By Zeena Urynbassarova
The Atyrau Academic orchestra of national instruments named after Dina Nurpeissova returned from France, where it gave three concerts within the framework of the Cultural Days of Kazakhstan in France.
Music pieces of Kazakh composers, such as Kurmangazy, Dina, Tattimbet, Nurgissa Tlendiev, as well as creations of famous French musicians Charles Gounod and Georges Bizet played during the concerts were warmly welcomed by the French audience. The orchestra soloists also performed classical opera pieces.
- The concerts had a great success, - says the orchestra director Kambar Duisembai. - It is important to note that the Governor of Atyrau Oblast Baktykozha Izmukhambetov gave us a lot of support and assisted during preparations for the tour. He also helped to resolve the issue with the costumes for the orchestra. When curtains unveiled, the Parisian audience gave us a 10 minute standing applause just for the costumes of the orchestra.
- For us to perform in front of the sophisticated French audience was not just an honor, but also a big responsibility, - says the chief orchestra conductor Orak Zhaurov. - The first concert we gave in Fontainebleau, in the suburb of Paris at the concert hall of the famous castle. At the beginning of the concert Albert Fishler, the famous French scientist-turkologist addressed the audience with the following words: “The Kazakh musical heritage is invaluable, and it arises a great interest of the Europeans. And I also have to tell about the mentality of the Kazakh people. I visited Kazakhstan 12 times with my wife Madeleine and we were always surprised by the kindness and hospitality of Kazakhs”.
On the second day we performed at the concert hall in UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Perez De Arminan, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Culture in his speech said that many Kazakhstan musicians played in that hall, but it is for the first time when Kazakh national instruments orchestra performs here. “This music is very beautiful and was performed very well here at the event. The Kazakh kui was included on the UNESCO list because it is a living tradition that has never been interrupted. It shows the people’s national identity,” said Perez De Arminan.
When we played pieces of French composers Zh. Bizet and Ch. Gounod, the audience gave a standing ovation and didn’t let us leave thestage. One surprising thing that we noticed there was the reaction of the French audience to Kazakh kui (instrumental music played on dombra). Every kiu was accompanied by the loud exclamations “Bravo, encore!”. They especially liked “Sara Arka” kiu by Kurmangazy. There were many representatives of the Kazakh diaspora in France and they especially liked N. Tlendiev’s song “Oz elim menin”.
The third concert took place in the Embassy of Kazakhstan in France on the day of Independence Day celebration. The guests were addressed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan in France Nurlan Danenov. At the hall there were members of the French government, Paris city administration, representatives of the embassies of different countries, and the Kazakh diaspora.
After the concert the orchestra musicians laid flowers to Moustafa Shokai’s monument in Paris that was erected at the initiative of the Kyzyl-Orda local government, Mustafa Shokai's relatives and the then RoK vice-prime minister Imangali Tasmagambetov. The musicians also visited the house in Paris where Moustaf Shokai lived. The Mayor of Paris promised to donate this house to the people of Kazakhstan.