Kazakh National University of Arts
Although still growing, Kazakh National University of Arts has established itself as an Arts university with perspective. It was established on the foundation of the Kazakh National Academy of Music, which opened in 1998 in Astana. The idea of the opening of the highest musical educational institution in a new capital belongs to the head of state, Nursultan Nazarbayev. People’s Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Professor Aiman Mussakhajayeva became the Rector of Kazakh National University of Arts.
The main task of higher education institution in Arts was to provide northern and central regions of the country with highly qualified professional specialists which are capable to enrich domestic culture with new achievements in the field of Arts.
The concept of continuing education, which allowed to optimize education process to realize its modern model and to reach the high education level conforming to the international standards was introduced in the Music Academy and, then, in the university.
The faculty was formed by experienced professionals, who were capable to apprehend and realize the new ideas in the fields of education and Arts in practice. Well-known musicians of the country, researchers and teachers, graduates of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Tashkent, Almaty conservatories were invited to work at the Academy. They are highly qualified staff, who raised the winners of International and national competitions, well-known artists, honorary professors and scholars with educational, methodical, and scientific backgrounds who are widely involved in educational activities.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev attended the official opening ceremony of the Academy, which was held on June 2, 1998, and also visited the school in 2000, after the reconstruction of the main building. The President and Government supported construction of new educational buildings (on Zhenys and Tauelsizdik Avenues) that stand out due to modern architectural features. The Organ Hall was opened in 2005, the instrument was supplied by German company «Hugo Mayer Organ Construction». Regular performances in the Organ Hall gave the Academy status of a cultural center of the capital and the country, as a whole.
Students and professors of the Academy have been performing in different cities of Kazakhstan and abroad from the first year of Academy’s formation. A memorable tour of the country «The youth of the capital – the youth of Kazakhstan» remains in memories of people. A high level of professionalism of graduates was appreciated in London, Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg, San Bartolommeo, Senigallia, Brescia, and Genoa. One of the ambitious project was a concert of student soloists and orchestra at the Vatican.
The Eurasian Student Orchestra of the Academy directed by the People’s Artist of the USSR – Saulius Sondeckis and the People’s Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Aiman Mussakhajayeva had a great success in the international tour Vienna – Prague – Budapest held in April 2008 which was dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the Kazakh National Academy of Music.
Another tour Vienna-Rome-Paris-Moscow of the Eurasian Student Orchestra, directed by the People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Tatarstan Mr. Fuat Mansurov and Aiman Mussakhajayeva took place from April 22 to May 2, 2010, under the Chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the OSCE. The European concert tours of Kazakhstani musicians are the implementation of the State program «Path to Europe» (2010), approved by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The performances of A. Mussakhajayeva and The Eurasian Student Orchestra took place in the best concert halls of Vienna (Musikverein, Golden Saal), Prague (Smetana Hall), Budapest (Liszt Hall), Rome (Santa-Cecilia), Paris (Gaveau), Moscow (Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory) and had great success.
The Academy was based on specific music specialties, with 5 divisions and 22 departments that provided training in all musical disciplines. In 2002, Academy opened its doors for students to study Acting and Directing, and, in 2003 – to students in Fine Arts. In 2007, the organ and harp classes opened at the Academy.
On October 12, 2009, Kazakh National Academy of Music received a new status and was reorganized into the Kazakh National University of Arts, according to the Government Decree of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In 2010-2011, the University’s list of disciplines has been expanded, and included new creative subjects such as: Culture, Art, Choreography, Painting, Sculpture, Directing (fiction and documentary films), Cinematography, Scenography (fashion design, make-up).
The teaching staff was increased to include the leading experts in culture and arts, known scientists, candidates and doctors of science, honorable artists and cultural figures of the Republic of Kazakhstan: writer Akim Tarazi, zhyrshy Almas Almatov, composer Kenes Duysekeev, theatrical critic Ashirbek Sygay, film expert Bauyrzhan Nogerbek, directors Asiya Suleev and Alma Utekesheva, singer Kayrat Baybosynov, dancer and ballet master Rinat Musin, multi-instrumentalist and unique performer of throat singing Edil Kussainov, actor and director, producer Bauyrzhan Ibragimov, among many others.
The main purpose of the university is the formation of educational institution at International level with fundamental education and scientific and innovative infrastructure.
Kazakh National University of Arts, continuing the concept of Academy of Music, embodies the model of continuing education: school – college – Bachelor’s – Master’s – Doctoral degrees. The structure of education corresponds to International standards of classification.
Kazakh National University of Arts remains is lead by the People’s Artist of Kazakhstan, Professor Aiman Mussakhajayeva, and provides education, research, creative and performing opportunities, cultural and educational (including International) activities at all levels of education in all specialties of arts. Kazakh National University of Arts offers seven (7) school-college programs, twenty (20) undergraduate, and sixteen (16) graduate programs. The University has six faculties: music, traditional arts, theater, film and television, choreography, and social sciences, humanities and arts. Talented young people from urban and rural areas, low-income families and orphans receive special attention and support.
The structure is as follows:
Faculty of Music
1. Department of Piano;
2. Department of Mandatory Piano;
3. Department of Stringed Instruments;
4. Department of Wind and Percussion Instruments;
5. Department of Varied Arts;
6. Department of Musicology;
7. Department of Music Education;
8. Department of Composition, Opera and Symphony Conducting;
9. Department of Vocal Art and Choral Conducting.
Faculty of Traditional Arts
1. Department of Dombra;
2. Department of Kobyz and Russian Folk Instruments;
3. Department of Traditional Singing.
Faculty of Theatre, Film and TV
1. Department of Acting and Theater Direction; 2. Department of Film and TV;
3. Department of Art.
Faculty of Choreography
1. Department of Choreography.
Faculty of Art
1. Department of Painting and Sculpture;
2. Department of Decorative Art and Stage Design;
Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities:
1. Department of Social Studies and Humanities;
2. Department of Languages.
The process of professional training is successfully carried out at the university. The production base of the university is choral, orchestral, choreographic collectives, symphonic and variety orchestras of the State Philharmonic Hall in Astana, a choral chapel, an orchestra and choral staff of Bayseitova National Opera and Ballet Theater, M. Gorky Russian Drama Theater, Kuanyshbayev Kazakh Musical and Drama Theater, music and comprehensive schools. The students are participants of «creative laboratory – science and technology park» they are actively included in industrial practice activities. The considerable number of students receives practical knowledge and skills in leading performing collectives of the capital.
The University is a member of various International organizations. Among them – the Association of European Conservatories, Academies and High School Music (AEC), Magna Charta Universitatum, The Council of Conservatory Rectors ofthe CIS Countries, Kazakhstan Federation of UNESCO Clubs.
University’s management signed memorandums and agreements of cooperation with universities in the CIS, Europe and the U.S.A such as: the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, Rimsky-Korsakov Saint-Petersburg State Conservatory, State Conservatory of Uzbekistan, Mussorgsky Uralsk State Conservatory named , Tajik National Conservatory of the Russian Academy of Music, the Belarusian State Academy of Music, Central Florida University of Music, Higher School of Music in Cologne, University of Vienna Conservatory, Milan State Conservatory, the Conservatory «Santa Cecilia» of Italy, University of West Czech Republic, and many others.
Kazakh National University of Arts holds master classes by foreign musicians and artists every year. The known creative collectives and performers act in the concert halls of educational institution. The students, undergraduates and teachers have an opportunity to take lecture courses of known scientists of the near and far abroad within International cooperation.
The University is the place for International scientific and practical conferences. Thus, the University hosted the International Scientific and Practical Conference «Spiritual Development of Society: Music and Science» in 2001 which brought together eminent scholars, musicologists of Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan; The International Scientific and Practical Conference «Musical Science and Education: Continuity of Tradition and Future Developments», which was attended by leading scientists of the CIS countries in 2008; The International Scientific and Practical Conference «The idea of independence in art: History and Present» which was attended by researchers both from the CIS countries and abroad in 2011. The Student Conference «Master Reading» is held every April.
Kazakh National University of Arts became a research center for the development and implementation of research programs and international projects. It has the Research Institute of Art, which opened a folk lab and the UNESCO department.
The University has educated over 500 award winners in international contests and over 400 award winners in national contests. The University professors also participate as adjudicators in national and International contests. Many graduates and young professors of the University are winners of the «Daryn» award. The top students of the University are enrolled in foreign universities for academic mobility program of the Ministry of Education and Science. Professors take professional development trainings in leading educational institutions of Russia, such as the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, Gnessins Russian Academy of and abroad, for example, in England and Japan.
The University also has artistic organizations such as the Eurasian Student Symphony Orchestra, the Capriccio Violin Ensemble, Aigolek Ensemble, Shat Folk Ensemble, Serper Dombra Ensemble, Yapuray Cello Ensemble, Tlep and Nazerke Kobyz Ensemble, Eligay Children’s Choir, Samgau Chamber Choir, orchestras of folk instruments, and many others. The concerts and recitals executed by the University provide both practical training for students as well as an active concert life within the country and abroad.
The University acts as a cofounder and host of International competitions such as «Shabyt Inspiration», «Astana-Merey», Astana International Violin Competition, Republican Competition for College Students of the International Summer Music Academy «Baldauren», International Festival of Organ Music, Festival of Choral Music «Astana An Kanatynda», the Republican Competition «Bolashak Zhuldyzy», Shara Zhienkulova International Ballet Festival, among others.
According ranking of universities in Kazakhstan, Kazakh National University of Arts is a leader in Music Education, Instrumental Performing and Acting.
The Strategic plan of the University is focused on ensuring high professional level of education; creating competitive specialists in arts and culture; preserving and developing Kazakh art based on the best national traditions and the world scientific experience with real needs of the market; bringing up a new generation of creative young people; providing a high level of culture; promoting a positive image of the country and cultural integration of Kazakhstan’s education, culture, arts and science into the world.
The main objective of the University is to form a school of International level of fundamental education and scientific and innovative infrastructure. A great importance is given to scientific and tutorial support of educational process. Some of the university professors are authors of the governmental standards for Higher Education for undergraduate and graduate levels, curriculums.
Succession and solidity of education, a combination of best traditions of national education and the achievements of the world in the educational process, the development of innovative projects, excellence and creativity of the teaching staff – all of this is a basis for the further development of the Kazakh National University of Arts and is a key to its future success.