By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The memory of maestro Niyazi, who was the USSR People's Artist, laureate of State Prizes of Azerbaijan and the USSR, has been honored in Baku.
Culture and art workers, Azerbaijan State Museum of Musical Culture employees, as well as those of its branch, the Niyazi House Museum, visited the Alley of Honor in Baku to pay respects to Niyazi.
Then, an event dedicated to the 107th birthday of the maestro was held at the Niyazi House Museum.
The guests spoke at the evening about the life and career of the maestro, his merits in the development of the musical culture of Azerbaijan. It was noted that Niyazi devoted his life to Azerbaijani music, enrichment and development of Azerbaijani musical culture.
The event participants were presented with a slideshow prepared on the basis of archive materials from various museums, as well as videos of concerts led by maestro Niyazi.
Niyazi was born on August 20, 1912, in Tbilisi in the family of the famous composer and theatrical figure Zulfugar Hajibeyli – brother of Uzeyir Hajibeyli, founder of Azerbaijani classical music.
Niyazi, who was a descendant of the famous musical dynasty, became the first Azerbaijani professional conductor to receive worldwide recognition. The formation and development of the Azerbaijani conducting school is associated with his name.
Accompanied by orchestras under Niyazi’s direction, Bulbul, Rashid Behbudov, Muslim Magomayev, Lutfiyar Imanov and other outstanding performers shone on the stage.
Niyazi became the USSR People's Artist on June 9, 1959, for his successful performances as a conductor in numerous European and Asian countries. In addition, he was awarded the USSR State Prize and the International Nehru Award in India for writing the “Chitra” ballet based on the famous Indian philosopher R. Tagore's philosophical drama "Chitranga".
This ballet was successfully shown in many countries. In the ballet, Niyazi used the rhythms and intonations of Indian folk music and timbrels that resemble the sound of Indian musical instruments in orchestration.
Niyazi is the author of many articles on the problems of performing Azerbaijani music. He was also a member of the editorial board of the Azerbaijani Soviet Encyclopedia.
In 1979, Niyazi was appointed director of the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall.
Maestro Niyazi died on August 2, 1984, in Baku. He was laid to rest in the Alley of Honor in the capital.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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