Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory carries out training of professional musicians for more than seven decades. Compared with conservatories of Europe and Russia, the age of our Conservatory is insignificant, but according to event-richness and dynamics of development, its history has concentrated in itself the whole era. The history does not reflect only the formation of the first creative higher education institution, formation of a whole system of professional music education, but also the history of country – the Kazakh SSR, and later of sovereign Kazakhstan.
On April 30, 1944 the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR has obliged to organize Conservatory in Alma-Ata. In compliance with this order, on July 24, 1944 the Council of People's Commissars of the Kazakh SSR under the chairmanship of N. Undasynov (since October 1, 1944) has decided to organize Conservatory on the basis of musical and choreographic combination (nowadays Almaty musical college of P. I. Tchaikovsky), which subsequently reorganized into Alma-Ata Conservatory modeled on the Moscow and Leningrad conservatories. In 1945 the Conservatory was named after the outstanding Kazakh folk composer of the 19th century Kurmangazy Sagyrbaeva.
In days of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) outstanding figures of the Russian art G. S. Ulanova, Yu.A.Zavadsky, N. I. Sats, V. P. Maretskaya and others have been evacuated from Moscow to Alma-Ata. Their work in Kazakhstan has significantly influenced the formation of a phenomenon of new Kazakhstani culture which in a short period of time has managed to acquire and adapt to the cultural traditions of Europe, through a prism of the Russian culture, without losing national identity.
Alma-Ata Conservatory played a leading role in this contradictory and difficult process. From the first days of its existence, Conservatory’s activity was conducted in two directions: determined by influence of the European and Kazakh national musical heritage. These two "branches" of Conservatory always developed harmoniously and were equivalent.
Until recently, the Conservatory was the only higher educational institution of the country, so that it is proud of its achievements. Today, Conservatory alumni work virtually in every artistic troupe of the country. Its students and teachers adequately present domestic art in the USA, the countries of Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Iran, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and etc.
There is a composer school presented by such glorified names as Ahmet Zhubanov, Evgeny Brusilovsky, Mukan Tulebayev, Sydyk Mukhamedzhanov, Kuddus Kuzhamyarov, Gaziza Zhubanova, Erkegali Rakhmadiyev.
Teaching staff of Conservatory is formed from the musicians who give large-scale concerts, whose works are recognized and demanded not only in Kazakhstan. Among them the outstanding pianist Zhaniya Aubakirova, the glorified chorus master Anatoly Molodov, the well-known baritone Ermek Serkebayev, the legendary singer Bibigul Tulegenova, "a golden trumpet" Yury Klushkin, a masterly dombrist Karshyga Akhmedyarov, the winner of the international competitions violinist Gauhar Murzabekova, a modern composer Erkegali Rakhmadiyev and many others.
Since Kazakhstan gained independence and sovereignty, the Conservatory was granted a status of "Kazakh National Institution of higher education." It became a starting point for objectives aimed at building a competitive Kazakhstani model of music education. In addition, the Conservatory entered the number of cultural and political priorities of the country.