Orchestra history

«The Great love of the people toward this orchestra, superb reputation in the music world – is the result of the excellent work of the whole team.»
– АKHMET ZHUBANOV, 1958  –

The foundation of Kazakh national music, a Worldwide known – Kazakh State Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments named after Kurmangazy turns 85 years.

This is the first and unique Orchestra in the history of instrumental musical art of Kazakhstan. It introduced to the whole world the Kazakh musical culture, peerless beautiful melodies of steppes and unique Kazakh musical instruments.

Orchestra’s historical roots begin in 1934, when, after the creation of a small ensemble of dombra. Its conductor and artistic director was appointed Ahmet Zhubanov by the Order of the Commissariat of the Kazakh SSR #425 from April 23, 1934.

The ensemble received its first recognition in June 1, 1934, performing at the first assembly of All Kazakhstan folk artists.

As a result of this assembly, the Resolution was declared: “To organize the People’s Commissariat from number of participants at the first assembly of leaders of Folk Art National Orchestra of Folk Instruments to serve the collective villages, state farms and industrial enterprises. The maintenance costs of the Orchestra to include to the national budget. “

In response to this Resolution, the Commissariat of the Republic in June 25, 1934 issued an order number 220: “From 25th of June to organize the 1st Kazakh National Orchestra at the College of Music and Drama named after the Kazakh Central Executive Committee. “

Triumphant performances of the Orchestra were at the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR at the final concerts of Kazakh art with the duration of 10 days in 1936 and 1958, in 2006 in Paris, in the Great Hall of the headquarter of UNESCO, at a concert dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founder of the Orchestra – Ahmet Zhubanov, in the tour concerts in major cities of Europe, America, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan and other CIS countries. In 1953, the Orchestra under the direction of Shamgon Kazhygaliev, became the winner of the IV World Festival of Democratic Youth and Students in Bucharest (RPR) and was awarded with a gold medal.

In 1944, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the founding, the orchestra was named after the great kuishi – Kurmangazy, in 1967 got the honorary title “Honored Ensemble of Kazakhstan”, in 1978 – “Academic Orchestra”, and in 1984, the Orchestra was awarded with a “Friendship among nations” medal.

Great musicians of Kazakh art worked in the orchestra in different years – performers and conductors, whose names are inscribed with golden letters in the chronicles of the orchestra.

Among them a special place, of course, belongs to People’s Artist of Kazakhstan, composer, Academician, Professor Ahmet Kuanovich Zhubanov – organizer, the first artistic director and chief conductor of the orchestra. His successor at the conductor’s stand was the People’s Artist of the USSR, a State Prize winner, winner of the Order “Otan”, Professor Shamgon Kazhygaliev.

Nowadays, about 80 talented musicians work in this famous orchestra, each of which is able to represent Kazakhstan at various competitions. A chief conducter of the orchestra is a  young talented conductor – Arman Zhudebaev.

Repertoire fund of the orchestra consists of over than 4000 musical works.

This means that our famous Orchestra named after the great musician – Kurmangazy, which is standing on top of the Kazakh musical Olympus, will always strive for the new creative achievements, continuing the tradition of great ancestors, not forgetting its historical roots.

The team of the orchestra will purposefully work on growing the Orchestra and repertoire for the prosperity of the national art and culture of Kazakhstan, for the implementation of the idea – “Mangilik El”, proclaimed in the Addresses of the President of Kazakhstan – Nursultan Nazarbayev.