Retired Administrator Helps Students Find Success in Difficult Classical Music World

Park International Center for Music’s Artistic Director, Stanislav Ioudenitch, created the boutique music program in 2003 to mirror the “master & apprentice” style training he received in Russia. (photo by Michael Regnier)

Roger Kugler had retired.

“I’d spent many years in academia and had seen my last graduation . . . Or so I thought.” Kugler had enjoyed a full career as musician, teacher and administrator. “But when the opportunity of a lifetime comes knocking,” Kugler says, “suddenly retirement sounds pretty dull! Overnight I was the director of one of the smallest, but most elite boutique music conservatories in the U.S. These students are truly the best musicians of their generation. The cream of the crop. Recruited from the far reaches of the world, they come to Park ICM with one goal in mind, to become world-class performers.”

Kugler furthered, “They come to study with our extraordinary faculty . . . Masters of their craft . . . Revered throughout the world as the best. What brings the students to ICM is the opportunity to train, here in quiet Parkville, with master instructors who help them refine and define their craft. The students are what brought me out of retirement. Because what teacher can turn down the opportunity to pave the way for the brightest stars?”

Founder and Artistic Director Stanislav Ioudenitch, agrees. “When we started the ICM in 2003, we started with a vision. Simply, it was to produce the best classical musicians in the world!”

This year’s Park ICM graduates are the proof. They have all been awarded full scholarships to their respective post-graduate music institutions:

Jinhong Li, 23, is heading to Julliard. Originally from Shenyang, China, Jinhong chose ICM to train specifically with Ioudenitch. “For me, it was the experience of my lifetime to study with him!”

Mansur Kadirov, 26, from Shakhrisabz, Uzbekistan, came to Park to train with Daniel Veis, professor of cello. “I could have gone anywhere, but I came to study with Daniel. Daniel showed me the way, by trying to get everything I have on the inside and bring it out.” Mansur is now heading to the reputable Glenn Gould Conservatory in Toronto. “I would love to become a professor and teach.”

Hanna Zhdan, 22, from Mink, Belarus, was recruited by violin professor Ben Sayevich. “The main thing in a musician’s life is to learn how to practice, because you are always on your own. Ben taught me how to use my time.” Hanna’s destination? Colburn School in LA. “I am going to start applying to orchestras. I love being in a group and creating music together. It would be the dream job.”

“Each of these students has an incredibly unique story,” summarized Kugler. “But common among them is how hard they’ve worked to get this far. My old bones get out of bed to help them succeed.”

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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