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Baku to host Uzeyir Hajibayli International Music Festival

24 August 2016 17:51 (UTC+04:00)
Baku to host Uzeyir Hajibayli International Music Festival

By Laman Ismayilova

The 8th Uzeyir Hajibeyli International Music Festival will kick off in Baku on September 18.

The ten-day festival is co-organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Azertac reported.

Local and foreign musicians will perform Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s and other composers’ works at Baku Organ and Chamber Music Hall of the Muslim Magomayev Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall, Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, Azerbaijan Composers' Union and Baku Music Academy.

The Uzeyir Hajibeyli International Music Festival is traditionally held in September, since 2009, in Azerbaijan.

Musical events are held in several cities of Azerbaijan, and the main ceremonies take place in Baku.

Since 1995, September 18, the birthday of legendary composer is celebrated as National Music Day in Azerbaijan. It was decided to hold the International Music Festival devoted to creativity of Azerbaijani composer.

Musicians from other countries participate at the festival side-by-side with Azerbaijani musicians. Performances made on the basis of Hajibeyli's compositions as well as scientific conferences called upon to learn Hajibeyli's creative heritage are organized besides concerts.

Born in 1885 in the heart of the ancient Azerbaijani Khanate of Karabakh -- Shusha -- Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s outstanding musical talent started a revolution in the Azerbaijani musical timeline.

His unique synthesis of Oriental and Western music significantly promoted the classical music traditions in the East and opened a page of classical music patterns.

History recognizes Hajibeyli as an innovator as well as the first to establish a professional music school and Orchestra for Traditional Folk Instruments, to compose the Muslim world’s first opera and operetta, to introduce a woman on stage, to write the country’s national anthem (which is the official anthem of Azerbaijan today), to be awarded the highest artistic title of the Soviet Union.

The idea of the Azerbaijani opera was born in the heart of Uzeyir at age 13, when he watched a dramatization of the story of Majnun at Leyli's Tombstone in Shusha.

Remembering the occasion, Hajibeyli wrote, "That performance affected me so much that when I came to Baku years later, I decided to write something like that."

The 22 year-old Hajibeyli eventually accomplished a brilliant feat of music, composing the first opera of the Muslim East based on the story of Leyli and Majnun. A Romeo & Juliet-esque story of love that premiered in 1908, the opera was set to poetic verses by the 12th century poet Nizami and later by 16th century poet Fuzuli.

Leyli and Majnun laid the foundations of mugham opera and national opera in general.

The "Koroghlu" opera is truly the best example of the composer’s creativity; an original masterpiece in which he has expressed in the musical form ideas that excited him like the heroics of the famed Koroghlu himself. This opera won love of all Azerbaijani people in a short time and marked a new stage in development of the Azerbaijan art.

“Koroghlu" is a national folk product in which the composer managed to very realistically portray the people’s struggle for freedom and independence and create bright and historically truthful national images.

"Arshin Mal Alan" or The Cloth Peddler was the latest and one of the most popular operettas of the eminent composer. The comedic and romantic operetta premiered in Azerbaijan in 1913, thus becoming the first operetta in the entire Muslim world.

Written in 1910, “If not this one, that one” was the composer’s second musical comedy.

It is considered one of the most courageous and principled works in theater arts of pre-revolutionary Azerbaijan, where Hajibeyli was able to show the social and domestic conflicts in Azerbaijan in the 19-20th centuries.

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Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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