Second of my two most memorable evening at Carnegie Hall happened last night. First had been Ravi Shankar’s performance that went on to become the recording ‘Full Circle’. Last night was a complete surprise as I’d only accompanied a friend to the show, not knowing what I’d be experiencing. I’ll come clean…I thought I was watching a piano recital.
Instead, I got to witness a brilliant performance by The Symphony Orchestra of the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, who were, before intermission, joined by pianist Jania Aubakirova.
After intermission, a group of 5 musicians in traditional outfit stepped out on stage and blew everyone away. The group is Ensemble Turan who performed traditional Kazakh songs. This video shows a TV appearance of the group but in no way fully captures the versatility of the band members. The three stringed instruments, jetigen, dombra, and kylkobyz – not to mention the percussion instruments – combined to create an irresistible sound. It was that good!
Then there was the premiere of Aktoty Raimkulova’s symphonic poem Jamilya, inspired by Kirgiz writer Chingiz Aitmatov, composed for the Orchestra’s North American debut tour. Wish you were there to experience it!