KazCenter for HCS discussed financing possibilities for water supply and wastewater projects with the French Agency AFKazCenter for HCS discussed financing possibilities for water supply and wastewater projects with the French Agency AF
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Residents of 10 villages are still without power supply in Pavlodar region, Kazinform News Agency correspondent reports.
117 villages were without power supply due to 246 emergency power outages in Pavlodar region caused by severe wind battering the region last weakened.
As of today, power supply is resumed to 107 villages. Works to resume power supply is underway in villages of three districts - Akkuly, Shcherbakty, and Bayanauyl, the press service of the region’s administration office said.
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Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee chair Saltanat Tompiyeva and Japanese ambassador to Kazakhstan Jun Yamada had a meeting, Kazinform News Agency cites the press service of the committee.
The meeting focused on resumption of air communication between Kazakhstan and Japan.
According to Tompiyeva, Kazakhstani airlines mull on launching direct flights between the two countries in the first half of 2025.
For his part, Jun Yamada expressed his readiness to provide all-round assistance in that regard.
During the meeting, the sides agreed to proceed with the resumption of air communication between the countries to expand economic, business and cultural cooperation.
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India stands as a steadfast and trustworthy collaborator in the developmental progress of Central Asia. Leveraging India's extensive knowledge and proficiency in IT, education, and healthcare, Central Asian countries have actively contributed to the enhancement of capacities and the development of human resources in their nations, Trend reports.
Over 6,200 professionals and 1,500 students from Central Asia have received training in India through our ITEC programme and ICCR scholarships. Noteworthy grant-based projects in key sectors like IT, hydro-power, infrastructure, and healthcare have been successfully implemented by India in Central Asian countries.
Central Asian nations possess abundant energy resources. Turkmenistan ranks among the top five countries globally in proven natural gas reserves. Kazakhstan boasts significant reserves of crude oil, while Uzbekistan also has substantial natural gas reserves. Notably, India currently stands as the world's third-largest energy consumer.
In the initial half of fiscal year 2023/24, the proportion of Russian oil in India's total imports increased to approximately 40 per cent, solidifying Moscow's position as the primary supplier. This shift occurred as refiners reduced their purchases from the Middle East, according to industry data.
India stands ready to share its experience and expertise in renewable energy and welcome the Central Asian countries in the International Solar Alliance and the One Sun, One World, One Grid initiative. Some Central Asian countries have much more hydro potential.
The IT, healthcare, education and tourism remain as the key fields of interest between Central Asian countries and India.
Kazakhstan is India’s largest trade and investment partner in Central Asia. Total bilateral trade between India and Kazakhstan amounted to US$1 billion in 2023. Kazakhstan is increasingly focusing on developing its technology and innovation sector, with a growing start-up ecosystem and government support for IT development. Indian tech companies and start-ups can consider partnering with Kazakh counterparts or investing in the growing IT and innovation sector.
India has also emerged as a highly reliable and cost-effective medical tourism destination for the Central Asian countries.
The Central Asian countries have expressed desire to deepen cooperation with India in the health-care sector, including medical tourism. Increasing tourist arrivals, including in the segments of pilgrimage and historical and cultural tourism, creating tourism trails across the region, encouraging investment in tourism infrastructure were also emphasized.
Taking note of the large number of students from India and the Central Asian countries studying in each other’s higher educational institutions, India and Central Asia stressed the importance of ensuring their welfare. Both sides have also expressed interest in strengthening mutual cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation by enhancing direct cooperation between government organizations, research institutes, innovation centres and technological enterprises of India and the Central Asian countries.
Central Asia emerges as a recent geopolitical development with significant strategic importance in the foreseeable future. Despite its potential as a consumer market, there are untapped opportunities awaiting exploration. Central Asia lies at the strategic junction between two nuclear powers, Russia and China.
India holds the fourth position worldwide in installed renewable energy capacity, constituting 40 per cent of its overall energy mix from non-fossil fuel sources. India is prepared to impart its knowledge on harnessing renewable energy to the Central Asian nations.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic tour of all five Central Asian countries in 2015 played a pivotal role in enhancing the diplomatic relations. The year 2017 witnessed India's accession to the SCO, followed by the initiation of an India-Central Asia Dialogue at the Foreign Ministers' level in 2019. The inaugural India-Central Asia Summit held in January of the current year marked a significant milestone, solidifying the bonds. During the summit, consensus was reached on conducting regular meetings involving Foreign Ministers, Trade Ministers, Culture Ministers, Secretaries of National Security Councils, and the India-Central Asia Parliamentary Forum. Additionally, an agreement was made to establish the "India-Central Asia Centre" in New Delhi, aiming to further institutionalize and strengthen our partnership.
The topic of Indo-Central Asian relations is well-established, with a rich historical connection that has consistently portrayed the region as an extension of India's neighbourhood. It's crucial to emphasize that the enduring relationship between these areas, spanning centuries, has developed through continuous cultural exchanges. Various aspects of their cultures, civilizations, and intellectual histories indicate an intertwined evolution, marked by reciprocal cultural enrichment. In contemporary times, Central Asia holds significance for India not only in terms of civilization and history but also in geopolitical and economic dimensions. The strategic importance of Central Asia to India is substantial, presenting abundant opportunities for practical and mutually beneficial engagement between the two regions.
India is keenly aware of its historical connections along the Silk Route with Central Asia and is aspiring to tap into the largely unexplored energy resources in the region. To overcome connectivity challenges, India has made substantial investments in the realization of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Chabahar project, both of which are nearing completion.
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The Astana Opera International Opera Academy attendees underwent training as part of the 17th Winter Arts Festival in Sochi. Its artistic director is the world-famous violist and conductor Yuri Bashmet. Baritone from Kokshetau Bekulan Yerbolatuly and tenor from Astana Nursultan Anuarbek took part in master classes, lectures and lessons by outstanding teachers and musical figures, and also performed in the final concert, Astana Opera press office reports.
From February 19 to 24 we were trained at the academy of the 17th International Winter Arts Festival in Sochi. The festival is a unique platform for creative people, which has various focus areas," Nursultan Anuarbek noted. "It is held annually in Sochi and brings together many star participants: musicians, artists, and, of course, viewers. An important part of the festival is its vocal department, which organizes educational events for young opera performers."
According to Bekulan Yerbolatuly, the Astana Opera International Opera Academy attendee, the result of the extensive training program with an abundance of lectures and master classes was the presentation of diplomas.
We also took part in the concert that concluded our training. I would like to express my gratitude to the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the International Opera Academy and the State Opera and Ballet Theatre "Astana Opera" for the opportunity to gain new knowledge," the soloist said.
It is worth mentioning that seventeen young vocalists aged from 20 to 35 from Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan were selected to participate in the training course at the music festival in Sochi this year. According to tradition, the head of the Bolshoi Theatre Young Artists Opera Program, Honored Art Worker of Russia Dmitry Vdovin supervised the vocal department work.
As part of the educational program, the young vocalists had the opportunity to work on advancing their professional skills with the major representatives of European opera art: People’s Artist of USSR Makvala Kasrashvili, founder of the Gerstel International Opera Management Teddy Gerstel (Switzerland), coach of the Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Seriné-Lyuba Tatevosyan (Armenia / France), artistic director of the opera class of the Department of Musical Theatre Arts of the Academy of Choir Art of Russia Ekaterina Vasheruk.
The educational project, in which we were lucky enough to participate, became very useful. Here we were introduced to outstanding masters of opera art, who shared invaluable knowledge and many years of experience. Such events are a breath of fresh air that motivates you, forces you to work more actively on yourself, and reveals the profession from new sides," Bekulan Yerbolatuly emphasized.
As a reminder, the Astana Opera International Opera Academy was founded in 2019. The second set of young performers from Kazakhstan and other countries is undergoing advanced training at this time. The first class of graduates has already made a successful start in the profession. These young artists are effectively building their careers in our country and are sought after abroad.
Images | Ministry of Industry and Construction
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In Almaty, construction of a new metro station in the city's western direction is actively underway. It is planned that the extension from the eleven existing stations will include the new "Kalkaman" metro station, which will connect the city center with residential districts, press service of the Ministry of Industry and Construction reports.
The line will then continue westward along Alatau Avenue in the Nauryzbai district to the "Barlyk" market.
At the "Barlyk" market, the construction of a metro station with a Transport Interchange Hub (TIH) is planned, connecting several types of public transport, such as metro, LRT, BRT.
As part of the collaboration between JSC "KazRICA" and the metro construction's general designer, LLP "Metroproject", a site visit took place. The delegation from the institute, together with the designer and the general contractor, walked through the under-construction tunnel, inspected the tunnel boring complex's work, and discussed the peculiarities of underground work in seismically hazardous areas. It is worth noting that the construction of underground transport lines takes into account the behavior of underground structures under seismic impacts, which differ from those of above-ground construction objects.
During the discussion, the main topics for scientific and technical cooperation between KazRICA and Metroproject were outlined, particularly regarding construction analysis in difficult soil conditions and in areas of potential tectonic fault manifestations.
For reference: Currently, in Almaty, the third launch complex from B. Momyshuly station to Kalkaman station is under construction.
Images | astanaopera.kz
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Internationally acclaimed pianist coach and conductor from Italy Alessandro Benigni will conduct master classes for the Astana Opera International Opera Academy attendees. From February 23 to March 2, the Maestro will begin preparing the young singers for the premiere of Donizetti’s comic opera Il Campanello that will take place at Astana Opera at the end of April, Astana Opera press office reports.
Executive director of the Astana Opera International Opera Academy Aisulu Tani shares that it will be the first time when a pianist coach works with the soloists.
Alessandro Benigni is a renowned opera coach: pianist and conductor all in one, a great professional in his field. Everyone who worked with him noted his high level of skill, Aisulu Tani emphasizes. "Both the first and second sets of attendees are accustomed to classes with vocal specialists who help them improve their performing technique. Over the years, world-famous coaches Francesco Medda, Anna Vandi, Anatoli Goussev, Dmitry Vdovin, Marina Mescheriakova, Barseg Tumanyan and others have worked with the academy attendees. Working with a pianist has its own specifics. A pianist places accents, works on phrasing, and helps to perceive opera as a whole. From these master classes we expect the academy attendees to develop a fresh outlook on their work on parts, new approaches, and deeper knowledge of the Bel Canto style."
Alessandro Benigni completed his musical studies at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica "Gioachino Rossini" in Pesaro in piano, and he received his conducting diploma at the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna. For more than 20 years he taught at the Accademia d’Arte Lirica Osimo in Italy. Having extensive experience in opera field, he has worked with such world-renowned performers as Joan Pons, Renato Bruson, Marcelo Raúl Álvarez, Giorgio Merighi, as well as conductors Riccardo Muti, Bruno Bartoletti, Giuliano Carella, Riccardo Frizza, and others. As a pianist and music director, Alessandro Benigni has collaborated with celebrated opera houses and festivals in Europe, Japan and other countries. Now the Maestro will be able to share his invaluable wealth of knowledge with the Astana Opera International Opera Academy attendees.
It is worth emphasizing that in the beginning of February the young singers performed Tchaikovsky’s opera Iolanta on the opera house’s Grand Hall stage with great success. Almost the entire cast of the academy will also be involved in Donizetti’s one-act opera Il Campanello, created according to the canons of the Italian opera buffa. In addition, the vocalists are preparing a big surprise for the capital’s classical art aficionados - a concert, dedicated to the spring holiday of Nauryz.
As a reminder, the Astana Opera International Opera Academy operates with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This unique project makes a significant contribution to the development of our country’s culture. The academy opens up new opportunities for young talented performers to improve their vocal art, gain invaluable knowledge and experience through working with the best world and domestic coaches.
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Kazakh Culture and Information Minister Aida Balayeva announced the level of satisfaction of Kazakhstanis with marital relations according to the statistics, Kazinform News Agency reports.
According to the national reports, 95.4% of Kazakhstani families maintain satisfying marital relations. The National Statistics Bureau estimates show the number of marriages reduced by 5.9%, and the number of divorces fell by 5.3% in 2023 as compared to 2022, the minister said at today’s Government Hour in Senate.
The key causes of divorces in Kazakhstan are drug or alcohol addiction of one of the spouses at 61.7%, closely followed by domestic abuse at 51.1%, infidelity at 47%, and gambling addiction at 38.4%.
As the research claims 20% of Kazakhstanis get divorced on grounds of infertility, and each sixth family of reproductive age experiences infertility.
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217 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Almaty since the year beginning. Of them, 34 are children and teens. Chief of the municipal sanitary and epidemiological department Kassymkhan Alpysbaiuly said it at a briefing on Feb 15, Kazinform News Agency reports.
According to him, the number of infected people surged by 1.5% within the last week, with 42 new cases recorded (against 29 in the previous 7 days)
Weekly incidence rate per 100 thousand population increased from 1.5 to 2.0, said the city’s chief sanitary doctor
The majority of the patients with COVID-19 (76 people) are aged from 20 to 29.
He stressed that vaccination remains the only effective tool of preventing coronavirus spread.
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The musicians of the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra inspire many listeners with their skill. However, in order for their instruments to sound the way they should, they need thorough care. The restorers, who are great professionals in their field, help preserve the splendor of the sound, Astana Opera press office reports.
There are many instruments in a symphony orchestra, but perhaps one of the most difficult is the restoration of violins. This is the art of restoring not only the sound, but also the soul of the instrument. Experienced craftsmen give a second life to antique violins, preserving their unique characteristics and timbres. At Astana Opera, string instruments are "treated" by the concertmaster of the orchestra, the opera house’s principal first violin, Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Bagdat Abilkhanov.
The musician began to study restoration in 2012, because he came across an expensive instrument - a Guarneri violin. It was given to the opera house for use, but the rarity, originally from the 17th century, was drying out and falling apart, a common condition for an ancient instrument. To rectify the situation, Bagdat went to Moscow to see Vasily Vyatkin, a famous restorer and his friend. He gave Bagdat his "first lessons": he taught how to change hair, talked about the basics of restoration. Mr. Vyatkin himself is the caretaker and restorer of the State Collection in Moscow. The instruments that the master serviced were the property of the country: Guarneri, Stradivari, and many other rare instruments. Bagdat quickly adopted his colleague’s experience, because he had the habit of doing everything with his own hands since childhood. Restoring instruments has also become a way for the violinist to relax after intense practice.
When asked, what the most common "ailment" of the string instrument is, Bagdat Abilkhanov always answers the same way - when it gets the wrong master. "There are people who undertake restoration, but they are completely incompetent at this. After all, it takes a long time to study, read books, and gain knowledge. For example, I attend a lot of master classes, learning this complex science. I attended Vyatkin’s workshops 4 times. In addition, thanks to the opera house management, I underwent long-term training with Italians. The course was theoretically intensive. We studied critical analysis of the instrument. The opera house supported me more than once. I took another month-long course, this time in Cremona. This year, I will go to renew my knowledge once again, as I do every year. There are plans to study in England and Germany," explained the orchestra’s concertmaster.
Bagdat Abilkhanov shared his knowledge, explaining that the instruments are made of maple, and the top plate is made of spruce, and the fingerboard is made of ebony. Over time, any instrument "wears out", and therefore requires the attention of a master. Even such a seemingly insignificant detail as glue is sometimes of key importance in restoration. Bagdat Abilkhanov always chooses expensive fish glue. "Because when it is used to glue the instrument, this type of glue turns into a vitreous body, which transmits sound exceptionally well. This glue holds wood for 100 years. However, if you want to unglue it, it is enough just to water down the necessary points and it is possible to freely remove this glue. And if you glue it, as many craftsmen do, with ordinary PVA glue, then the glue turns into plastic, and the plastic "pulls" the sound onto itself. Thereby the instrument becomes just a piece of wood that does not sound. Fish glue is very expensive. It is extracted from the sturgeon air bladder. Now it is also extracted from cartilage and bone, but originally it was from the air bladder. The fish material is kept in tuzluk (salt wrapped in cloth). Then, as soon as it dries, it is re-wetted and the glue is extracted from it. This is a very difficult, time-consuming job. But it is a pleasure to glue with it," Bagdat Abilkhanov says.
Perhaps the main rule in restoration is to imitate the master who created the instrument, even if it is 300 or 400 years old. It is necessary to continue his work and make sure that no one notices anything. This is top class in restoration. "In the future I would like to work on our folk instruments, in particular, qobyz and qyl-qobyz, because they are not in the best condition. There are masters, of course, but in order to restore qobyz and qyl-qobyz, first of all you need violin knowledge and skills, but many people restore these instruments intuitively," Bagdat Abilkhanov concluded.
The violin is a miniature instrument, unlike the large double bass, although both are from the same family of string instruments and both require serious consideration in terms of care.
In Astana Opera, symphony orchestra musician, double bass player Yermek Sarsembayev, carries out the restoration of double basses. He is confident that it is important to take good care of the instruments and have them repaired on time.
His first experience with instrument restoration took place when he was still at school. "Once, when I was studying at a special music boarding school in sixth grade, I was on my way to take an exam. My teacher was carrying a double bass, since I was short and practiced with a stand. Before going onstage to perform this or that number, I had to pick up a double bass and go into the hall. On the day of the exam, I was going up onstage and accidentally caught the headstock of the instrument on a staircase. The neck and the fingerboard fell off. The instrument fell apart and I got terribly upset, but my teacher immediately said: "You broke the instrument, fix it yourself." I was very indignant, how can a child restore an instrument on his own? But my professor promised to teach me. So, under his strict guidance, I disassembled the instrument: I removed the neck and the fingerboard of the double bass, cleaned off the glue without disturbing any geometric dimensions of the parts, assemblies, junctions on the double bass. After that I sanded it down, doing everything carefully. We boiled up the glue using special equipment; my professor also taught me this. After applying it, we pressed down the instrument with clamps and rubber bands and left it to dry. When I came back the next day and tried to play it, it seemed to me that it sounded better than before. I really enjoyed the job of restoring the instrument. Since then, I always restored the instruments myself under the strict guidance of my teacher when there were any breakdowns. And I am doing this to this day," Yermek Sarsembayev emphasized.
The double bassist noted that even new instruments have their own specifics. For example, musicians need to avoid sudden changes in temperature: do not take them out into the cold without first covering them, and then do not bring the instrument into a warm building unless it has been carefully covered up. It is necessary to store it carefully because it is made of wood, which is very sensitive to temperature changes. It is also important to take into account the fact that after a temperature change you cannot immediately practice on the instrument. You need to give it an opportunity to adapt to room temperature. And if you care for it incorrectly and store it incorrectly, this will lead to irreversible consequences: the instrument may burst or break in certain places. As a rule, this happens on the top plates along the installation line of the sound post.
Cracks can occur, and then you have to open the instrument, tune it, glue it, and do it in such a way that it does not affect its sound. This process itself is interesting because when disassembling an instrument, you need to achieve the same sound when you reassemble it, but in no case should the instrument sound worse. It happens that if the master does not take into account a microcrack, then the double bass will produce not very pleasant sounds and this will affect the performance and sound quality. This is very painstaking work, similar to the work of doctors. People come to us with a problem, and we, as craftsmen, must know how to cure an instrument’s ailment while maintaining its appearance and good sound. For me, restoration is like meditation: you tune in to the right mood, turn on symphonic music and do a useful and necessary thing," noted Yermek Sarsembayev.
Oboe, with its refined and clear sound, also requires an attentive approach to restoration. As a rule, the process includes replacing damaged parts, polishing and checking the sound. Oboist Rakhmatali Bekbabaev handles wind instruments restoration in the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra. "The oboe is an extraordinary instrument with an interesting and long history, with a delicate and pleasing to the ear sound. This instrument rightfully occupies one of the major and significant places in an orchestra. It is difficult to imagine many works by the great classics such as Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schumann, and others, without it. At the same time, the oboe is a capricious instrument. The cork often dries out in the older models. It narrows, and, due to incorrect adjustment, one of the keys would not lift. Accordingly, the instrument cannot be played. All this is mainly due to the dry climate in Kazakhstan. To avoid such issues, it is necessary to keep the oboe at the same temperature and oil it more often, so it will always be moist and can last longer. New examples of oboes are made of rosewood in combination with plastic resin, and they are suited to climatic conditions and do not have such problems any longer. However, the most dangerous thing for an oboe is a crack. If a crack appears, it will not play, and only long and painstaking restoration can help. It is important to remember that the occurrence of cracks is directly related to the daily care for the instrument," Rakhmatali Bekbabaev said.
Every day the musician performs diagnostics on the oboes. He cleans the mechanics, eliminates looseness and clattering of the mechanics, replaces the cork tenons between the parts, cleans the tone holes, oils the body of the instrument, and replaces all cork and felt pads (contact elements), in addition to partial replacement of springs.
The master advises everyone to do preventative maintenance periodically. "When I was studying, we all had older instruments, and we had to repair them constantly. But back then there were no necessary parts. Now it is easier - you can order any of them directly from the manufacturer’s factory, be it in France or Italy. For example, we made pads from wine corks: we cut them up, and then adjusted them to the desired size by hand, using sandpaper. Today different musicians come to me with various instrument malfunctions. Recently, a young man who studied in the USA contacted me. He owns an expensive oboe from the A. Laubin, Inc. The peak of its popularity was in the 1970s and 80s. The instrument is of very high quality. I replaced several pads, tenons, and it became like new again. Now there is a big breakthrough in the oboe world: there is a huge selection of instruments from different manufacturing companies," Rakhmatali Bekbabaev noted.
Musical instruments restoration is not just a repair, but an art that passes on traditions and gives life to old masterpieces. It is an interweaving of the past and the future. Maters use ancient methods and modern technologies to achieve the best sound and appearance of instruments. And in each restored instrument, not only music sounds, but also the harmony of time…
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