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Outstanding composer that leaves lasting music legacy [PHOTOS]

5 February 2024 16:12 (UTC+04:00)
Outstanding composer that leaves lasting music legacy [PHOTOS]
Laman Ismayilova
Laman Ismayilova
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Azerbaijan's outstanding composer Gara Garayev left an indelible mark on the national music and culture.

Gara Garayev's music was groundbreaking, pushing the boundaries of classical composition.

February 5 marks the 106th anniversary of the birth of the prominent composer and teacher Gara Garayev.

Having synthesized Eastern and Western musical traditions, his works cover essentially all genres. At the age of eight, Garayev first entered the junior music school at the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire.

Thanks to his exceptional musical talents, the composer studied simultaneously in two faculties at the conservatoire. His music teachers were Georgi Sharoyev, Leonid Rudolf, and the prominent Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibayli.

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. The composer was only 20 years old at the time.

Garayev returned to Baku in 1941. He began teaching students at Azerbaijan 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 of 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 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.

Gara Garayev's masterpieces are performed all over the world.

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Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @lmntypewriterrr

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Outstanding composer that leaves lasting music legacy [PHOTOS] - Gallery Image
Outstanding composer that leaves lasting music legacy [PHOTOS] - Gallery Image
Outstanding composer that leaves lasting music legacy [PHOTOS] - Gallery Image
Outstanding composer that leaves lasting music legacy [PHOTOS] - Gallery Image
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