The Kazakhstan-born counter-tenor, Erik Kurmangali (Kurmangaliev), graduated from the Moscow Gnessin Pedagogical Institute and then studied as a post-graduate at the Moscow State Conservatoire named after Tchaikovsky, in professor Nina Dorliak's class. He also took master-classes under the singers I. Bjoner, Phyllis Curtin and Anna Reynolds. He was a laureate of the International Competition in the Netherlands (1987).
Erik Kurmangaliev debuted as a concert singer in 1980, in the Grand Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic named after Dmitri Shostakovich. He gave concerts in many countries, performing on the best stages of Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Lethuania, Kazakhstan, Tatarstan, in the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Yugoslavia, France, Greece.
Erik Kurmangaliev performsed with prestigious orchestras conducted by well-known musicians - Rozhdestvensky, Dmitri Kitaenko, Mansurov, Saulius Sondeckis, Bashmet, Tretiakov. When he was on tour in Boston, the press declared him a phenomenon and compared his voice and singing with the legendary Fedora Barbieri's. Sviatoslav Richter, the founder of the classical music festival being held every December at the Pushkin Fine Art Museum, invited him many times to take part in concerts. Pierre Cardin invited him to make appearances in Paris. He was the first performer of some Schnittke's works: Second Symphony, Forth Symphony and Faust Cantata.
Erik Kurmangaliev was awarded as a best actor of the year (1992) for the role of Song Liling in M.Butterfly piece by David H. Hwang, where he sang two arias from Madama Butterfly by Puccini.