Masguda I. Shamsutdinova's site



I was born in a small Tatar village west side of the Ural Mountains that divide Asia from Europe. My father was a village healer; my mother was a beekeeper. From earliest years my mother sang ancient songs mostly from the rich oral tradition in our home region. She taught me to listen to nature. Even today, my creative work is informed in part by these positive early childhood influences.

My formal education was rigorous. When I was 11 years old, I was enrolled in a special school in Kazakhstan for musically talented children. The chance for advanced study meant I had to leave the village. I formally prepared to be a professional musician as both a bass violist , a pianist, and a music theory teacher. I also attained honors in music composition. Continuing, at age 19, I was awarded a place at the Kazan State Music Conservatory in Tatarstan Region of the former USSR. The conservatory is along with Moscow and St. Petersburg one of the top three. Here, I continued to study and eventually, to teach composition, music theory, and ethno-musicology.

I was awarded a Doctorate (PhD from St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2002.) I did extensive research of the culture and folklore of music and art of Islamic influenced rural areas in the Middle Volga region, Siberia, and Central Asia.

I based 20 years of my professional life as composer, music scholar, philosopher and educator in the city of Kazan, home to 1 million people. The city sits five hundred miles south east of Moscow on the on the Volga River near the center of the continent. However, to further the educational opportunities available for our 2 college aged sons, my husband and I began a new life into Seattle, WA, USA. I welcomed the challenge that a complete change offered.

My various appointments in the music field have included:, 5 years as a Teacher, and as a Supervisor of the Ethno-musicology Laboratory at the Kazan State Conservatory, and 5 years as Music Programming Chief Editor for the Tatar State Television Regional Network. I was able to continue to compose music through the years also.

I received many awards and special commissions for the music for movies, theatre and dance performances. I create instrumental, and choral works of all genres including songs, oratorios, ballets, and symphonies. Commissioned works have been performed in concert by Bashkort and Tatar State Symphonic Orchestras and conducted by Fuat Mansurov of Moscow Bolshoi Theater.)
My chorales “Don Crone” (conducted by Alevtina Buldakova), “Hyal” (conducted by Alfia Jabbarova), have been performed and were broadcast widely on the State Television and Radio Networks throughout USSR. Also my music was performed and broadcast in the Limeric (Ireland,) Stockholm and Vasterose (Sweden,) Netherlands (Holland), Oslo (Norway,) Warsaw and Gdansk (Poland,) Prague (Czech Republic), Istanbul, Ankara, Riza (Turkey,) Alma-Ata, Karaganda (Kazakstan,) Tashkent and Gulistan (Uzbekistan), Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vologda, Kazan, Saransk, Ufa, Tumen, Siktivkar, Tuimazi and etc. (Russia.) In 1996-1997 I was a composer and music researcher in residence for 9 months at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden.
My principal interests lie in symphonies, ballets, and oratorios. Most recently more than 700 people at the Kazan Tatar State Concert Hall heard the premiere of my 3rd Symphony, “Genghis Khan,” a symphonic poem, “Dervish,” and an oratorio, “Hymn to the Prophet,” which blends European classical style with Sufi vocal tradition. These commissioned works were performed, broadcast and recorded in concert by the Tatar State Symphony Orchestra and Tatar Choir of the University of Kazan, Russia.

I recently have finished my 4th Symphony and “Seven Grains of Love” for the chamber orchestra.
My symphonic poem “Dervish” was performed by the Northwest Symphony Orchestra 2007, May 5 in Burien, WA.
I am at present engaged in collecting lullabies from around the world and analyzing their musical structure - a project that has been featured in the Post Intelligencer, Seattle’s Child magazine, Seattle Times, and on National Public Radio (Weekend America.)