By Laman Ismayilova
A piano concert dedicated to an outstanding Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev will be held in Italy.
The concert is organized as part of the 8th Livorno International Music Festival to be held in Italy from August 21 to September 8.
Acclaimed pianist Olga Domninan will perform works by Gara Garayev, Dmitri Shostakovich and Faraj Garayev.
The Livorno Music Festival provides courses for interpretation and instrumental master classes with the purpose of bringing together young musicians from all over the world, allowing them close contact with some of the most important names in the international musical scene. Students and professors meet each other at classes, concerts, and thanks to an agreement with the Festival, they can also share lunches and dinners facilitating ideas, friendships, projects and cultural exchanges.
This year marks the 100th birthday anniversary of a legendary national composer Gara Garayev.
Having synthesized Eastern and Western musical traditions, his works cover essentially all genres. The works by the legend are performed all over the world.
He knew Azerbaijani folk music very well and loved to sing.
In 1938, Garayev composed his first musical piece, a cantata "The Song of the Heart" to the poem by Rasul Rza. It was performed in Moscow's Bolshoi Theater in the same year. He was only 20 years old at the time.
Garayev returned to Baku in 1941. He began teaching students at Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Society.
In 1952, under the direction of the choreographer P. A. Gusev, Garayev's "Seven Beauties" ballet was staged at the Azerbaijani Theater of Opera and Ballet. Based on Nizami Ganjavi's famous poem, "Seven Beauties", it became the first Azerbaijani ballet and opened a new chapter in the history of classical music of Azerbaijan.
His ballet, "Path of Thunder", staged in 1958, was dedicated to racial conflicts in South Africa. In the same year, he wrote the score for the documentary film" A Story About the Oil Workers of the Caspian Sea", directed by Roman Karmen and set at the Oil Rocks.
Through his life, Garayev wrote nearly 110 musical pieces, including ballets, operas, symphonic and chamber pieces, solos for piano, cantatas, songs and marches, and rose to prominence not only in Azerbaijan, but also worldwide.
He brilliantly juxtaposed features of Mugham with jazz, blues, African music, European counterpoint styles, and developments related to the 20th century Western music such as the 12-tone technique.
Garayev died on May 13, 1982 in Moscow at the age of 64.
The composer leaved behind a legacy of music that will be felt for generations to come. The memory of great composer will always live in the hearts of Azerbaijani people.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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