AKHMET ZHUBANOV

Akhmet Zhubanov (1906-1968) is the first Kazakh professional composer, author of operas and symphonic music, musicologist, conductor, the first rector of the Kurmangazy National Conservatory. He was the major figure in the musical life in Kazakhstan.

Zhubanov was the Person, who led many cultural institutions of Kazakhstan since the days of their foundation. He became the first director of the Philharmonic society, the first rector of the National Conservatory, the first director of the College of Music and, last, but not least, the founder of the Orchestra of Kazakh Folk Instruments and its First Music Director.

He wrote three great operas. Two of them, “Abai”(1944) and “Tolegen Tokhtarov”(1945) were written in collaboration with Latyf Hamidi. His last opera “Kurmangazy” was left unfinished until it was completed posthumously by his daughter Gaziza and premiered on the stage only in 1981.

Zhubanov is composer of great number of the symphonic works, choir, vocal and chamber music. In the field of musicology, after many years of the meticulous research and study of the Kazakh folklore and Kazakh National Folk music, he wrote two fundamental books (“Strings of the Centuries” and “Nightingales of the Centuries”) about Kazakh composers, singers and musicians, who lived and worked in the Great Kazakh Steppe during the centuries before the era of the Soviet Kazakhstan.

One of his most famous musical creations, the opera “Abai” is performed every season by the Kazakh Opera theatres since the day of the premiere, already for more than 70 years. In the 21st Century “Abai” was successfully premiered in European Opera houses. The opera was staged in Süd-Thüringisches Staatstheater in Germany(2012) to the public’s highest acclaim. In the more recent years,”Abai” had grandiose success in the “Theatre des Champs-Elysees” in Paris, France(2014), and on the stage of the Carlo Felice Theatre in Genova(2018).

The music of Akhmet Zhubanov is constantly performed in concert halls, radio and TV in Kazakhstan and in the recent years started to have also fans from all over the world.