Nur-Sultan is a city on the rise – literally and figuratively. Its stunning modern architecture is rising from the vast Asian steppe as its international reputation as a center of regional trade and politics grows along side. The same is true of the city’s arts culture. The venues and the art you will find here reflect the history of Kazakhstan while pushing the boundaries of what came before.
Among the most stunning examples is Nur-Sultan’s new Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall. This 3,500 seat hall sits inside a stunning turquoise blue building of swirling lines and changing vistas designed by Manfredi Nicoletti following an international design competition. It’s one of the largest halls of its kind in the world and is the setting for frequent performances ranging from visiting opera troupes to traditional Kazakh music.
Also reflecting Nur-Sultan’s cutting edge arts culture is the city’s Modern Art Gallery. The gallery is located in the now iconic Palace of Peace and Harmony, often referred to as the Pyramid. This open-style granite and glazed glass pyramid was designed by renowned British architecture firm Foster and Partners and opened in 2006 to host the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. It’s a site to see in and of itself and its central point marks the exact center of the city. But the pyramid is also home to multiple art galleries where you can see the works of modern Kazakh painters such as K.V. Mullashev, Akanaev and Begalin. The main gallery includes more than 100 paintings and 19 sculptures.
More traditional arts can be found in the Maxim Gorky Russian Drama Theater. This theater was founded in 1899 and is one of the largest and most popular drama theaters in Central Asia. It regularly presents performances of William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol and others.
Whether it is a taste of traditional performance, a glimpse into the mind of modern Kazakh artists or appreciation of the architecture of the art venues themselves, Nur-Sultan offers a unique arts culture in the heart of the Asian Steppe.