Tokzhan Karatai

Kobyz Player

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Tokzhan Karatai is a composer and musician from Kazakhstan, dedicated to the preservation and innovation of traditional kobyz through performance and education. A fourth-year composition major in the Kazakh National Conservatory, Tokzhan marries her extensive study of folk with her passion for experimental classical music from the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich. Tokzhan continuously seeks to reconcile cultural differences through her compositions; one of her compositions highlights the similarities between Kazakh music and contemporary minimalist music through electroacoustic experiments utilizing traditional Kazakh patterns. She is also a soloist for Eegeru, the first contemporary music ensemble in Kazakhstan, and frequently collaborates with other touring ensembles and international projects.