115th Birthday: Kazakh composer Akhmet Zhubanov
Composer Akhmet Zhubanov came from a small Aul in Western Kazakhstan to became the first big Kazakh composer and guardian of Kazakh folk music.
Akhmet Zhubanov was a Kazakh composer and ethno-musicologist who lived in the 20th century. He is considered one of the most important figures in Kazakh music history and is widely regarded as one of the founders of Kazakh classical music.
Zhubanov was born on 115 years ago, on 29th April 1906 in a small aul near Aktobe in what is now Kazakhstan and grew up surrounded by traditional Kazakh music and culture. From a young age, he was fascinated by music and began studying the traditional Kazakh musical instruments, such as the dombra, as well as Western classical music. His father recognized the importance of good education and opened a school for his and the aul’s children. Later the young Zhubanov was send to a Russian school in the small town Zhuryn to graduate on a higher-level of education.
In the 1928, Zhubanov moved to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) to learn to play violin at the music college “Mikhail I. Glinka”. His aim was to get part of the Leningrad Conservatory. He achieved his goal and graduated from the historical-theoretical faculty of the Leningrad Conservatory in 1932. During his time in Leningrad he honed his musical skills and began to develop his own style, which blended the traditional Kazakh musical elements with elements of Western classical music.
Upon his return to Kazakhstan in 1933, Zhubanov began to compose music that reflected his love for Kazakh culture and his desire to preserve its musical heritage. He also became involved in the ethnographic research of Kazakh music and worked to collect and preserve the traditional Kazakh musical repertoire.
Zhubanov’s music is characterized by its use of traditional Kazakh musical elements, such as the dombra, and its fusion with Western classical music. His works are widely regarded as some of the most important contributions to Kazakh classical music and are still performed and celebrated today.
Akhmet Zhubanov died on 30th May 1968 in Almaty but his legacy continues to live on, and he is remembered as one of the most important figures in Kazakh music history. He is celebrated for his contributions to Kazakh culture and his efforts to preserve the traditional Kazakh musical heritage.
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