“An artist is born only when he overcomes
himself, sets the goal and reaches it”
Today, in the time of “maybe”, “somehow” and “something” it is hard to
find people who manage to finish any project they work on, with all energy and
time they have. It is harder to find those who take full responsibility for
their actions and the results. Today’s lifestyle of enjoying the life, taking
it easy and relaxing all the time has implemented irresponsible approach to
life in our generation.
Still, it is possible to meet those, who are considered to be relics of
the past by the majority of today’s “careless” generation. These people stand
beyond time. These people transform their own Self, their life approach, they
see the goal of their life and realize it to the full extent, and just by being
there they prove wrong the thought that nobody needs anything today, and nobody
cares about tomorrow…
A very bright example
of this very rare sort of people is the famous pianist, People’s artist of the
Republic of Kazakhstan, laureate of the State Prize, laureate of the “Platinum
Tarlan” prize, Chevalier of the French Art and Literature Order, holder of the
European Union of Arts prize, professor, rector of the Kurmangazy Kazakh
National Conservatory, Zhaniya Yahiyaevna Aubakirova.
She is energetic, goal-oriented, and incredibly
communicative. Many people, politicians, students are drawn to enjoy her
She has performed her favorite musical pieces
both in Kazakhstan and abroad: in Europe, USA, Japan, Finland, Italy, Israel,
Greece, Turkey. Many of her concerts gave audiences a unique chance to listen
to the music of Kazakh composers, sometimes for the first time.
Zhaniya Aubakirova is not just a virtuoso
pianist. She is also actively engaged in social life both at home, and
Every year she organizes international piano
competition, which has become a launching point for many talented young
artists. This competition now has attention of numerous international music
experts, lovers of classical music and it is just a bright cultural event in
the life of Kazakhstan.
Being a rector of the National Conservatory,
Zhaniya Aubakirova is very much focused on growing the new generation of
musicians, expanding international relations with leading institutions abroad. She
invites foreign professors, and helps local students to go on exchange or
internships abroad; this all helps to strengthen friendship and artistic bonds
between the countries.
Looking in her kind eyes, warm smile, I’m
thinking of the words Sukhomlinsky said: “In order to give a drop of light, the
teacher should absorb the sea of sunlight”.
The floors of the conservatory are filled with
the sounds of classical music performed by symphonic orchestras and musicians
known all over the world. This atmosphere is brought here by Zhaniya
Aubakirova. It is, indeed, a difficult task – to combine the lives of rector,
concert musician, teacher, and social activist, easily accepting challenges and
completing them. Not everyone can do this. This is why she is the role model to
her students, having unquestionable authority among them.
All Kazakhstani people are curious about life of
Zhaniya Aubakirova, STYLE magazine has asked her a few questions.
You do a lot to promote classical music. Do you
think that today classical music needs promotion more than ever?
music always needed to be popularized. The mankind always lacked a deep
understanding of the culture, philosophy, and complex theories of the being.
Classical music can give answers to these difficult questions, which many
people today do not want to ask themselves, or are afraid of them. It is not
just classical music that needs to be popularized – the need of spirituality is
what lacks support and protection.
seems that those who want to dedicate their life to music and concert activity
also need this kind of protection and support. This is why musician and teacher
Zhaniya Aubakirova since 2000 has initiated an annual program for children,
called “Rising Stars”. It aims to support the talented youth. Every year more
than 350 gifted children who have completed secondary musical education take
part in the program,
of the first nongovernmental educational organizations – Zhaniya Aubakirova’s
College – started working since 1994. Its approach is dramatically different
from usual routine of a musical school. This is why it was “in the air” right
- Zhaniya Aubakirova’s College is known by its
unusual educational program – music is combined with math…how can you combine
science and art?
- Indeed, this is an educational institution of a
new type: the program combines secondary education, following the state
standard. It is fostered by a complex of philosophical, cultural, artistic and
sport subjects. It also includes a cycle of courses that provide specially
gifted children with a professional education.
I am pleased that you know about the program
“Music and Mathematics”, we are realizing it for several years already. We have
won the grant from “Texaco Global Foundation” who announced the competition for
the development of this program in 150 countries. The strategic goal of the
competition is to support the research of the artificial intelligence. This
research goes on around the world, we are happy to be a part of such global
Actually, many scientists focus now on studying
the “musical brain”, musical talent – these components of a highly organized
intellect. We are always happy to hear about new discoveries and try to promote
them as much as we can.
- It was a common belief before that children
living in educated families should play the piano. Is this still present today?
What instrument is preferred today?
- Well, my family was like this: father is an
academician; mother is a professor at Kazakh State Univresity. When I was
growing up, my hobbies were not very usual: I would go to the Lenin’s library
and read Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. I was determined to write a
candidate’s dissertation in philosophy. These hobbies were not in vain, because
when I became thirty years old I could clearly express my thoughts, and
experiences some troubles in communicating with the peers for being too
I think, that children in educated families, especially girls, should
indeed play the piano, and know main classical pieces, composers of the times,
in order to be considered cultured and educated. Today our society follows
again this wonderful tradition – to teach their children music. Piano is the
preferred instrument, because it is one of the most universal instruments.
Violins, cellos are popular, but not as much. Parents teach their kids to play
the dombra, and also saxophone and flute. And of course, everyone wants to
You have mentioned in one of your interviews: “Every minute I am a student:
scared, a little lost, but carrying on anyway…” What are trying to achieve all
I cannot answer this question
by listing specific goals and objectives I have in mind. All my life I am
interested how can I express the richness of the music through the instrument.
It seems to be a technical, not artistic task, very professional one. In order
to solve this problem and satisfy my everlasting interest towards the piano I
have to do a lot of other work that can seem not important and not necessary at
People often ask me: how do
you manage to combine artistic and administrative, social work? I think that if
you do not know that something is hard, you can do it rather easily. Really, I
know so many examples of people who work hundreds of times more, and have tremendous
Aubakirova always had a special attitude to the words. She doesn’t just perform
what is listed in the program, she first tell the audience the meaning of this
or that musical opus, the feelings it brings, her attitude to the composer and
its piece. She does it incredibly sincerely and with a professional subtleness.
person with a huge artistic experience, living active social life, and having
met numerous talented and interesting persons, Zhaniya Aubakirova has a lot to
share in her book, where she has put a lot of time and energy.
have heard that you have worked on a book. Did it ever get published, what is
- I work on this book all my conscious life,
because I write a lot of articles, interviews, speeches and reports. I think I
have enough material not just for one book. I only need to edit it, put away
unnecessary things and find a publisher.
- You often travel away from home. All family
experts say that you cannot leave your husband alone…
- This is a difficult question. Nothing has a
hundred percent guarantee. You say “I am not afraid of it”, and this something
happens all of a sudden. We both are very vulnerable about this: leaving him
alone, I am myself alone for a long time. One thing that calms me down is that
our relationship is funded on a deep feeling of mutual respect and healthy
rationalism. We almost never get jealous of each other. Still, sometimes I ask
him – who is calling you?
I think I wasn’t born a family person, in its
commonsense. I am happy that I have a good husband and family who love and
accept me the way I am. I work a lot on social life. I think, this is the way I
am made: the most important for me is what is going on in the Conservatory, in
the musical world, in life…
- Please tell us about your children…
- My sons – Almas and Alikhan are smart and
rational. The older one is one of the developers of “Music and Mathematics”
program, and has graduated from school with golden medal. What makes me proud
the most – he was the captain of the basketball team, which has won teams of
all private and state schools of our city. We have special hopes for the little
one – he is a unique artist. Really, both of my sons are incredible.
- Whether or not the woman’s image is whole and
complete depends on harmony of outer and inner. How do you understand “Style”?
What does it mean to you?
- Style is a very large term. In its wide sense
it means that every person has individual style. I do not mean “stylish”, which
has more to do with fashion and person’s exterior. Style is individuality. One has to know and appreciate their uniqueness;
otherwise the person starts to mimic and copy someone, following some standard,
not daring to be different. This is very common among the youth. Growing older,
we start understand the life more, we start valuing the sincerity, warmth of
the soul, humor. These things indicate the harmony of outer and inner. Of
course, it is important to be attractive: we all want to look good.
My recipe is very simple: the more intensively I work, the more I hear “You
look wonderful!” I think, many women in Kazakhstan know and apply this recipe
of hard and never ending work to preserve their divine beauty. This is why we
have so many beautiful women!
STYLE MAGAZINE # 2-3 (27-28)