President Aliyev unveils Garayev monument

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva took part in an event held in Baku to unveil a monument to the great Azerbajiani composer Gara Garayev, azernews.az reports. 

The 3-meters high-monument was made by People\'s Artist Fazil Najafov.

President Aliyev made a speech at the ceremony. Other speakers included Rector of the Baku Music Academy, People\'s Artist 

Farkhad Badalbeyli, Chairman of Azerbaijani Writers\' Union, People\'s Writer Anar, Gara Garayev\'s student and composer Arif Malikov. The speakers talke about Garayev\'s contribution to Azerbaijani music and shared their memories about him. They also expressed their gratitude to the head of state for his attention to the development of the Azerbaijani music.

The composer\'s son, professor of the Moscow State Conservatory, Faraj Garayev thanked the president on behalf of his family for attending the event.

Then, President Aliyev unveiled the monument and together with Mehriban Aliyeva laid flowers at its foot.

Moreover, an event to mark the 96th anniversary of the legendary composer\'s birthday will be held at Niyazi Home Museum under the State Musical Culture Museum of Azerbaijan on February 5.

Gara Garayev, one of those great composers who enriched the Azerbaijani music with his immense legacy, is the author of 

nearly 110 pieces, including ballets, operas, symphonic and chamber pieces, piano solos, cantatas, songs and marches. Many consider Garayev second composer of the country next only to Uzeyir Hajibeyov, the father of classical music in Azerbaijan, for his innovation in musical compositions.

Due to his musical talents, Garayev was allowed to enroll simultaneously in two faculties - he studied Piano with Prof. Georgi Sharoyev and Composition Theory with Prof. Leonid Rudolf in 1933.

Garayev spent several years for studying the origins of Azerbaijani folk music and went on expeditions to the mountainous regions of the country to record folk music. Since the early student days, Garayev juxtaposed features of mugham with jazz, blues, African music, European counterpoint styles and the developments related to the 20th century Western music such as the 12-tone technique.

The composer\'s first public performance was at \"Decade of Azerbaijan Art\" event celebrated at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. The festival program concluded \"The Song of the Heart\" the text of which had been written by Azerbaijani poet Rasul Rza. While studying at the Moscow State Conservatory, he and Jovdat Hajiyev won the Stalin prize for their opera \"Vatan\" (Motherland) in 1945. Later, Garayev won the prestigious Stalin prize - this time for his symphonic poem \"Leyli and Majnun,\" which is based on the work of Nizami Ganjavi, a 12th century Azerbaijani poet.

Garayev\'s \"Seven Beauties\" ballet was staged at the Azerbaijan Opera and Ballet Theater in 1952. Based on Nizami\'s famous poem, \"Seven Beauties\" became the first Azerbaijani ballet and opened a new chapter in the history of Azerbaijan\'s classical music.

Great composer\'s other famous ballet, \"Path of Thunder\", was dedicated to racial conflicts in South Africa.

Later, when Garayev become the rector of the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire he established new principles and was able to facilitate the development of Azerbaijan\'s composers school for many years. Garayev used to organize evening performances of symphonic works of modern jazz and mugham music where he invited some of the most talented musicians to educate the young musicians.

During his teaching career at the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire, Garayev tutored a number of prominent Azerbaijani musicians and composers.

Gara Garayev was one of the only two Soviet composers who attended the first International Los Angeles Music Festival held at UCLA where Franz Waxman conducted the Festival Symphony Orchestra with a suite from Garayev\'s Path of Thunder.


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