Exclusive report: World Premiere Abay and Shakarim at Carnegie Hall in New York city

By Anastasia Sudarikova,

What’s up friends? Last night was the World Premiere of Abay and Shakarim suites by British composer Karl Jenkins at one of the most respectable auditorium of the world,  Carnegie Hall. It was a wonderful show, and many Kazakhs visiting or living in the United States were in attendance. Here’s how everything went.

I was surprised, but New York met us with a nice weather for a November-month. We arrived to the Carnegie Hall 30 minutes before the concert started. Thus I had some time walking around and talking to people who came to explore the heritage of the Kazakh culture too.  I believe that nothing happens without a reason. Once we stepped into the gorgeous auditorium of the Carnegie hall I met the Famous Kazakh Girls Band “Duet L”  who is one of the most admirable Kazakh bands of mine since a childhood.


Being in an excited mood we reached our brilliant places at the balcony to observe the performance. The opening ceremony started with the speech of Ambassador to Kazakhstan Kairat Umarov.  Kairat Umarov introduced Almaty Symphony Orchestra and wished the ladies and gentlemen to enjoy the melodies of Kazakh culture and heritage.

The Almaty Symphony Orchestra directed by the globally recognized virtuoso Marat Bisengaliev and widely known British composer Karl Jenkins came out on a stage right after a welcoming speech of the Ambassador to Kazakhstan in the USA. The performance was split into two acts, Abay and Shakarim respectively. The Almaty Symphony orchestra started the performance with a deep and a wise composition of Abay named “May Night”.  The “May Night” composition is a melody which is known for every Kazakh since a childhood.

As I know that Karl Jenkins came two Kazakhstan earlier two times in order to absorb the Kazakh atmosphere and better understand the traditions of nomads. After watching the first act of the performance I definitely can say that Karl Jenkins magnificently transformed the spirit of the Kazakh culture into the modern classical art and successfully delivered the notes of Kazakhstan into the ears of  the audience.


Almaty Symphony Orchestra came back to the stage after a short intermission. The second part of the performance starts from Shakarim suits also authored by Karl Jenkins. Starting from the Shakarim’s “Toi Celebration” suit (means Kazakh Wedding custom) and ending with the song of the steppes,  I did not notice that 50 minutes of the act just passed! The Choir, percussion, Kazakh folk instruments, Soprano and solo Violin all together created a miracle sound which will be remained in my mind for a long time.

After a final composition the spectators did not allow the Almaty Symphony Orchestra to leave the stage. Given the perpetual rousing ovations and exclaiming Bravo the musicians played a few compositions for an encore.  This is what we call a wonderful evening in New York City!