studio "Young Talents", studying with the prizewinner of international competitions Aleksei Koshvanets and Igor' Rudnev.
After graduating from the "Young Talents" school, in the class under A.V. Revich, Karen brilliantly handles the entrance exams into the Moscow State Conservatory, where he gets into the class of Professor Victor Tretiakov. Karen remembers these five years of studying under Tretiakov with a particular warmness and delight.
"Certainly, I tried and have successfully passed examinations in the Conservatory, however, to get in the class of Professor Tretiakov was the present gift of destiny. It is possible to dream of such teacher only! - Кaren tells quiveringly . - Five years I studied at the best of our teachers, had an opportunity to comprehend elements of the real Skill from the big letter. Victor Tretiakov not only teaches, but also acts - and it is very important, because alive connection with the profession is kept".
Victor Tretiakov, one of the most brilliant representatives of the Moscow violin school, very successfully combines teaching with his performing activities. In gratitude to his own teacher, Y.I. Iankelevich, in whose class he studying twenty years, in 1990 Victor Tretiakov acted as the initiator of the creation, and then became head of the charity fund carrying the name of Y.I. Iankelevich.
The fund offers financial support for young violinists, studying under professors and teachers who themselves studied under Y.I. Iankelevich, for the successors of his school. Y.I. Iankelevich's contribution to the development of the native violin school is difficult to underestimate, as he raised an entire galaxy of famous musicians who make up the pride of the Russian school, whose fame has reached a worldwide scale: Spivakov, Kogan, Tretiakov, Glezarova, and Zhislin. From the very first day of its creation until today, the soul of the fund remains Iankelevich's sister, Elena Isaevna Iankelevich. Elena Isaevna plays an active role in the activities of the fund and in the fate of young performers. Karen Shakhgaldyan is grateful to Elena Isaevna for her particular contribution to his personal fate: Yurii Isaevich's violin, which has remained silent for years after his death has once again began to sing in the hands of Karen. He treats the old Italian instrument with great trepidation. "This violin forces one to play not just well, but on the borders of one's capabilities!"
Another representative of this famous school is Professor Maia Samuilovna Glezarova, who for years worked with Y.I. Iankelevich. Karen Shakhgaldyan has been in the class under Professor Glezarova since the year 2000, already as a graduate student of the Moscow Conservatory.
Karen Shakhgaldyan's meeting with Vladimir Spivakov, the brightest representative of the school of Y.I. Iankelevich, decided the student's fate. Once, coming back very late from a tour of Siberia, Karen suddenly found out that the next day the Maestro was giving a master-class in the Conservatory and Karen had to perform. After his performance, Vladimir Spivakov unexpectedly proposed to the young man that he "perform in the orchestra." "I couldn't believe it - after all, I, a student in my third year, was asked to play in "Virtuosos of Moscow!" recalls Karen today. "I only thought about one thing - how not to let them down and play worthily, on the same level with this renowned group."
The meeting grew into a series and lengthy cooperation: Karen performed in ensemble of soloists of "Virtuosos of Moscow" for several years, went on international trips. Karen values very much the influence of Vladimir Spivakov, both professional and as a human being. Vladimir Spivakov, besides the immediate education of young talents contributes considerably to Y.I. Iankelevich's fund.
Another important event in his creative life Karen considers the master-class of Professor Iegudi Menuhin. Interaction with the legendary performer face-to-face and playing in his master-class is a hand not every young musician is dealt. Here as well, Shakhgaldyan appears on top.
Karen attended master-classes of other teachers as well, undoubtedly influencing the perfection of his skills: Grigorii Zhislin, Evgeniia Chugaeva, successors of Y.I. Iankelevich's school, performers of the best conservatories of the world.
We cannot overlook Alexander Slutskii, the conductor of the symphony orchestra, who for many years has been close to Karen. He was a great influence not only as a musician, but he also helped in the formation of the violinist's persona. Alexander Slutskii himself says the following about his student:
"The first time I heard Karen, it was at such a young age at which one does not even
predict yet his future. Nonetheless, his natural talent and great wish to play today
better than yesterday were evident from the very first measures. Not many years
have passed from that time and I now listen to his playing with pleasure.
Beautiful sound, a refined taste, possession of style, and marvelous technical skill
allow him to tackle even the most difficult pieces of music. Karen does not perceive
any advice from a teacher mechanically: he filters them through his heart and
mind and he produces his own treatment of the performed piece. His ability to
quickly master pieces of music allows him to rapidly build up his repertoire,
fortunately not at the expense of quality. Each lesson with Karen brings me
genuine creative pleasure."