‘Abai’ and ‘Shakarim’ Suites to Premier at New York’s Carnegie Hall

Abai and Shakarim suites, rich in Kazakh history and heritage, will premier at Carnegie Hall in New York on Nov. 12. They will demonstrate a small part of Kazakhstan’s history and culture to the American audience.

photo_42931The Almaty Symphony Orchestra headed by Marat Bissengaliyev will perform the pieces. The suites were composed by Karl Jenkins, a Welsh composer. The composer specifically visited Kazakhstan to study and research traditional Kazakh instruments, explore nomad lands and experience their lifestyle.

The 52-year-old Bissengaliyev is a famous Kazakh violinist and conductor who won numerous awards and received honorable mentions for his remarkable performances.

“At the premier, the world will be treated to a beautiful presentation of Kazakh heritage through the language of contemporary music and performing art,” Director of the Symphonic Orchestra Raikhan Iskendirova said.

The Symphonic Orchestra was presented for the first time in 2012 during the First World Congress of Performing Arts. Members of the orchestra are winners of numerous national and international competitions. In the past two years, the orchestra has recorded over 10 albums at Abbey Road and Angels studios.

The suite is dedicated to renowned 19th century Kazakh intellectual and poet Abai Kunanbayev who greatly contributed to Kazakh literature. He is considered the pioneer of written Kazakh. His works ranged from poetry and Russian into Kazakh literary translations to music he composed himself. The other highlighted artist is Shakarim Kudaiberdiyev, Abai’s contemporary, who was a Kazakh poet, writer, historian and a composer. Shakarim was a humanist who stood against the oppression seen under the Russian Empire and later under the Soviet Union in the Kazakh steppes. He was shot in 1931. Later, Soviet officials continued the ban on Shakarim’s works.

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