Diana Mahmood born in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She graduated with honors from the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory (2002) and an assistant internship (2004) under the guidance of Professor Yakov Fudiman, the founder of the viola school of Kazakhstan. Later she completed Ph. D. from the same institution. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Viola at the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory and Laureate of international competitions.
D. Mahmood's creative life is unusually rich. She participates in conferences, master classes of musicians from Europe, in the USA and Russia.
She plays solo concerts and also arranges chamber concerts. As a member of orchestras, she tours cities in Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Italy, England, Northern Ireland, India, and the United States.
As part of the "Camerata of Kazakhstan", she participated in a joint concert with the "Silk Road" ensemble and the outstanding cellist Yo-Yo-Ma.
As a Concertmaster of the Viola group of the Symphony Orchestra of India, she took part in the International Festival of Orchestras in Moscow, in the International Brahms Competition in Austria, winning a grant for a trip under the program of the "Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan".
As an orchestra artist, Diana worked in the Symphony Orchestra of India (Mumbai, India), the Leeds Symphony Orchestra (Leeds, England), the West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra of Marat Bisengaliyev, the State Chamber Ensemble "Camerata of Kazakhstan".
She completed a research internship and advanced training at the M.I.Glinka Novosibirsk State Conservatory (Russia, 2009), the University of Warsaw (Poland, 2016), the Grieg Academy of Music at the University of Bergen (Norway, 2017).
In 2014, she was the initiator and organizer of the First International Viola Competition dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the birth of Ya. Fudiman, in 2017 – the First Festival in the history of string-bow art of Kazakhstan "String Music Festival", which is now held annually.
D. Mahmood is the first performer in Kazakhstan of works accompanied by orchestras: the Concert of F. Hofmeister with the chamber orchestra of the Kurmangazy conservatory, the Concert of B. Bartok with the GASO of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Central Concert Hall, the Romance of A. Vranitsky from the Concerto for two Violas accompanied by the chamber ensemble "Camerata of Kazakhstan"; as well as "Lachrymae" by B. Britten, "Retrospections" by M. Shitanda, "Prayers" by E. Bloch arranged for viola and piano, "Allegro appassionata" by J. Jongen, Cadenza for viola solo by K. Penderecki, Fantasies and Rhapsodies by Y. Bowen.
What slogan would represent you and your art the most?
- The endless pursuit of knowledge and the achievement of creative heights.
What do you value the most in music?
- The ability of music to get closer to the secrets of the universe, to influence a person and inspire him.
Many musicians say that they get to know themselves more and open own new talents because of your art…How the music influenced you?
- First of all, music, like sports, has developed some qualities in me such as self-discipline, hard work, responsibility, dedication since childhood. Secondly, it helped to identify feelings of empathy, trust, kindness, beauty, and justice.
What does music mean to you?
- Music is a gift that is expressed in the disclosure of a person's spiritual energy. Music is a world of ideas, deep experiences, emotions, immersion in unrepeatable images of artistic depiction.
Who are your idols?
- Outstanding composers and performers.
If you weren't a musician, what would you be?
- Now I can't imagine myself without music. But as a child, I wanted to be a doctor – to save people's lives, to treat diseases.
Do you think that musicians have all opportunities to become popular and successful in Kazakhstan (on globally)? Why?
- Everything depends on the person himself, on his needs. A person becomes in demand when he benefits people, does everything for their benefit, contributes to the development of culture as a whole, thereby receiving a response from society that needs your creativity. You can give solo concerts, organize various events of International and National significance. The main thing is that there is a desire. It is necessary to instigate the lively interest of the public, representatives of culture by their activities aimed at developing the creative potential of students, improving the performing arts and the education system.
What is the ideal life for you as a musician?
- The ideal life is when a musician has time for self-improvement and practical training, which is sometimes a luxury in our time. It is wonderful to attend various international festivals, competitions, concerts of outstanding musicians around the world every year, to conduct joint projects both in Kazakhstan and in abroad, to contribute to raising the level of culture of own people.