Abai Kunanbaev

Абай Кунанбаев, 10 August 1845 – 06 July 1904

Kazakh poet, writer, composer, philosopher, founder of Kazakh written literature and its first classic, reformer in the spirit of rapprochement with Russian and European culture on the basis of enlightened liberal Islam. Had a huge impact on the nascent Kazakh national intelligentsia of the late XIX − early XX centuries. He mastered the Russian language perfectly and promoted the works of Pushkin, Lermontov and L. N. Tolstoy. Starting with the composition of melodies on the works of classics of Russian literature, Abai shifted to music some of his own lyrical poems. In total, he composed about two dozen melodies as a composer.

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