Alatau Atkinson’s carol premieres in UK with Kazakh musicians’ participation
14 December 2021 07:16

Alatau Atkinson’s carol premieres in UK with Kazakh musicians’ participation

CREWKERNE. KAZINFORM A Christmas carol by Alatau Tamchiboulak Atkinson who was born in the Kazakh steppe in the middle of the 19th century premiered at St Bartholomew’s Church in Somerset with the participation of a Kazakh folk duet Qos Arna.

In the middle of the 19th century, Thomas Witlam Atkinson, an English architect, writer and artist, and his wife Lucy explored the territory of eastern Kazakhstan for seven years. During their travels, the Atkinsons had a son and named him Alatau Tamchiboulak Atkinson after the place he was born in. He later became a well-known statesman in the field of education and a member of parliament in Hawaii, the official website of the Kazakh Embassy in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland reads.

During his time in Hawaii, Alatau published a poem, Christmas Bells, in a local newspaper. His descendants revived their ancestor’s heritage by setting the poem to music with the help of a famous British composer Michael Csányi-Wills. And the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK facilitated the participation of young Kazakh musicians Aida and Azamat Zhakhanbek from the Qos Arna duet who added the sound of traditional Kazakh instruments to the new carol.

«I find it very symbolic that tonight this new work of art brings together the Atkinson family’s adventurous heritage from different corners of the world. The poem was written by a British man with a Kazakh name, who was born and lived the first years of his life in the Kazakh steppe, and served as a Hawaiian statesman… This is a vivid example of true friendship and creative energy, which I strongly believe are the key to maintaining peace and understanding in today’s turbulent world,» read the congratulatory message from Erlan Idrissov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK, which was delivered at the festive concert.

Qos Arna also performed Kazakh folk songs and kuis (traditional Kazakh musical compositions), thus presenting to the audience the Kazakh people's rich cultural heritage.