Harold Neumark celebrates his 80th anniversary and 40TH anniversary of violin ensemble among art connoisseurs

Photo: Yuri Shkurin

Magtumguly Music and Drama Theatre hosted the concert dedicated to the 80th anniversary of People’s Artist of Turkmenistan Harold Neumark and to the 40th anniversary of Mukam violin ensemble.

In the conversation before the concert, Harold Neumark recollected how 60 years ago 20 year old young man with bunch of curly hairs on his head came to Ashgabat after graduation of Odessa Musical College with the violin in his hand and big ambitions. Ashgabat became his second homeland and lately, Mukam Violin Ensemble became his second family.

- For all these years, my objective was to show that Turkmen children have musical talent and can perform everything starting from national to classic and modern music. Well before the foundation of violin ensemble, I and the student of National Musical School flew by helicopters to border guards and the soldiers listened to the best classical works right in the barracks. For this mission, I was awarded with the title Honoured Border Guard II grade.

We performed the programme “Working Midday” with the children for working collectives of Ashgabat. Thus, I taught my students to combine working process with artistic activity.

After foundation of violin orchestra, none important event in the country was held without our participation. Today, there are 50 children in the collective. These are the 6th – 8th grade school students who just started to learn the repertoire of the ensemble and high school students who play the instrument excellently. In our team, we jokingly divide them into oldies and newbies. One of our members is the 4th grade school girl unique Elina Kurbanova (student of the teacher of Altyn Asyr Prize Gozel Seyitniyazova). Last year, Elina performed “The Bird” by Aman Agajikov in the Georgian Hall of Moscow’s Kremlin. Little girl made great impression on the public by its performance talent.

We selected the compositions for our concert, which brightly demonstrate unlimited range of the capabilities of young violinists and illustrates my axiom – Turkmen childen can do everything!

The concert was opened by the compositions of talented composer Mered Annamuradov. It included “The Dance”, remake of Turkmen national tune “Cheirsh, mu Motherland” and rare “Tribute to Halmamedov” for the violin ensemble, dutar and oboe. Such unusual neighbourhood of the sounds is rare occurrence in musical practice but owing to Mered Annamuradov who feel melodic harmony, the composition sounds originally.

Mukam Ensemble performed famous national melodies, which were highlighted by the singing of vocalist Lilia Akdirova. After, the concert was continued by bright compositions of European musical culture. The violinists of famous ensemble performed one of the most impressive composition of Nicolo Paganini “Eternal Movement”, which was met by the storm of applauses.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concert in A Major for piano with the violin orchestra. Piano part is performed by the prize winner of President’s Award Maya Maksudova. It is worth mentioning that the ensemble was the first who played this composition adapted for the violins. Previously, it was performed only with the accompaniment of the orchestra. And again, never ending aplauses!

Compositions of Alexander Krasotov “Memories of Beatles” and “”Forgotten Pages of American Jazz”, overture of Isaak Dunaevsky to movie In Search of Castaways filled with the sounds of waves, sea surf, mysteries and adventures and original composition “Caravan” by Rejep Rejepov drowned the audience to the atmosphere of charming musical discoveries.

The music of Williams John to the movie The Schindler’s List captured the audience with its lyrical heartfelt conviction from the first note and did not leave them until the last one. We cannot help mentioning unique composition by Murat Koshlayev “The Flight of Violins” performed by the ensemble in fast tempo.

The concert ended up on bright patriotic note with the composition of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov “Go, Go, Go, My native land, Turkmenistan!”

To honour the merits of outstanding musician and teacher, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov awarded Harold Neumark with the Order «Garaşsyz Türkmenistana bolan beýik söýgüsi üçin» “For the Great Love to Independent Turkmenistan”. On behalf of the Head of the State, the Order has been handed over to the hero by Bahargul Abdiyeva, the Vice-premier supervising cultural sphere.