The modern day silk road country of Kazakhstan continues to develop a thriving arts scene. But how important is classical music in a society which is busy discovering other advantages of globalisation?

The International Herald Tribune describes some of the challenges faced by young Kazakh musicians. As do musicians all over the world they eschew better-paid careers in other sectors. However they face an additional cultural challenge – learning to take risks after growing up in a regime which encouraged conformity and punished mistakes.

The musicians have faced some difficult decisions in comitting to perform increasingly technically challenging pieces in public:

“Having been raised in a Soviet-style system that taught them to obey orders and, above all, to avoid mistakes, they feared they would fail publicly and spectacularly”

Like many others in the region, they are embarking on an extraordinary journey of cultural transformation.


About the author

Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.