The Symphony Orchestra of the National University of the Arts of Kazakhstan in the capital city of Astana was founded in 2008, commemorating the ten-year anniversary of the National University of the Arts. That same year, the orchestra embarked upon its first tour to Vienna, Prague and Budapest, led by the Lithuanian conductor Saulius Sondeckis. In 2010 further performances conducted by Fuat Mansurov followed in London, Paris and Moscow, marking the Kazakh chairmanship of the OSCE Conference that year. Highlights of the year 2012 were performances in St. Petersburg and at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow as well as a tour of Spain. In 2014 the Kazakh student orchestra was invited to perform at the UNESCO headquarter in Paris during UNESCO’s International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures.
Maria Ossowski was born to be a reporter, and is a real radio animal. Various attempts to work and supervise from a desk only made the native Berliner’s longing for good stories and fascinating people grow. After studying literature and history, she became an intern at the Süddeutscher Rundfunk in Stuttgart. As a reporter for politics and contemporary issues, she never learned proper Swabian, but she learned everything about radio. She spent six years in Basel as chief moderator of the Swiss Culture Channel before moving to Berlin, where she was director of cultural programming at the RBB before moving on to become the ARD correspondent reporting on every aspect of Berlin’s culture scene. Opera, theatre, visual art, history, cultural policy and architecture: from Flensburg to Garmisch, from Cottbus to Cologne, listeners know what is going on in the nation’s capital. Berlin’s culture and the radio are imprinted in her genes, so to speak: Maria Ossowski’s father was one of the driving forces in establishing RIAS Berlin and founded the RIAS Youth Orchestra. Therefore, supporting youth orchestras has always been important to her.
The Kazakh conductor Aidar Torybaev, born in 1964, was educated at the Almaty Conservatory and in Kiev, Ukraine, where he studied with Roman Kofman, among others. His life is still divided between these two countries: since 2011 he has been chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the National University of the Arts in Astana, and with the beginning of the current season he was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the State Symphony Orchestra of Kazakhstan. On the other hand, Torybaev is chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra in Lviv in the Ukraine and a professor of conducting at the Tchaikovsky Music Academy in Kiev. The conductor has performed in Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Mexico and the USA, collaborating with prominent soloists such as Natalia Gutman, Alexander Lyubimov, Eliso Virsaladze and Liana Issakadze.
The Kazakh violinist Aiman Mussakhajayeva, born in 1958 in what was then Alma-Ata, is one of her country’s leading soloists. Trained during the Soviet era at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, she then returned to Kazakhstan, where she won great merit by helping to revive cultural activities in the country after the state’s independence. The musician was actively involved in founding the National University of the Arts in Astana, where she was appointed rector in 1998. Furthermore, she has been invited to lead workshops in Germany, Austrian and the USA and serves on the jury of numerous international violin competitions.
“Tarlan”, Symphonic Poem (World Premiere)
Violin Concerto in D-Minor (1940)
“God’s dwelling” symphony picture for full orchestra (World Premiere)
“Tlep” (2001/2016, World Premiere of the orchestral version)
Symphony No. 2 in B-flat-Major D.125 (1814/1815)
7 pm: Pre-concert Lecture with Katja Tschirwitz in the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free for ticket holders (admission at 6:45 pm)
Thanks to the former USSR, “classical” music has a good reputation in far-away Kazakhstan. During the Soviet era, music schools, conservatories and opera houses were founded and are now experiencing a new flowering. The Young Euro Classic audience has had several opportunities to witness the high quality of Kazakh student orchestras. This year, the Symphony Orchestra of the National University of the Arts in Astana returns to Berlin. Of course, it performs a programme featuring Kazakh composers with three world premieres. Then there is the brilliant Violin Concerto by the great Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian, a work inextricably linked with the name of violinist David Oistrach. And finally, a bow to Central Europe’s musical tradition: Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 2, composed at an age which some of the Kazakh musicians share today: only 18 years.
The concert will be recorded and broadcast nationally by Deutschlandradio Kultur. The date of the broadcast is August 30, 2016, 20:03-22:00. In Berlin via UKW 89.6, DAB+ and cable.