Great Music in the Great Steppe
Grand premiere of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.8 in Kazakhstan under the leadership of the renowned maestro Alan Buribayev will take place on July 21 at the Astana Opera. The large-scale project of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan will take place within the framework of the cultural program of the EXPO-2017.
The concert will feature 1200 musicians, among them singers – Principal Soloists of the Astana Opera Saltanat Akhmetova, Zhupar Gabdullina, Aigul Niyazova, Nurlan Bekmukhambetov, Tatyana Vitsinskaya, and Principal Soloists of the Abay Opera House Oksana Davydenko, Oleg Tatamirov, Tair Tazhigulov.
Principal Conductor of the Astana Opera Alan Buribayev has done colossal work preparing the premiere: he has managed to gather and bring to harmony in the heart of our country – the city of Astana all the leading choral and symphonic collectives from different parts of Kazakhstan, as well as the choir and orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice from Genoa. The musicians from Italy note that they are very happy to be in Kazakhstan, to become part of a big event – the premiere of G. Mahler’s Symphony No.8.
“We have got a big, beautiful festival of our creative friendship. We want to show that love of classical art lives and blossoms in all regions of Kazakhstan. Together we are making one big symphony, one of the most difficult symphonies in the world, and we want to show the high level of art in our country. The idea of musical brotherhood, love for each other is already being realized in rehearsals. It is not just the music performance, it is also a moment of great human happiness,” noted Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Alan Buribayev.
“During the Expo Milano 2015, the Genoa opera house performed L. van Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, where four soloists from the Astana Opera performed together with us. Two years later we came to you and our performance will also take place within the framework of the EXPO-2017. I consider this a symbol of how music and art can be an instrument of unity, friendship, brotherhood. Our opera houses are similar in structure and we closely collaborate. 70 artists of the choir and concertmasters, musicians of the orchestra of our opera house came to perform this symphony. I believe that everything will turn out great,” said the Artistic Director of the Teatro Carlo Felice Giuseppe Aquaviva.
Along with the famous collectives – the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra and Choir, the orchestra and choir of the Abay Opera House, the B. Baykadamov State Choir and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of Kazakhstan of Zhambyl Kazakh State Philharmonic Society and the “Academy of Soloists” State Chamber Orchestra, young artists also took part in this project. Among them – Mixed choir of the East Kazakhstan School of Arts named after Abdullin Brothers in Oskemen.
The choir director Assel Temirova said that, preparing for the premiere, the students did not even go to summer vacation.
“The participants will remember this project for the rest of their lives. It will cause them to take a fresh look at our profession. Such events give solidarity to collectives, give them an opportunity to understand how important and in-demand our work is, how multifaceted it is. The artists feel very comfortable in the wonderful Astana Opera; they received a lot of impressions, made many new friends. They admire the Principal Conductor Alan Buribayev, are delighted with his energy, high professionalism, manner of work,” noted Assel Temirova.
Experienced musicians in the first place highly praise the acoustics of the Astana Opera’s Main Hall and the performing skills of their colleagues. Nurlan Sagimbayev, an orchestra artist of the Abay Opera House, stressed that Symphony No. 8 requires great effort and, as a result, it is very rarely performed.
“Naturally, there are certain difficulties in the process of uniting different teams. This concerns getting accustomed to each other musically, new sounds emerge, as we have never played together. However, during the rehearsal process everything falls into place, we manage to achieve the desired result.”
Alisher Dutbayev, an artist of the “Academy of Soloists” State Chamber Orchestra, agrees with Nurlan Sagimbayev.
“Preparing this musical work is a pleasure,” says Alisher. “The idea of combining all the orchestras, choirs, soloists on this scale is simply amazing. First of all, this is a record, and secondly, this is a first time that such a project is taking place in our country.”
The Artistic Director of the South-Kazakhstan Opera and Ballet Theatre Yerlan Zhandarbay speaks about this project as a celebration that unites musicians from different countries and cultures.
“Forty choir artists from our opera house are represented. We have a very young, promising team. We are honored to participate in this concert. I think for all Kazakhstanis this is a celebration. In the process of preparation, a certain master class and sharing of experience is taking place.”
The concert also features the Astana Opera Children’s Choir, the Chamber Choir of the Regional Philharmonic of Gaziza Zhubanova, mixed choir, “Eligai” children choir of the Kazakh National University of Arts, children’s choirs of the Kazakh A. Zhubanov Music Boarding School for Gifted Children, K. Baiseitova Republican Special Music Boarding School for Gifted Children, M. Tulebaev Children’s Music School № 5, P. Tchaikovsky Musical College and other musical collectives from Astana, Almaty, Pavlodar, Petropavl, Aktobe, Kokshetau, Semey, Uralsk.
When such a project can be implemented in Kazakhstan again, it is not known, but the undeniable fact is that we are witnessing a unique process of development of Kazakhstani musical history. The Principal Conductor of the Astana Opera Alan Buribayev beats symphonic records.