Bakir Bayakhunov

(b. 15 September 1933, Almaty).

Kazakh composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, vocal, and piano works that have been performed in Asia and Europe.

Prof. Bayakhunov initially attended a mining institute in St. Petersburg before, at the behest of Yevgeny G. Brusilovsky, studying composition with Quddus Khojamyarov at the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory in Almaty from 1954–60. He then completed an internship at the P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow from 1960–63, where he studied composition with Mikhail I. Chulaki, instrumentation with Yuri Fortunatov and Dmitri R. Rogal-Levitsky and polyphony with Vladimir V. Protopopov and Sergei S. Skrebkov.

Among his honours are the title Honoured Artist of the Kazakh SSR (1983), the title People's Artist of the Kazakh SSR (1990), a medal on the tenth anniversary of the independence of Kazakhstan (2001), the Certificate of Honour of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2004), and medals on the 65th, 70th and 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–45 (2010, 2015, 2020).

He is also active in other positions. He is the first Dungan to become a professional composer in the European sense, and has worked to preserve Dungan music folklore in Central Asia through articles, his own music and official capacities, including as a consultant on the Dungan diaspora at the Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh SSR and later as the first chairman of the Dungan Cultural Centre in Almaty. In addition, he served various roles with the Kazakh Composers Union in Almaty, including leading creative committees and a term as deputy chairman of its board of directors.

He taught music theory at the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory from 1962–69, where he then taught composition from 1969–2008, including as associate professor from 1983–91 and as professor from 1991–2008. He also taught composition at the P. I. Tchaikovsky College of Music in Almaty from 2002–05, where he later taught musical informatics in 2011.

He is the brother of the pianist Nailya Bayakhunova and the father of the musicologist Leyla Bayakhunova, as well as the uncle of the pianist Zarina Gafiatullina and the violist Elvira Kovrizhnykh and the grand-uncle of the violinist Karina Satylganova.


E-mail address:

Website: (mostly in Russian)



Na sayte Mail.Ru – On the Mail.Ru Website (chamber opera in 8 episodes with a prologue and introduction, libretto by the composer, Sofiya Yanlosy), soprano, baritone/bass, piano, 2008

Sny Korkyta – The Dreams of Korkyt (ballet in 1 act, scenario by the composer), 2010

V tot den osenny – On That Autumn Day (chamber opera, libretto by the composer), 2017


Kontsert – Concerto, violin, orchestra, 1960, revised 1992, 2003

Vals – Waltz, 1961

Uvertyura – Overture, 1963

Kui, 1965

Pamyati Masanchi – In memoriam Masanchi (poem), 1967, revised 1997

Tri pesy – Three Pieces, small orchestra, 1967

Dvadtsat vosem – Twenty-Eight (poem), 1975

Kontsert – Concerto, small orchestra, 1976

Dve dunganskie pesni – Two Dungan Songs, 1977

Symphony No. 1, 1980

Dunganskie eskizy – Dungan Sketches, small orchestra, 1981

Syuita na dunganskie temy – Suite on Dungan Themes, 1981

Symphony No. 2 (on motifs from Dungan folklore), 1984

Symphony No. 3, 1989

Symphony No. 4, 1992

Syuita na tatarskie temy – Suite on Tatar Themes, small orchestra, 1992

Kontsert – Concerto, piano, orchestra, 1993

Kazakhskaya uvertyura – Kazakh Overture, 1998

Symphony No. 5, 'Aura Vostoka – Aura of the East', 2000–02

Uvertyura na temu Dauletkereya – Overture on a Theme by Dauletkerey, 2003

Osennyaya pechal – Autumnal Sorrow (poem on themes by Abai Qunanbaiuly), clarinet, string orchestra, 2005

Symphony No. 6, 'Ekologicheskaya – Ecological', 2007

Symphony No. 7, 'Korkyt', 2011

Muzyka na temu Kanarbaya – Music on a Theme by Kanarbay (symphonic poem), 2017


Strunny kvartet – String Quartet, 1962

Prelyudiya, Khoral i Fuga – Prelude, Chorale and Fugue, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1967, revised 2022

Lyubimy Mavu – Beloved Mavu (poem), violin, 1986

Dva portreta Betkhovena – Two Portraits of Beethoven (sonata), piano, timpani, 1991

Na strunakh kobyza – On the Strings of the Kobyz, viola, 1993

Tri portreta – Three Portraits, cello, 2001, revised 2007, 2012

Pyat posleslovy – Five Afterwords, string quartet, 2003

Skripka Si Sinkhaya – The Violin of Xian Xinghai (poem), violin, 2005, revised 2011–13

Otzvuki mukama – Echoes of Maqam (sonata), string quartet, 2017 (version of work for piano)

Aujar, violin, 2018

Osennyaya pesnya flamingo – Autumn Flamingo Song, viola, 2020


Tri poemy – Three Poems (text by Musa Cälil [Russian translation]), tenor, female chorus, 1984

Pesni–zagadki – Song–Riddles (texts from folk sources from Kazakhstan [Russian translation]), mixed chorus, 1986

Magzhan (cycle, texts by Valery Bryusov, Magzhan Zhumabayev [Russian translation]), mixed chorus, 1997, revised 2011


Pesni o starom Kitaye – Songs of Ancient China (song-cycle, text by Iasyr Shivaza [Russian translation]), baritone/bass, piano, 1957

Tsikl na slova poetov Azii – Cycle on Words by Asian Poets (song-cycle, texts by poets from Asia [Russian translation]), voice, piano, 1961

Monolog – Monologue (song-cycle, text by Omar Khayyam [Russian translation]), voice, piano, 1977, revised 2013

Bolnaya kukla – Sick Doll (song-cycle, texts by poets from Russia), voice, piano, 1979

Vosem yaponskikh tryokhstishy – Eight Japanese Haiku (song-cycle, text by Matsuo Bashō [Russian translation]), voice, piano, 1991

Iz liriki kitayskikh poetess – From the Lyrics of Chinese Poetesses (song-cycle, texts by poets from China [Russian translation]), voice, piano, 1994


Otzvuki mukama (sonata), 1990 (also version for string quartet)

Sonata No. 2, 1991, revised 2011

Serenada – Serenade, piano 4 hands, 1992

Sonata No. 3, 'Kazakhskaya bakhiana – Bachiana Kazakha', 1996, revised 2012

Dungansky marsh – Dungan March, piano 4 hands, 1997, revised 2009

Moy balbraun (otzvuki kyuev Kurmangazy) – My Balbraun (Echoes of a Kui by Kurmangazy), 2021


Sonata, 'Kazakhskaya bakhiana – Bachiana Kazakha', 2002, revised 2014


Amangeldy (revision and orchestration of poem by Xian Xinghai), orchestra, 1998, revised 2018

Chetyre prelyudy – Four Preludes (Gaziza Zhubanova), small orchestra, 2007

Dayrabay (Erkegali Rahmadiev), piano, 2009

Koblandy batyr (Djumatay Tezekbayev), orchestra, 2019