Eurasian Resources Group co-hosts concert in Luxembourg to mark 175 years to Abai Kunanbayev
Abai is a famous poet, composer and cultural reformer from Kazakhstan
Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG” or “the Group”), a leading diversified natural resources group headquartered in Luxembourg, is pleased to have supported, in conjunction with the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the hosting of “The Qazaq Steppe” concert. The event, which was held at the Philharmonie Luxembourg’s Chamber Music Hall, was dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the birth of Abai Kunanbayev, a great Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher.
Kazakh artists, including pianist Aigerim Matayeva and opera singer Kudaibergen Abildin, performed songs composed by Abai as well as other European pieces.
The sold out concert was attended by representatives of the Government of Luxembourg and diplomatic missions, as well as employees and partners of ERG, the Kazakh Embassy and Luxembourg residents with a cultural interest in Central Asia. It also showcased a video about the rich cultural and natural heritage of Kazakhstan, and a decorative "kerege", an element of the Kazakh yurt, which was installed on stage. Guests could also enjoy an exhibition devoted to Kazakhstan in the Grand Foyer of the Philharmonie Luxembourg, as well as a collection of works by Abai Kunanbayev, translated into French. Several copies of the books will be provided to the National Library of Luxembourg.
Her Excellency Mrs Aigul Kuspan, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, began her speech by reciting one of Abai’s poems, translated into French: “Bonne chanson, belle mélodie. S’emparent de ton être entier, Traversent ton corps, Réveillent tes pensées. Si tu aimes la musique, Comme moi aime-la.”
She further noted: "Intellectuals like Abai are not only a source of pride for Kazakhstan, but also contributed significantly to the world’s literary heritage. Abai’s role in the formation of Kazakhstan’s literary culture is similar to that of Pushkin for the Russians, Goethe for the Germans, Dante for the Italians and Voltaire for the French. Abai's creativity allows to understand the profound spiritual world of the Kazakh people and is a reflection of our national character and values.”
Mr Benedikt Sobotka, Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan in Luxembourg and CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, whose global corporate offices are headquartered in Luxembourg, commented: “This is a testament to the rich cross-cultural exchange and dialogue that we are helping facilitate between Kazakhstan and European countries. As a company with strong links to both Kazakhstan and Luxembourg, we are pleased to have the opportunity to help drive these efforts and celebrate such important historical milestones.”
Mr Kudaibergen Abildin, the opera singer, commented: "First of all, I would like to thank the Embassy, the Honorary Consulate in Luxembourg and ERG for their assistance in organising this event. It is a great honour for me to perform the works of Abai in Luxembourg at this prominent venue. I believe the concert was a valuable opportunity to advance cultural cooperation between Kazakhstan and Europe, and it is a great pleasure to perform together with such great pianists as Aigerim Matayeva on this stage.”
The event was held in accordance with all relevant rules and regulations regarding COVID-19.
Other attendees made the following comments:
Mrs Nurgul Tursin, President of the Association of Kazakhstan-Luxembourg Coopération, said: “What a beautiful Kazakh event. It was a beacon of hope at the time of uncertainty. The talented musicians put their heart into the performance. The audience enjoyed the evening immensely. As representatives of the Kazakhstan-Luxembourg Cooperation Association, we take great pride in each Kazakh event organised in Luxembourg. We are also delighted that this concert was dedicated to Abai Kunanbayev, who deserves to be acknowledged by audiences across the world. The event was a big step in promoting Abai and Kazakh culture in Luxembourg. We would like to thank the organisers for making such an event happen.”
Mr Sergey Titkov, Senior Counselor of the Russian Embassy in Luxembourg, commented: "Today we saw talented artists perform at the highest level. As mentioned by the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, the future is bright for students blessed with such a musical talent. I am delighted to have heard the great works of Abai and the classical pieces by Russian authors. I would like to thank the Embassy and the sponsors of this event for the invitation and the opportunity to listen to such wonderful music.”
Mr Antonio Bove, Director Fixed Data Sales Europe, SES Networks, said: “I am very pleased to have been invited to this event and am grateful to the Ambassador for organising it. The concert was an important commemoration of the country’s rich cultural heritage but also a demonstration of its modernity. I greatly admitted the beautiful music, which was an eloquent reflection of life in the Kazakh steppe, the wind, and the country’s environment.”
The Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan started its activities in January 2019. On 12 May 2019, the Honorary Consulate was inaugurated in the presence of the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr Xavier Bettel, during the 5th anniversary of ERG’s headquarters in the Grand Duchy. In 2019, a number of events were organised which were aimed at strengthening cooperation between Kazakhstan and Luxembourg in the field of culture and business. In March 2019, the celebration of "Nauryz Meiramy" was held with the participation of an orchestra of Kazakh folk instruments named after Akhmet Zhubanov and the dance ensemble "Akku". In September, ERG supported the First Kazakh Film Festival in France. In December 2019, for the first time in the history of cooperation between the two countries, the Independence Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan was celebrated in Luxembourg.
About Abai Kunanbayev:
175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbayev (1845-1904). He was a poet, composer, educator, philosopher, founder of Kazakh written literature and cultural reformer. Abai contributed to the dissemination of Russian and European culture among Kazakhs.
Abai was influenced not only by poets and scholars of the East, who followed the ideas of humanism (Ferdowsi, Alisher Navaiy, Nizami, Fuzuli, Ibn Sina and others), but also Russian classics, and, through them, European literature more broadly. He translated works of Krylov, Lermontov, Pushkin, Goethe and Byron.
Abai created about 170 pieces of poetry and 56 translations, wrote poems, and the prose poem “Words of edification” (“Kara sozder”), consisting of 45 brief parables or philosophical treatise. These “Edifications” span a variety of subjects including the history, pedagogy, morality and rights of ethnic Kazakhs. He was also a composer and created about two dozen melodies that are popular in modern times.
In 2020, celebrations of Abai's anniversary were held in Germany, France and the USA.
About the artists:
Aigerim Matayeva is a young talented pianist from Kazakhstan. Aigerim graduated from the Kazakh National Academy of Music (Kazakhstan), the Ecole Normale de Musique (France) and the Conservatoire Régional in Paris (France). She has won a number of international piano competitions in Kazakhstan, Russia and France.
Aigerim is currently a pianist with the “Grenade” chamber music trio and teaches at the Conservatoire Russe Alexandre Scriabine. Aigerim is also a co-chair of the Korkyt Cultural Centre in France.
Kudaibergen Abildin is a talented young singer from Kazakhstan. He graduated from the Kazakh National University of Arts (Kazakhstan) and Conservatorium Maastricht (the Netherlands).
Kudaibergen has won various international competitions such as the International Antonín Dvořák Singing Competition (Czech Republic), the Erkegali Rakhmadiev First International Vocal Competition (Kazakhstan) and the B.T. Shtokolov International Vocal Competition (Russia). He has also performed in solo and chamber music concerts in Kazakhstan, Russia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany and other countries. Kudaibergen made his successful debut in Brussels, December 2019 as Camille de Rosillonin in “Die lustige Witwe” by Franz Lehar.