Back in 2013, during the inaugural year of Turkvizyon, the Altai Republic sent one of their most recognizable singers — Artur Marlujokov — to the contest. His patriotic song “Altayym Menin” took Altai (one of Russia’s federal republics) to 5th place in the final, and elevated Marlujokov to national hero. So much so that this October he switched to politics and succeded Sergey Mungos as the Deputy Minister of Culture. This shouldn’t come as a surprise: the 35-year-old Artur isn’t only a former Turkvizyon contestant but also a teacher at the College of Vocal Arts and Culture.

Luckily for all you fans, his ministerial activities aren’t keeping him away from music, as today he kicks off a tour across the Altai Republic as a member of the national orchestra. They’ll perform every day until 22 December. The event is split into two programs: a “Winter Kaleidoscope” holiday concert and recitals by Artur dedicated to famous Russian singer Alexandra Pakhmutova.

So, if you find yourself in the villages of Turochak, Maiminsky, Shebalinsky and Choya during the holidays, you may be lucky enough to shake hands with Altai’s favorite minister! No word on whether he’ll bring the white coattails…

Artur Marlujukov at Türkvizyon 2013

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