The presentation of the Astana Piano Passion International Festival of Classical Music and Competition for Young Pianists was held on September 23d, 2012, in Astana. A few months later, in May 2013, the capital of Kazakhstan met the first guests of the Festival and young contestants of the Competition.
The debut Festival-Competition was broadcast to the whole world and aroused high interest of audience from different countries. In those days the attention of various piano teachers, professional musicians and critics have also been attracted to the capital of Kazakhstan. Their positive feedback allowed the Astana Piano Passion to get into the top three International Piano Competitions. Thanks to this, every competitor was able to declare himself to the whole world. The Master of Ceremony of the first in the history Astana Piano Passion International Festival-Competition of Classical Music concert was Svyatoslav Belza, an outstanding Russian music expert, literary scholar, music and literary critic, publicist, president of Russian Academy of Arts.
Over the years, the Festival has given Astana performances of such outstanding pianists of our time as: Denis Matsuev (Russia), Ekaterina Mechetina (Russia), Pavel Nersesyan (Russia), Zhaniya Aubakirova (Kazakhstan) and others. The winners of subsequent years of creative life of the Competition sparkled on stage with their mentors. Grand Prix and First Prize winners are traditionally invited to Astana with solo concerts, which held in the best concert halls of the capital. During the Festival young pianists also were getting unique opportunity to listen workshops of the best teachers from the leading conservatories of the world.
In different years, the jury members were: Miriam Dowelsberg (Brazil), John O, Connor (Ireland), Hyung-Jun Chang (South Korea), Michel Beroff (France), Ekaterina Mechetina (Russia), Ari Vardi (Israel), Pascal Eskand (France), Vanessa Latarsh (United Kingdom), Peter Palechny (Poland), Valery Pyasetsky (Russia), Martin Engström (Switzerland), Stanislav Yudenich (USA), Sergey Dorensky (Russia), Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov (Kazakhstan), Zhaniya Aubakirova (Kazakhstan)
The winners of the Astana Piano Passion have active concert life, take part in the main projects of Denis Matsuev under his patronage. They also receive invitations from jury members to other famous world competitions and festivals, get the opportunity to study in the most prestigious music schools in Europe and America.
The Astana Piano Passion Festival and Competition for Young Pianists is unique in being an opportunity to establish international relations in the field of culture, to support young talents, to develop Kazakh national music school, to promote music of Kazakh composers, whose works are included in the mandatory competition program. They acquire a completely different, unique sound in the performance of competitors of different piano schools.
Organizer of the Astana Piano Passion Festival and Competition is Astana Public Foundation ‘’Accordi di’’ with the support from the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Akimat of Astana (city administration). Artistic Director and Honorary Chairman of the Jury of the Competition is national artist of Russia Denis Matsuev.
About 20 major events are attended by more than 10 thousand people in one week in Astana. During the history of the Competition more than 500 applications were submitted to the Organizing Committee by participants from 23 countries. During the Festival, Astana becomes the center of world music community, and attract interest of professional musicians and admirers of classical piano music.
The Astana Piano Passion Festival - Competition attracts a huge attention of international journalism. Every year large number of materials are published in the mass media of different countries all over the world. Online broadcasting of the Competition allows viewers, wherever they are, to ensure the competence, impartiality, honesty of the jury, and take an interactive part in voting for the Audience Choice Award.