p style=”text-align: justify;”>Astana is a large cultural center. The capital has a wide-spread network of cultural public places. There are such theatres as Kazakh musical-drama theatre named K. Kuanyshbaev, Russian drama theatre named M.Gorkyi, National opera and ballet theatre named after K. Baiseitova, Presidential Cultural Center with library, concert hall, organ music hall. The important role in cultural life of Astana is allocated to Schoolchilren and Youth Art Palace, “Zhastar” Palace, State philharmony, museums.
Painting art takes a big place in a cultural life of Astana. Exhibitions with participation of well-known artists and young talents are held in the capital, you can attend them in art galleries “Has-Sanat”, “Impression art”, “Shezhire” .
New architecture buildings contribute to city’s beauty and change its image beyond recognition. Foreign architects and leading construction companies have been involved for design of these objects.
For instance, two projects of British architect Norman Foster have been implemented in Astana. One of them is pyramid-shaped Palace of Peace and Accord, which serves as a symbol of cross-confessional accord and tolerance of Kazakhstan society.
Pyramid of Peace has a glass-and-granite cladding, it sits on an artificial 15-m-high hill. Its area is up to 25.500 square meters. The Pyramid houses an exhibition and concert halls, University of Civilizations, a research centre for religious issues, and representative offices of world religions. Inside the man-made hill there’s a 1357-seat opera house; and at the apex there is a circular chamber to house congress of world religions.
On December 15th 2009 was opened a Central concert hall “Kazakhstan” with capacity of 3500 persons, designed by M. Nicoletti of Italy. With its slanted sides, the structure will look like a sailing vessel or rose petals.
Also since December, 15th the Palace of Independence of The Republic of Kazakhstan reckons the activity. The monumental building which architectural feature are bearing walls in the form of Kazakh “Kerege” – yurta frame, became one of the most beautiful architectural structures of Astana. The Independence Palace, with all necessary equipment, became a place of official state events, forums, meetings, conferences, congresses. Spacious rooms, state-of-the-art technical equipment and comfort allow conducting and highlighting all occurring events at the highest international level. Along with official events, there is everything necessary for hosting concerts, exhibitions, celebrations.
The internal arrangement represents a surprising combination of austere solutions with cosy aesthetics. In this regard, the ground floor of the building is designed for large-scale events, private conversations, meetings. The Independence Palace also hosts the Congress hall with capacity more than 3000 persons, Press center, Ceremonial hall, Restaurant, ethnography and applied art Gallery, modern art Gallery, History museum of Astana.
Presidential Centre for Culture has become a true spiritual home for Astana residents; built in 2000, the Center comprises a library with 570.000 books, a 400-seat concert hall, Museum of Kazakhstan, and various workrooms. Total area of the Center makes up to 15 500 square meters. National Academy of Music has been constructed in the shape of a grand piano with black and white keys . This imposing piece of architecture was designed by Sagyndyk Zhanbulatov, a Kazakh arcitect. One of the most significant cultural events was the opening of the circus constructed in the shape of a flying saucer. The building was designed by another Kazakhstani architect Tolegen Abilda.
As of today, the capital has been maintaining friendship and twin-city relations with 20 cities of the world and 6 regions of Russia. Astana is a member of International Assembly of Capital and Big Cities. In 1999, Astana was awarded a “City for Peace” prize by UNESCO.