By Laman Ismayilova
The 11th Uzeyir Hajibeyli International Music Festival is a magnet for music lovers around the world. The festival is dedicated to the birth anniversary of Hajibeyli who is considered to be the father of Azerbaijan’s classical music.
The music festival opened in the Philarmonic Hall on 18 September and brought together world-famous musicians from Russia, China, Turkey, the U.S., Italy, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Georgia to mark the birth anniversary of the father of the Azerbaijani classical music, Trend Life reported.
First Vice-President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva has made an Instagram post on the occasion of the National Music Day.
"Today is the National Music Day. The founder of the composer school of Azerbaijan, great composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli was born on September 18, 1885. On the same day of the same year with him, prominent member of the Azerbaijani music culture, great composer Muslim Magomayev was born. We hold both our great personalities in considerable respect," she said.
Among the honored guests were head of the humanitarian policy department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Farah Aliyev, the Minister of Culture Abulfas Garayev, prominent public figures, famous figures of culture and science, representatives of the creative intelligentsia and youth.
Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra pleased the audience at the Philharmonic Hall. The orchestra was conducted by People’s Artist Rauf Abdullayev, Russian violinist Sergey Dogadin was the soloist of the evening.
The gala concert featured Uzeyir Hajibeyli`s Overture to the Koroghlu opera, Arif Melikov`s Symphony no. 6 'Contrasts' and Jean Sibelius`s Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47.
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. He was the very musician to introduce an extraordinary innovation in the nation's music culture, to constantly refresh it, and adjust to modern tastes. He was a founder of an opera genre not only in Azerbaijan, but the East and created the first Muslim opera in the Islamic world.
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.
The unique composer was brave enough to explore blending two incompatibly different cultures at root and achieve an unprecedented synthesis.
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.
Through his music as well as work as a journalist, teacher, and translator, Hajibeyli played a vital role in the fight against illiteracy and helped usher in a cultural shift, launching a period of enlightenment that transcended Azerbaijan’s borders and reached many others in the Eurasia region.
"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.
The operetta become one of the most well-known and dearly-loved stories among Azerbaijanis. The operetta has been successfully performed in a plethora of languages in over 60 countries of the world, including in U.S, Austria, France, China, Greece, India, Russia, and Turkey.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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