By Laman Ismayilova
Breathtaking music filled up every corner of Shusha city known as Azerbaijan's cultural capital.
After 29 years, Khari Bulbul Music Festival once again welcomed talented musicians in Shusha.
The spectacular event was held for the first time since the liberation of Shusha from the Armenian occupation.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, their daughters Leyla Aliyeva and Arzu Aliyeva attended the festival.
Khari Bulbul Music Festival began with the performance of young khanende (mugham singer) Kanan Bayramli. Bayati Shiraz mugham was performed at the concert.
On the first day, the audience was also delighted by the music compositions of different peoples living in Azerbaijan.
The concert themed "Multiculturalism in Azerbaijani music" conveyed the message to the whole world that everyone, regardless of nationality or religion, has a single homeland.
Next day, People's Artists Rauf Abdullayev, Yalchin Adigozalov, Honored Artist Fuad Ibrahimov and the Uzeyir Hajibayli Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Murtuza Bulbul, the Azerbaijan State Choir Capella under the artistic direction of People's Artist Gulbaji Imanova. Also featuring in the concert were works by Uzeyir Hajibayli, Fikrat Amirov, Gara Garayev, Alakbar Taghiyev, Muslim Magomayev, Niyazi, Tofig Guliyev, Vasif Adigozalov and many others thrilled the audience with stunning performances.
People's Artists Alim Gasimov, Azerin, Dinara Aliyeva, Elchin Azizov, Alikhan Samadov, Farhad Badalbayli, Mansum Ibrahimov, Murad Adigozalzade, Natig Shirinov, Polad Bulbuloglu, Samir Jafarov, Teyyub Aslanov, Yusif Eyvazov, Honored Artists Fargana Gasimova, Miralam Miralamov, Sahib Pashazade, Shahriyar Imanov, Shirzad Fataliyev also left no one indifferent.
A video featuring words of Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev was screened at the festival.
"I want to go to Shusha together with you. We will go there, believe me we will. Shusha is the pupil of the eye for Azerbaijan, a source of pride for every Azerbaijani. Shusha is a symbol of our culture and history. Shusha is dear to everyone. But Shusha is not alone – the mountains of Lachin are also very dear. We can never live without Lachin. A beautiful city such as Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadli, the springs of Kalbajar, that hot water spring of Kalbajar. We cannot live without them," said in the video.
The video footage of the statement made by the Commander-in-Chief, President Ilham Aliyev after the liberation of Shusha city on November 8, 2020 was also shown as part of the festival.
"I am happy to have fulfilled my father's will. We have liberated Shusha! This is a great victory! The souls of our martyrs and of the Great Leader are happy today! Let your eyes be clear, Azerbaijan! Let your eyes be clear, Azerbaijanis of the world! Dear Shusha, you are free! Dear Shusha, we are back! Dear Shusha, we will revive you! Shusha is ours! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!," the statement said.
After the concert, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva met with the artists participating in the festival.
Khari Bulbul music festival used to be held in Shusha every year before the city’s occupation by Armenian forces in 1992. The festival resumed after Shusha’s liberation on November 8, 2020.
The large-scale event gets its name from the flower Khari Bulbul which grows only in Shusha.
This flower has a unique appearance which makes it look like a nightingale or bulbul in Azerbaijani.
The word "Khari" means "thorny". Two petals of the flower resemble wings, while another one looks like a bird's head. Many legends, poems and songs are associated with this beautiful flower.
The festival was held for the first time in 1989, bringing together musicians from Japan, the USA, Turkey, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain and other countries.
The opening ceremony took place at the stadium in Aghdam. The gala event featured spectacular concerts and performances in Jydyr Duzu, Isa Bulag spring as well as the streets and squares of Shusha city. Scientific and theoretical discussions were held as part of the event.
The festival's guests also visited the sights of Karabakh, beautiful nature surrounded by amazing mountains, participated in various events, accompanied by performances of musical and dance ensembles.
The festival's closing ceremony took place in Agdam, near the spring garden of the poetess Khurshidbanu Natavan, called "Bouquet of Khari Bulbul". The concert programs were also held in Agjabadi, Barda and Baku.
The 4th Khari Bulbul Music Festival was supposed to gather musicians from more than 30 countries.
However, the city was captured by Armenia on May 8, 1992. Shusha was liberated by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on November 8, 2020.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz