London hosts life celebration concert for Fiona Maclachlan, a great friend of Azerbaijan

Baku: St. James’s Church Piccadilly, London hosted a concert to celebrate the life of Fiona Maclachlan, a great supporter of Azerbaijan, who died a year ago.

Held amidst the impressive historic surroundings of St. James’s Church Piccadilly, London, the evening featured leading conductor and cellist Dmitry Yablonsky, alongside composer, educator and pianist Farhad Badalbeyli, Rector of Baku Music Academy – co-directors of the annual Gaala International Music Festival in Azerbaijan, TEAS told APA.

Arabic and Jewish musicians led by Israeli violinist Janna Gandelman joined the concert. The event, attended by 300 family members, friends of Fiona and of Azerbaijan, was organized by The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) and a retiring collection was made in aid of Cancer Research UK, TEAS told APA.

Alastair Maclachlan, husband of Fiona, whose work brought her to Azerbaijan in 2004, recalled: “This is the kind of evening that Fiona would have enjoyed. She loved to be with family, old friends and new friends, but most of all she loved to extol the wonders of Azerbaijan – particularly the music, heritage and culture that has come out from this marvelous country. This concert was suggested by Dmitry and Farhad, and I am grateful to them and TEAS for organizing it.”

Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, stated: “Tonight’s event is dedicated to memories of Fiona, our much-missed former colleague. She was a great advocate of Azerbaijan. She loved the people, the countryside, the ecology, and the country generally. Fiona’s enthusiasm for the country extended to its music, and we are honored that tonight’s concert will feature performances by Dmitry and Farhad, both of whom were close personal friends of Fiona.”

Dmitry Yablonsky commented: “Fiona was, and is, my friend. She probably knew more about Azerbaijan than anyone else, due to her extensive research and travels in the country. She was a remarkable woman and is in my heart every day.”

SOURCE: AZERI-PRESS NEWS AGENCY

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