Kazakhstan celebrates 200 years of composer Kurmangazy
This year, Kazakhstan is celebrating 200 years of Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly, a leading figure in Kazakh traditional music, composer, and versatile dombra performer, whose music reflected personal narratives and stories of Kazakh people in the 19th century, The Astana Times wrote.
Culture and Innovation

Kazakhstan celebrates 200 years of composer Kurmangazy

Photo: iStock
Eurasia 10/05/2023 06:30

This year, Kazakhstan is celebrating 200 years of Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly, a leading figure in Kazakh traditional music, composer, and versatile dombra performer, whose music reflected personal narratives and stories of Kazakh people in the 19th century, The Astana Times wrote.

"Kurmangazy spoke to the hearts of less privileged Kazakh people, fighting against injustice and the unaccountability of the rich. His music echoed his history and culture and helped heal the deeply wounded society of the 19th century. He was universally loved by Kazakhs for this," the newspaper reminded.

According to the article, Kurmangazy was persecuted for his open criticism of the rich. He was repeatedly imprisoned in Uralsk, Orenburg, and Omsk. Life in prison greatly influenced Kurmangazy’s music. He wrote several kuis, including “Kairan Sheshem” (“Oh, my sweet Mother”), “Turmeden Kashkan” (“Escape from Prison”), “Aman bol, Sheshem, Aman bol!” (“Goodbye, Mother, Goodbye!”), and “Yerten Ketem” (“I am Leaving Tomorrow”), which embody the feeling of nostalgia, the pain of leaving, and the longing for family and freedom.
Photo: iStock
"Among the people who retrieved Kurmangazy’s music from obscurity and enabled it to reach the present audience was academician and composer Akhmet Zhubanov, who later became the chief conductor of the National Folk Instruments Orchestra named after Kurmangazy. He published two collections of kuis that preserved the notes and their background history, The Astana Times recalled.

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