Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), a Luxembourg-based group specialising in diversified natural resources, was delighted to host ‘The Qazaq Steppe’ concert in collaboration with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Belgium. The event, which took place at the Chamber Music Hall of Philharmonie Luxembourg, commemorated the 175th anniversary of the birth of the celebrated Kazakh composer, philosopher and poet Abai Kunanbayev.
Prominent Kazakh performers, including opera singer Kudaibergen Abildin and pianist Aigerim Matayeva, performed Abai’s compositions as well as several other European pieces.
Representatives from the Luxembourg Government and Kazakh Embassy attended the concert, as well as employees and partners of ERG and Luxembourg residents seeking to learn more about Central Asian culture. The sold-out concert incorporated a video presentation highlighting Kazakhstan’s rich cultural heritage. In addition, a decorative ‘kerege’, an element of the traditional Kazakh yurt, was installed on the mainstage.
In the Philharmonie Luxembourg’s Grand Foyer, guests were presented with an exhibition showcasing Kazakh culture, featuring a collection of Abai Kunanbayev’s most prominent works translated into French, several of which will subsequently be presented to Luxembourg’s National Library.
Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Her Excellency Mrs Aigul Kuspan, recited a poem by Abai. She noted that Abai was not only the pride of Kazakhstan, but had made a significant contribution to worldwide literary heritage. Her Excellency Mrs Kuspan pointed out that Abai Kunanbayev’s formative role in Kazakh literary culture could be compared with that of Voltaire for the French, Dante for the Italians, Goethe for the Germans, and Pushkin for the Russians. She acknowledged that Abai’s creativity conveyed the Kazakh spirit to the world, reflecting its national values and identity.
Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan in Luxembourg and CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, Mr Benedikt Sobotka, said that the event demonstrated cross-cultural dialogue and exchange between Kazakhstan and countries across Europe. ERG enjoys strong ties to both Luxembourg and Kazakhstan. Mr Sobotka said the company was pleased to support the efforts and commemorate such significant historical milestones.
Mr Kudaibergen Abildin thanked the Embassy, ERG and the Honorary Consulate in Luxembourg for organising the concert, commenting that it was an honour to perform Abai’s works at such a prominent venue. Mr Abildin said that the event represented a valuable opportunity to advance European and Kazakh cross-cultural collaboration.
Born in 1845, Abai Kunanbayev is widely known as a cultural reformer and the founder of Kazakh written literature. The prolific Kazakh poet, educator, philosopher and composer was influenced not only by scholars and poets of the East, but also European and Russian literature, translating the works of Goethe, Krylov, Pushkin, Lermontov and Byron.
Throughout his lifetime, Abai wrote 170 poems and 56 translations. His most famous works include ‘Kara Sozder’ – in English, ‘Works of Edification’ – which includes 45 parables spanning a variety of subjects such as morality, history, pedagogy, and the rights of ethnic Kazakhs. Abai’s musical compositions include around two dozen melodies that remain popular in modern Kazakhstan. Celebrations of Abai’s work were held in France, Germany, and the United States throughout 2020.