BBC radio to cover Azerbaijani folk singer's concert
By Nigar Orujova
A BBC Radio 3 team recently visited Azerbaijan in connection with the concert of Azerbaijani mugham (folk music) singer Gochag Asgarov and his student Fidan Hajiyeva due in the Royal Albert Hall in London on August 22.
The team included Lucy Duran, James Parkin and Melanie Axon.
The concert is a joint initiative of the Royal Albert Hall, BBC 3 and expert of UNESCO and musicologist Sanubar Bagirova.
The August event will be the second joint concert of Asgarov and Hajiyeva in London.
Asgarov said that the BBC team will return to Azerbaijan in May. After all the rehearsals and preparations, the joint concert at the Royal Albert Hall will be covered by the BBC and other media.
According to Asgarov, Fidan is studing in the SOAS University of London. She will take part in the master classes by Alim Gasimov, Arif Babayev, Zabita Nabizadeh, Gulyaz and Gulyanag Mammadovs. The master classes will then continue in Shamakhi city with the participation of Alim Gasimov and his daughter Fargana Gasimova. The master classes will also be highlighted by the BBC.
In January 2012, performances by prominent Azerbaijani mugham singers Alim Gasimov, Fargana Gasimova and Gochag Asgarov were included in a BBC Radio 3 CD.
Also, the performance of Asgarov was included in the well-known Taste of East CD by organizers of the World Music Expo festival -- an international world music support and development project.
Azerbaijan's traditional folk music, mugham, began to enter world cultural heritage at the beginning of the last century.
In 2003, UNESCO recognized mugham as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Vocal-instrumental varieties of such compositions are performed by a group of musicians, consisting of a singer - khanende, playing on a gaval (percussion instrument), and stringed musical instruments tar and kemancha.
The mugham, whose roots go far back into history, is regarded as a pearl of Azerbaijani musical art and is frequently applied music among singers and bands all over the world.