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From August 2006, the WKPO will be based in Mumbai for four months a year as part of The (National Centre of Performing Arts) Symphony Orchestra of India (with its founder, Marat Bisengaliev as the General Music Director) also participating in educational projects, to help young Indian musicians. This year, despite a busy concerts and recording schedule, much of Bisengaliev's time has been taken up auditioning and rehearsing musicians for this visionary -- and risky -- Indian undertaking.

In addition the WKPO has an extensive recording schedule. The 'Requiem' by Karl Jenkins, on the EMI label, went to 'Number 1' on the Classic Sales Chart and entered the 'Hall of Fame' in Classic FM Magazine. The latest recording for Sony BMG, also by Karl Jenkins, Tlep (Music on Kazakh Themes) was released in April at a live première concert in the Royal Albert Hall.

The orchestra has also recorded music by Schnittke on Quartz and Myslivecek, on Toccata Classics.

Other recording projects for early release on Sony BMG are Venezia (a compilation of popular tunes), The Diamond Music, The Best of Karl Jenkins, The Virtuoso Violin and a collection of major concertos; repertoire featuring Marat Bisengaliev.

The WKPO under Marat (now renamed the Turan Alem Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra) has just received a new sponsorship; the Kazakh bank 'Turan Alem' will be granting it US$450,000 annually for salaries, guaranteed over five years and providing the opportunity to attract quality players from around the world and finally expand to a full symphony orchestra complement.

Bisengaliev has been closely involved with the music of top-selling Welsh composer Karl Jenkins and he has been a key figure in world première performances and on the Jenkins 'special' South Bank Show (ITV1).

In Uralsk, Kazakhstan, he is building an open air amphitheatre with state of the art acoustics and an orchestral lodge with all facilities.

He is nominated in the 'best instrumentalist' category of the 'Classical Brit Awards 2006' for a re-release of the British composer Havergal Brian's Violin Concerto (1935) with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Naxos). The disc originally appeared in 1993 on Naxos' sister Marco Polo label.

And as recently as July in Astana, the Kazakh capital, he was presented with the Sony BMG Gold Disc for outstanding achievement in the recording of Tlep by Karl Jenkins.

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Copyright © 18 July 2006 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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