5–15 October 2018 Astana, Kazakhstan

Artists

Alexander Sladkovsky

The vibrant Russian conductor Alexander Sladkovsky is acclaimed as an aristocrat under the new generation of Russian conductors. “His vivacious and genuine, at the same time thoughtful and deep music making, alongside the infectious energy, captures every audience.” (Belcanto.ru). Since 2010 he is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra in the city of Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia), which transformed into one of the finest orchestras in Russia. “It became an absolute necessity to talk about the “Kazan Miracle” created by maestro Sladkovsky and the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra. It is a unique and captivatingly successful story of recreating an orchestra, delicately yet powerfully bringing it up to the peaks of great performing art.” (Musical Life Magazine) In December 2016 Alexander Sladkovsky had a tour in Europe with the National Symphony Orchestra of Tatarstan, Denis Matsuev and Valentina Lisitsa, performances at the Bratislava Music Festival, the Vienna Musikverein, the Brucknerhaus Linz, Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Musical Theatre Basel. The performance in Musikverein was recorded by Mezzo channel and will be broadcasted worldwide from April 2017. In February 2017 Maestro Sladkovsky had a tour with Denis Matsuev and TNSO in Spain. The concert in Madrid was visited by the Queen of Spain Sofia.

Sergey Smbatyan

Sergey Smbatyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. His grandmother taught him to play the violin when he was four, and he later took lessons from Bagrat Vardanyan and Zakhar Bron. He has participated at various national and international competitions in Italy, Japan, and Romania, where he has won numerous awards. He has also performed at both the Moscow and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras as a soloist. In 2009 he graduated from both the Moscow Conservatory and the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory (where his teacher was Yuri Davtyan). In 2005, he founded the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia. He later became the artistic and music director of all Armenian orchestras. In 2009, he became a founder of the UNICEF Children Orchestra and of the Armenian Composing Arts Festival. In both of these capacities he gave performances in orphanages and nursing homes in Armenia and other parts of Europe. In 2009, he also obtained a Ph.D. in fine arts from the Institute of Arts, a division of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences.

Rakhimzhan Baspaev

Chief conductor of the Karaganda Academic Theater of Musical Comedy, senior lecturer at the Kazakh National University of Arts, laureate of International Competitions.

Tigran Akhnazarian

Mr. Tigran Akhnazarian successfully cooperates with many symphony and chamber orchestras, such as Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Yerevan Symphony Orchestra (Armenia), Seocheon Philharmonic Orchestra, Korean Young Dream Orchestra (South Korea), Harbin Philharmonic Orchestra (China), Donetsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Karelian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kislovodsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra, Tambov Symphony Orchestra, “Moscow Soloists” Chamber Orchestra of Yury Bashmet, Moscow Slobodkin Centre Chamber Orchestra, National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia and many others.

Alexander Romanovsky

Described by Carlo Maria Giulini as “extraordinarily gifted,” pianist Alexander Romanovsky is a riveting, distinct and subtle performer with an utterly engaging voice. Born in Ukraine in 1984, Alexander studied with his mentor Leonid Margarius at the Imola Piano Academy for fifteen years before continuing his studies at the Royal College of Music (London) with Dmitry Alexeev. At the age of seventeen, he won First Prize at the prestigious Busoni Competition in Italy.

Andreas Ottensamer

Born in 1989, Andreas Ottensamer comes from an Austro-Hungarian family of musicians and was drawn to music early, receiving his first piano lessons when he was four. At the age of ten he began studying the cello at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, then changed to the clarinet under Johann Hindlerin in 2003. Andreas Ottensamer gained his first orchestral experience as a deputy in the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic and as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. In 2009 he interrupted his Harvard studies to become a scholar of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic. He is now the principal clarinettist of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Narek Hakhnazaryan

Narek Hakhnazaryan was born and raised by his musician parents in Yerevan, Armenia where he began studying cello at the age of six at the Sayat Nova Music School. When he turned 11, he and his mother moved to Moscow, and he joined the Moscow Conservatory in 2006. There, he took cello lessons along with Alexey Seleznyov and later received scholarships from the Rostropovich Foundation and the Russian Performing Arts Fund. He received First Prize at the 2006 Aram Khachaturian International Competition in Armenia, and in 2008 won both the First Prize at the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players and First Prize at the International Auditions of the Young Concert Artists, after which he made his debut at New York's Carnegie Hall, and at Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.

Shakhimardan Abilov

Laureate of the State REward in KZ, the Honored Artist in the REpublic of Kazakhsta, Soloist at the State Academic Theatr of Opera and Ballet in the National Academy of Music after Kurmangazi , Academician at the International Academy of Arts, Holder of the “Barys” order, the ”Kurmet” order and the “Slava” order by the International Academy of Arts in Moscow, Honored Citizen in the Pavlodar region. The name of this famous singer Shakhimardan Abilov who is brilliant at interpreting vocal lyrics is well known not only in his country but in all over the world. Today his is unique as a musician and takes a special place in the music culture in the Republic of Kasakhstan. The top of his creative activity is chamber-vocal compositions with Abay’s poems. They are accompanied by a talented pianist Sergei Kostevich. In 1991 they were recorded on the CD in Moscow. It is worth mentioning that Kazakhstan composers E.Rahkmadiev, T Muhkamedzhanov, M. Sagatov, B. Amanzholov composed their music works with Abay’s poems specially for Abilov’s singing.

Denis Shapovalov

“Brilliant talent! He can be proud of his gift before all the world.” – with these words Shapovalov was characterized by famous Mstislav Rostropovich. Denis Shapovalov is set apart from the majority of gifted cellists with his fine and penetrating comprehension of the works he performs, his razor-sharp technique, and his incredibly expressive and lofty interpretation. Shapovalov won recognition for his exceptional musical gift at the XI International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, taking the 1st prize and the gold medal as the unanimous choice of the jury. As one of the awards he was invited to the III World Cello Congress - for his American debut, he gave a successful performance at the Congress in Baltimore in 2000.

Khachaturian Trio

Founded in 1999 under the name “Arsika”, the Khachaturian trio is praised by the critique for its virtuosity, sense of style, quality of sound and musicality. It has toured throughout the USA, South America, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, China, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Australia, Moldova, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and Armenia and played in prestigious halls like the Musikverein (Vienna), the Laiezhalle (Hamburg) the Gewandhaus (Leipzig), the Gasteig-Philharmonie (Munich) and the Purcell Room (London). The Trio also participated in a number of important festivals in South America and Europe. Five CDs recorded by the trio focus on Armenian and Russian music. Members of the Trio are involved in pedagogic activities, giving master classes in music schools of various regions of Armenia.

Roman Kim

With only 25 years, Roman Kim is already considered one of the most remarkable violinists of our century who will be mentioned by future generations in the same breath with Niccolò Paganini and Eugène Ysaÿe. With his highly individual interpretations, Kim constantly pushes the limits of violin technique. As a composer, he writes music that is capable of fascinating musicians and audiences alike. Since 2015, Kim has been working together with "Bärenreiter”. The well-known publisher made available Kim’s "Three Romances" and his spectacular transcription of Bach's "Air" that caused a worldwide sensation

Balazs Szokolay

Balazs Szokolay was born into a family of musicians in Budapest in 1961. His father is a Kossuth prizewinner, composer Sandor Szokolay. Balazs started to play the piano at the age of five, taught by Erna Czovek. Later, at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, his professors included Klara Mathe, Pal Kadosa, Zoltan Kocsis, Gyorgy Kurtag, and Ferenc Rados. Following his graduation in 1983, he won scholarships for two more years of studies in Munich and Moscow. He was instructed by Mikhail S. Voskresensky, Amadeus Webersinke, Ludwig Hoffmann and Yvonne Lefebure.

Nareh Arghamanyan

From Musikverein Vienna to Lincoln Center New York, Nareh dazzles audiences in prominent halls like Wigmore Hall, Philharmonie Berlin, Laieszhalle Hamburg, Herkulessaal Munich, Konzerthaus Vienna, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Ambassador Auditorium Los Angeles, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Gardner Museum Boston, Philadelphia Kimmel Center, Petronas Hall Kuala Lumpur, Osaka Concert Hall Japan and others.

Marina Kan Selvik

Marina Kan Selvik is a pianist living in Oslo, she received her musical education from Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory (prof.Alexander Mndoyants), Norwegian Academy of Music (prof.Jens Harald Bratlie) and Coimbra, Portugal (prof. Aquiles Delle Vigne).