ASTANA – On March 6, the University of the Arts held its 15th anniversary concert in the Central Concert Hall.The dean of the university, internationally acclaimed violinist Aiman Mussakhodjayeva and the Aigolek Children’s Ensemble opened the programme playing the Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Pugnani by Fritz Kreisler.
The concert also included contemporary works and those attributed to the beloved, legendary composer and musician Korkyt-Ata who lived 1,200 years ago and who created the kyl-kobuz stringed instrument.
The Samghau (Floating) and Eligay (Fawn) children’s choirs that have won international competitions, sang in a cappella President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s song “Ushkonyr” accompanied by stills from the film “The Sky of My Childhood.” Young musicians performed pieces from around the world on dombras and the Polovtsian Dances from Borodin’s “Prince Igor.”
The children’s choirs and ensembles are set to perform the same concert in major concert halls in Milan, Turin, Florence, Rome, the Vatican, Paris, Tokyo, Washington, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Secretary of State Marat Tazhin, Minister of Culture and Information Mukhtar Kul-Muhammed, Minister of Education and Science Bakytzhan Zhumagulov and Presidential Advisor Gulshara Abdykalikova attended the event.
Other guests included Count Peter Sheremetev, the president of the Rachmaninov Conservatory in Paris; Armen Smbatyan, executive director the CIS Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Fund; and the rectors of the largest higher music education institutions in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia and Italy.
The Kazakh National Academy of Music (KazNAM) was created on March 31, 1998 with the support of President Nazarbayev. On Oct. 12, 2009, the government upgraded its status and renamed it the Kazakh National University of Arts (KazNUA). In 2010, the university moved into the Shabyt Palace of the Arts.
The KazNUA teaches primary (grades 1-8), secondary (grades 9-12), higher (1-4 courses) and postgraduate programmes in 21 specialties. They covers all areas of art, acting, directing, painting and sculpture, movie camera work, photography, choreography, ballet, folk dances, design, set design, popular entertainment and artistic management.
The university prepares its graduates for positions not only in Kazakhstan but also around the world. It has one teacher for every five students.
The prestigious faculty of the university includes such eminent figures as composer Yerkegali Rahmadiev, writer Akim Tarazi, zhyrshy (narrator of folk poems) Almas Almatov, composer Kenes Duysekeev, theater critic Ashirbek Sygay, film critic Bauyrzhan Nogerbek, directors Asiya Suleyeva and Alma Utekesheva, singer Kairat Baibosynov, dancer and choreographer Rinat Musin, director and producer Bauyrzhan Ibragimov. The government provides more than 2 billion tenge ($13.27 million) annually in education grants.
“The main goal of our university is to develop a classical tradition of the highest global standard and a tradition of Kazakh musical culture. Our students are close to the melody of Korkyt’s kobyz and to the sounds of Stradivarius’ violin,” Dean Mussakhodjayeva said.
The university’s anniversary celebrations will also include the International Forum of Art in Astana which will be attended by Princess Caroline of Monaco, Count Sheremetev, Azerbaijani actor, singer and diplomat Polad Bulbuloglu, Russian cultural ambassador Mikhail Shvydkoi and other well-known artists and the presidents of more than 20 higher education institutions of culture and arts from around the world.
The celebrations will also include the premiere of the movie “The Sword of Victory,” the meeting of the Council of Rectors for the support of the Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation (IFESCCO), concerts by the Symphony Orchestra and the Baisseitova National Opera and Ballet Theatre, classical piano works, Kazakh folk music and vocal, choral, and violin concerts. Master cellists Kirill Rodin from Russia and Kazakhstan’s Ravil Kulmametov will perform and violinist Maxim Fedotov will give a solo concert.