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Meet the Valley Stream Central High School student violin prodigy with an eye for classical music


Before Valley Stream Central High School senior Tinatin Narimanidze discovered her brilliance with the violin, she was, as a girl, completely transfixed watching another girl and her bowstrings on TV.

“I used to be a huge Nickelodeon fan. And I loved this one show called ‘Fresh Beat,’” said Narimanidze. “There’s specifically because this one character who played a violin.”

One day, she shared her long-held fascination with the girl on the show with her mom and, most importantly, her interest in emulating her violin playing.

Her mother indulged her request and — to Narimanidze’s surprise — took it seriously. Within weeks, she had her first violin and a personal instructor to match. It was a flash point in her life that eventually revealed her dazzling ability with the strings. Years of constant and deliberate practice have molded her into a rising talent to watch. Her teachers are world-class composers and violinists with distinguished musical careers from Albert Markov to Anton Polezhayev. Narimanidze is, without qualification or exception, a violin virtuoso-in-the-making.

“She is that once-in-a-lifetime student,” said Tara Zamorano, her high school orchestra teacher. As a student, she has often been Zamorano’s right hand, elevating the performance level of her peers with a dedicated student “fan base.” But as a violinist, Zamorano sees her as a “colleague.”

“Tinatin didn’t pick the violin, the violin picked her,” said Zamorano. “I want to teach her everything that I know, but also I want to know what she knows that I don’t know.”

While Narimanidze has performed countless times in a variety of genres, her aspirations and passions rest in the classical music world. Its timelessness and its distinct musical quality which she says can’t be fully reproduced by electronic music is what draws her to the tradition, hoping to one day be numbered among its most celebrated players.

“We are kind of in a world where technology is kind of taking over, and I think that no matter what technology is made, classical music can never be replicated by any type of technology,” she said. “That’s why I think more people should appreciate classical music.”

In the style of any normal young adult, Narimanidze says she has a 600-song playlist full of modern music but she says those 600 songs could never fully replace classical music. Despite her litany of distinctions, Narimanidze is not immune from feeling the anxiety and demands of her discipline, easily prone to comparison which she calls a “toxic trait of mine.” When she scrolls through her phone and stumbles on a story about a 6-year-old prodigy suddenly self-deprecation and self-criticism settles in.

But to center herself, she only needs to recall why she loves music in the first place.

“Whenever I’m stressed or nervous, I really like to dig into the musicality of the piece and feel the emotions of the music.  I would consider myself a pretty emotional player,” said Narimanidze. “It’s a reminder that everything is okay. The music is beautiful.”