Gabala music festivity

By Nigar Orujova, Azernews Staff Writer

A grandiose music festival bringing together the world's famous musicians, organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, is in progress in a picturesque region of Azerbaijan - Gabala.

During the fourth Gabala Music Festival, which will last until August 5, music lovers will enjoy brilliant performances and witness real musical fireworks.

New magazine published

During the official opening ceremony, a special magazine was distributed among participants. The first pages of the new magazine contained the Heydar Aliyev Foundation President, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador, First Lady, MP Mehriban Aliyeva's congratulatory message to the participants of the festival, AzerTAc state news agency reported.

"I believe that the current festival, which will involve many world-famous musicians as every year, will once again be an unforgettable music holiday and remain one of the interesting pages in the history of our musical culture," the welcoming message said.

The magazine includes extensive information about the Gabala region, local and international vocalists, symphonic and chamber orchestras, Mugham (national folk music) singers, world-renowned masters and famous musical groups taking part in this international festival and their achievements.

Speaking to the opening ceremony, Farhad Badalbayli, one of art directors of the festival, rector of the Baku Music Academy, and MP Fattah Heydarov congratulated the participants and visitors of the festival on behalf of Heydar Aliyev Foundation President Mehriban Aliyeva.

Speakers noted that the festival had made a tremendous contribution to promoting Azerbaijan's cultural values and musical traditions worldwide.

"The festival has a plentiful program; various pieces of music are performed during the concerts twice a day. For that reason, the concert will be memorable for a long period of time," Badalbayli said.

Badalbayli added that listeners of symphonic and chamber music as well as Mugham perceive these pieces of art to be in harmony with nature.

According to the director of Azerbaijan State Philharmonic, honorary artist Murad Adigozalzadeh, a multitude of nations taking part in the festival shows it has become a wonderful tradition and each year increases its international value, broadens cultural ties and enhances multinational confidence.

The artistic director of the State Choral Chapel Gulbaji Imanova said the Gabala festival has turned into "a traditional art holiday" in the region.

"The special artistic atmosphere reigns here in Gabala. Foreigners get acquainted with the country's achievements, history, culture and tradition of Azerbaijani people...It's special pleasure that not only those familiar with classic music, but also local people who are unfamiliar with such kind of music came to the concerts," Imanova added.

Tribute to Azeri music legends

The festival opened with a party dedicated to the 70-year birthday anniversary of famous Azerbaijani composer and singer Muslim Magomayev.

Moreover, the 90-year anniversary of magnificent Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov and 100-year jubilee of world-famous maestro Niyazi were celebrated.

"Muslim Magomayev's memory is honored not only in Baku and Moscow, but also around the world," Magomayev's spouse, People's Actress of USSR Tamara Sinyavskaya said at a press conference held on July 23 in Baku.

"Such events vitalize me," said Sinyavskaya. "It is my first trip to the picturesque region of Gabala. I enjoyed the concert dedicated to Muslim very much."

During the party Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev delivered a speech about Magomayev's life and fruitful career.

Festival captivates more and more people

Dmitry Yablonsky, an outstanding cellist of the USA and Russia, who gave a concert in Gabala on July 30, praised the high-level organization of the music festival.

During the festival, which will last 13 days, music lovers enjoy interesting concerts and performances by many glorified musical bands of the world, Yablonsky, the conductor of the State Symphonic Orchestra Novaya Rossiya and one of the festival's art directors, told AzerTAc.

"Along with that the Gabala festival acquaints foreign guests with Azerbaijani culture, and also directly acquaints numerous local music lovers with classical works of world-famous composers and known musicians.

"One concert differs from another. Arrival here daily of an audience of about 1,000 people from Baku, Gabala and adjacent areas, including foreign citizens, testifies to a high interest of the people in this festival," Yablonsky said.

He said that the program of the festival in comparison with previous events is much more abundant, and among participants and guests there are popular musical groups and world art masters.

Exciting performances

The festival started with a concert of the Symphonic Orchestra named after Uzeyir Hajibayli conducted by Rauf Abdullayev and Azad Aliyev. The anniversary of Fikret Amirov, a prominent Azerbaijani composer of the Soviet period, was celebrated on July 26. Also, a concert of the Orchestra of Baku Music Academy took place, featuring performances by Yegana Akhundova, Murad Huseynov and Murad Adigozalzadeh. The 100-year anniversary of maestro Niyazi was marked on July 29.

Concerts of Farhad Badalbayli, Murad Adigozalzadeh and Dmitry Yablonsky were held on July 30. A concert of Yuri Bashmet will be held on August 1, and a concert of Boris Berezovsky on August 2. UK's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is scheduled to give concerts on July 31 and August 3. Charles Dutoit, Lisa de la Salle and Michal Nesterowicz will also perform at the concerts. The festival will end with the performances of Murad Adigozalzadeh, Farhad Badalbayli and Teymur Suleymanbayli on August 5.