Composer Gara Garayev's piece of music premiered in Istanbul [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
Gara Garayev's Military Symphony No. 1 (1943) has been performed for the first time in Istanbul, Turkiye.
The piece of music, written by Azerbaijan's prominent composer, was performed by the National Orchestra of the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall under the baton of Honored Artist Ayyub Guliyev.
At the concert in Istanbul, the orchestra also mesmerized listeners with excerpts from Gara Garayev's ballet "Seven Beauties" and Claude Debussy`s masterpiece "La Mer (The Sea)".
Spanish guitarist Marco Socias performed Joaquin Rodrigo's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra.
A press conference was held ahead of the concert. At the press conference, the principal conductor and musical director of the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theater, Ayyub Guliyev, the famous musicologist Nasir Antep, the artistic director of the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall, and the Turkish conductor Murat Cem Orhan spoke in detail about the history of the creation of the Gara Garayev's Military Symphony No. 1 (1943).
Throughout his life, Gara Garayev wrote nearly 110 pieces of music, including ballets, operas, symphonic and chamber pieces, solos for piano, cantatas, songs, and marches.
Garayev inherited his love of music from his parents. His father Abulfaz Garayev was a famous pediatrician in Baku. Abulfaz Garayev was known for his kindness and generosity. When patients were too poor to pay for treatment, he often left money under the prescription that he had written out for them.
He knew Azerbaijani folk music very well and loved to sing. Garayev's mother, Sona Khanim, was among the first graduates of the Music School, the Baku branch of the Russian Music Society.
At the age of eight, Garayev first entered the junior music school at the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire. His exceptional musical talent let him study simultaneously at two faculties at the conservatoire. His teachers were Georgi Sharoyev, Leonid Rudolf, and the prominent Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibayli.
In 1938, Garayev composed his first piece of music, 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 his teaching career at the Azerbaijani State Philharmonic Society.
In 1945, both he and Jovdat Hajiyev wrote the "Motherland" opera, for which they were awarded a prestigious Stalin Prize. At the age of 30, Garayev was again awarded this prize for his symphonic poem "Leyli and Majnun", based on the same-titled famous work by Nizami Ganjavi.
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 in Azerbaijan.
His ballet, "Path of Thunder", staged in 1958, was dedicated to racial conflicts in South Africa. In the same year, he wrote the music 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.
Today, Gara Garayev's music is performed all over the world. The memory of the great composer will always live in the hearts of the Azerbaijani people.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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