‘Family-style’ celebration of Kazan Conservatory’s 75th anniversary

Employees of the music school hope to hold key celebrations next year after all coronavirus restrictions are lifted

The Salikh Saydashev Big Concert Hall hosted a festive concert dedicated to the N. Zhiganov Kazan State Conservatory. Teachers and students of the university — bright soloists who bear titles of people’s artists and distinguished artists of Russia and Tatarstan and are owners of awards of prestigious contests — stepped into the stage. Organisers hope the solemn celebration of the jubilee will be in 2021, but the conservatory couldn’t leave spectators without a festive programme.

The idea Nazib Zhiganov had became a reality”

Rector of the Kazan Conservatory Rubin Abdullin delivered a speech in the first part of the concert, his students and today’s teachers of Department of Organ, Harpsichord and Harp — Farida Nurulloyeva and Karina Gorbanova — also participated in the programme. The musicians performed compositions of César Franck, Louis Vierne, Nazib Zhiganov. The rector of the conservatory has celebrated his 70th jubilee this year. To mark this, the university’s poster has had a new festival — Rubin Stars — where the maestro’s renowned students and he himself participated in it this autumn.

“75 years have passed since the opening of the conservatory and many years have gone since I graduated from the Kazan Conservatory, not even in the building it was born. History knows a lot of cases when ideas were voiced but didn’t become a reality. And the idea Nazib Zhiganov and musicians who surrounded him were inspired became a reality and was a great success. I am bowing low to those who founded musical education thanks to which music schools, college and all the infrastructure of music art developed,” Russia’s best organ player Rubin Abdullin shared with Realnoe Vremya.

A programme with different styles, an abundance of musical instruments and voices, familiar and new names — it was interesting to see and feel the mastery of soloists and all the diversity of activity of the Kazan Conservatory as a creative and cultural centre of the Volga region. Tatarstan People’s Artist Rem Urasin, Distinguished Artist of Russia Yevgeny Mikhailov, Tatarstan’s Distinguished Artist Abuzar Fayzullin, a piano duet by Tatiana Khalturina and Zulfat Fakhraziyev, cellist Kamil Mukhametdinov, vocal singers Yekaterina Leider and Lyubov Dobrynina and other talented representatives of orchestra and vocal faculties.

Not everything can be put off until next year

According to Vice Rector of Concerts and Foreign Affairs of the Kazan Conservatory Yelena Khakimova, this concert isn’t a festive jubilee celebration that was planned in advance. The cream is put off until next year. But the conservatory couldn’t leave its listeners without a birthday cake, this is why they organised several pleasant surprises.

“It was decided to postpone the jubilee concert with honourable guests, graduates and outstanding artists until autumn 2021. But the conservatory’s jubilee is anyway in 2020, and we managed to hold a series of events in faculties dedicated to the alma mater. Teachers, assistants and students of the Kazan Conservatory — ensembles and soloists — participated in this concert. We managed to have a chamber concert, a ‘family-style’ concert, as host Yury Karpov said. Unfortunately, performances of the choir and orchestras of the conservatory couldn’t be included to the programme because of the pandemic, but the top professionalism and artistic inspiration of the participants easily compensated for their absence,” Yelena Khakimova noted.

Concert with 30,000 views

According to the organisers, this concert was tough enough not only when it came to the creation of the programme. Apart from technical difficulties when instruments and musicians move on the stage, it became the first online concert on social media with the equipment they have. Social media users’ interest was obvious from the beginning — the transmission of the concert has reached 30,000 views.

“This encourages and inspires, such an audience is progress. We hope the situation in a year will allow us to host a fully-fledged jubilee celebration to a full house and with our new online audience. We will prepare a new interesting programme that won’t leave fans of the Kazan Conservatory indifferent,” Yelena Khakimova assured Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent.

Apipa and Vivaldi for joy

Several music groups of the conservatory participated in the jubilee concert at once, it was Creative Quintet and Premiere dombra ensemble. The musicians have repeatedly won medals in Russian and international contests. Distinguished Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan, Art Director of these groups Lyudmila Potapova noted that the participation in the event that is so important for the conservatory was a great honour for her and her students:

“Such events are etched on our memory forever. I remember the 40th jubilee of the conservatory, it was when Nazib Zhiganov was still alive. It was even impossible to assume at that moment that I would step onto the stage in the year of the university’s 75th jubilee with my collective, which, by the way, turns 25 years this year. But we were much fewer in the beginning. Now we are called Premiere chamber dombra orchestra. Given the current complicated realities when live concerts are rare, it is very valuable that with great responsibility we managed to feel the joy of going onstage again. We got an incredible energy boost from the opportunity of playing for listeners, felt the reaction of the audience. It was very hard to choose compositions from our quite a wide repertory. We wanted to bring both intellectual and emotional joy to our audience,” Lyudmila Potapova said.

We can judge by the listeners’ applause and claim that the idea was successful. The musicians chose Antonio Vivaldi, Arturo Márquez and Paul Schoenfield, they couldn’t help but perform folk songs — Tatar Apipa and Russian Polosynka.

What ethnic music researchers sing about

Distinguished Artist of Tatarstan, Dean of the Faculty of Tatar Music Art and Art Director of the Kazan Conservatory’s folk ensemble Liliya Sarvarova reminded us that this collective was created in 2004. It consists of ethnic music researchers who study the folk culture of the Volga region.

“The Kazan Conservatory in general is a centre of the music culture of Volga ethnicities. Consequences, this is the objective of our folk ensemble and the Department of Tatar Music and Ethnic Music Studies. We sing everything we record during trips. The three sings that we sang in the concert had been recorded in Orenburg Oblast and in Tatarstan — in Leninogorsk and Tukay Districts.”

Continuation of the banquet

The second concert was scheduled on 3 December, on composer Salikh Saydashev’s birthday. This time soloists of an opera studio and TATARICA orchestra chaired by Honourable Artist of Tatarstan Rinat Khalitov were going to show their mastery in the Big Concert Hall. True Love programme was offered for spectators dedicated to the composer’s 120th jubilee and the conservatory’s 75th anniversary. The programme includes songs and fragments from Saydashev’s musicals Sky-Blue Shawl, In Kandra, The Employer, Dear Khafiza. They are performed by Tatarstan’s Honourable Artist Aygul Khayri, Rishat Akhmadullin, Aygul Gardislamova, Syumbel Kiyamova and other stars of the Kazan Conservatory.

By Anna Tarletskaya. Photo: vk.com/kazancons