By Amina Nazarli
The Gabala Music Festival is distinctive both for the atmosphere and the destination that form the backdrop.
The Festival traditionally held in Gabala, a majestic part of Azerbaijan, has already turned into a modern pilgrimage, attracting visitors from all over the world to celebrate the world music and culture.
From classical music to contemporary, workshops to huge concerts, Gabala is where you will see the best musicians in the world showcasing their talents.
The Gabala Music Festival has already occupied a place among the best for its broad program and musicians it brings together. Each day of this festival, which takes place in the pleasant Azerbaijani summer, starts in the evening. The nocturnal programme combined with a big crowd spurs the holiday atmosphere.
The 9th edition of the international music festival, bringing together talented musicians from around the world each year, opened on July 29. The festival is organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in partnership with the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Gilan Holding.
A message of greetings by First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO goodwill ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva to the festival participants was read out at the official opening ceremony on July 30.
Greeting the guests, Mehriban Aliyeva wished success to the festival participants and musicians.
“Azerbaijan, which for centuries has contributed to the development of inter-civilization dialogue, historically sought to strengthen the unity between peoples. Every project that enhances the effectiveness of cultural and spiritual integration is very valuable for us. International events of recent years in our country, reaffirming that the fundamental principles of Azerbaijan are peace and humanism, bring together representatives of all peoples, regardless of language, religion or ethnicity,” she said.
Mehriban Aliyeva further added that it is gratifying that the Gabala International Music Festival, whose authority is growing every year, is recognized as one of the important events that make a great contribution to the intercultural dialogue.
“This festival of friendship and music, in which numerous musicians from various countries participate, popularizing Azerbaijan in the world as one of the successful models of multiculturalism and tolerance, and creating favorable conditions for communication and cooperation of musicians representing different countries, contributes to the strengthening of the inter-civilization dialogue,” she said.
The grand opening ceremony then featured performance of the Symphony Orchestra of Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.
The main part of the festival is being held in Gabala’s Heydar Aliyev Congress Center, in the open air, from where the guests can contemplate the stunning panorama of the Caucasus Mountains, which is giving the event even more lyrical mood.
This year, the open-air stage set out outside the Heydar Aliyev Congress Center will host famous musicians from Russia, U.S., Israel, Italy, Lithuania and Slovenia. Moreover, during six days the guests of the festival will be able to enjoy the performance of the chamber orchestra of the Baku Musical Academy named after Uzeyir Hajibeyli, the symphonic orchestra of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, the British Chamber Orchestra "Femusa" and other local and foreign music ensembles.
The works of brilliant Azerbaijani and foreign composers are performed on the Gabala stage.
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