Four young Kazakh pianists to perform at 2019 Astana Piano Passion contest’s semi-finals in capital

NUR-SULTAN – Four young Kazakh pianists, Rasul Abdugulov, Henry Allan Keppel, Aliya Assanova and Bekzat Rakymov, will perform at the 2019 Astana Piano Passion International Festival and contest in the capital.

Photo credit: astana-app.com.

“The Astana Piano Passion contest is one of the unique, bright and prestigious events that take place in Kazakhstan, in our capital. The fact that Denis Matsuev, an outstanding pianist and virtuoso of our time, is the curator and leader of this contest confirms that. Thanks to this contest, we reveal new talents and promote Kazakh music… According to the contest’s rules, one work of the Kazakh composer must be performed. It is very important for us,” said Nur-Sultan Culture and Sports Department Head Bolat Mazhagulov.

The fifth Astana Piano Passion International Festival of classical music and young pianists’ contest will take place May 12-18 in the capital. This year, the contest participants are musicians under 18 years old. The contest’s prize fund is $60,000.

The organiser of the event is the Accordi Di Public Foundation with the support of the Kazakh Culture and Sport Ministry and Nur-Sultan Akimat (city administration).

The 2019 Astana Piano Passion’s organising committee received 114 applications to participate from 20 countries, including Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Georgia, Israel, Japan, Mongolia, Poland, South Korea, Romania, Serbia, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United States.

Among them, the contest’s jury selected 30 young pianists to participate in the 2019 Astana Piano Passion semi-finals. Traditionally, the largest number of applications for participation have been from Russia and Kazakhstan.

The contest’s jury consists of masters, stars of world classical music, teachers and mentors from seven countries. Among them are the contest’s Artistic Director and Honourary Chair and Russia’s People’s Artist Denis Matsuev, Kazakh composer and public figure Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov, Russian pianist and music teacher Valery Pyasetsky, Chinese pianist Li Ming-Qiang, U.S.-Russian pianist Maxim Mogilevsky, Italian-Russian pianist Boris Petrushansky, German-Kazakh pianist Amir Tebenikhin and Swedish musician and artistic manager Martin Engstrom.

The contest’s rehearsals and performances will be on the Astana Opera stage. The festival is free except for the grand opening, closing and the artists’ gala concerts. Tickets for them are available at the theatre’s box office. The festival’s detailed programme will be available on the Nur-Sultan Culture and Sports Department’s website madeniet-sport-astana.kz.