Classical Across Cultures: American Music Teachers Train and Perform with 200 Turkmen Musicians

American conductor and musician Derek Beckvold leads a rehearsal in advance of the holiday concert with the students of the National Conservatory of Turkmenistan

Ashgabat, December 15, 2016 – Four classically-trained American musicians and music teachers, Derek Beckvold, Kim Mai Nguyen, Peter Thoreson, and Avery Waite will visit Ashgabat December 14-24, 2016, to train students from the National Conservatory of Turkmenistan and perform a holiday concert. The teachers will hold workshops for students and staff from the classical, vocal, composition, and conducting departments. The American teachers will also hold a series of masterclasses on the American classical repertoire for program participants. Approximately 80 members of the choir, 80 members of the symphony orchestra, 20 conductors, and 20 composers are expected to participate.

In addition to continuing their work with the National Conservatory, the American music teachers will present American musical culture at a variety of public events:

Tuesday, December 20

18:30 – Christmas caroling at the Information Resource Center (IRC) of the U.S. Embassy

Thursday, December 22

19:00 – Holiday concert with the National Conservatory of Turkmenistan at Magtymguly National Music and Drama Theatre

Friday, December 23

15:00 – Presentation about American music at the IRC

17:00-18:00 – Live chat with the U.S. Embassy’s followers on the Line mobile application

18:30 – Christmas music jam session with amateur Turkmen musicians at the IRC

Admission to all events is free and open to everyone.

This program seeks to build on two previous collaborations between the American teachers and students and faculty at the National Conservatory, in December 2015 and March 2016. During their first two visits to Turkmenistan, Mr. Beckvold, Mr. Thoresen, and Mr. Waite offered masterclasses and worked with National Conservatory musicians to give a joint concert at the Magtymguly Theater. Now they return for a third program and concert, focused on the holiday season.

For more information about this program, please contact the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat at 47-35-06 (1) or e-mail