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Yerkesh Shakeyev and Marat Bisengaliev present Kazakh neoclassical music in London

19 january 2015, 01:51
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World famous violinist Marat Bisengaliev has played neoclassical music of a Kazakh composer in London this weekend, Tengrinews reports.

The concert in St. Luke's was a world premier of music by Yerkesh Shakeyev that incorporated 15 very different pieces that impressed both the orchestra and the European audience by their diversity, originality and unusual combination of music genres. 

Yerkesh Shakeyev is a songwriter and composer well known in Kazakhstan and throughout the post Soviet space and a long-time friend and compatriot of Marat Bisengaliev. He wrote his music specially for the famous violinist.     

The Kazakh composer was thrilled to show his country's music abroad. "There are things that people can do their country. Things they can be proud of along with their friends and their homeland. This comes from the bottom of my heart," Yerkesh Shakeyev said after the concert.  

Marat Bisengaliev said that the orchestra was amazing and he was happy to take part. "First of all this is because of the music. And it was also a way for me to express myself through working on these pieces together with Yerkesh, music arrangers and orchestrators. We have done a tremendous work, and it was truly a technical challenge," he said, adding that the live performance in St. Luke's involved some improvisation. 

Israeli conductor Lior Shambadal, the Chief Conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra (Berliner Symphoniker), also praised the concert. "It was a special experience for me to play 15 absolutely different music pieces joined together in a single composition. The pieces are very different from each other. The music is totally different," he said.

"I think Kazakhstan is growing into a 'music power'. I have been to Astana (Kazakhstan's capital) three times and I have seen for myself what the country is doing for development of music. Take the music education for instance, I have seen how important it is to you and I think it is great," Shambadal said.

St Luke's, a music centre operated by the London Symphony Orchestra, is housed in a historic Anglican church building in the London Borough of Islington. It has an amazing acoustics and was an excellent choice of place for the concert, especially since the event also presented "Inception" album, a joint music project of Yerkesh Shakeyev and Marat Bisengaliev with the London Symphony Orchestra.

A collection of 11 neoclassical works for grand symphony orchestra and solo violin, the album was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra between May and July 2014 at the well-known Abbey Road Studios and AirStudios, as well as at the studio of Charles Jenkins. The orchestrations were made by leading musicians from the UK, Canada and Italy. And the record was produced by one of the leading producers of Decca Classics - Alexander Van Ingen.

The album was recorded in May-July 2014 and Yerkesh Shakeyev, the composer, called this time "one of the the happiest periods in his life". Yerkesh Shakeyev, 52, is mostly known as a songwriter, but he has long relished a dream of making his symphony orchestra music available to the public.

Guy Fletcher, English composer and producer who wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and Joe Cocker said about the Kazakh composer's works: "This is a fantastic technique and fantastic music, I immediately fell in love with it all!"

Marat Bisengaliev, 52, is a Kazakh violinist and conductor known around the world. The Times described him as a "brilliant violin soloist", American Journal Fanfare designated him "a Latter-day Ysaye", The New York Times said that "He has taken to heart a style of playing that was a hallmark of violin virtuosity early in the century, and is only now coming back into favour after several decades in the shadow of a more drily rational style". He has won many awards and honorable mentions for his performances and discs.

Shakeyev and Bisengaliev are not planning to stop at just one album. They have already prepared several pieces for the second album and plan for the German Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to be part of their joint projects. Besides, they are planning a world tour to support the premier.

By Tatyana Kuzmina 


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