Baku to commemorate great composer Niyazi

By: Victoria Moiseyeva

August 20 marks the 30th death anniversary of Niyazi Tagizade-Hajibeyov, who was a prominent Soviet and Azerbaijani composer.

Several events will be held on this occasion in Baku, including Open Doors day at his home-museum.

Visitors will be informed about the life and works of the prominent composer in Niyazi’s house-museum. Meanwhile, some films would be displayed about the maestro and record of ballet to the music of the famous Niyazi symphonic Mugham “Rast”.

Also the maestro will be commemorated in the Alley of Honor.

Niyazi was the first musician who promoted the opera, ballet and symphonic works of many Azerbaijani composers – Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Muslim Magomayev, Gara Garayev, Fikrat Amirov, Arif Malikov and others. He was also the first Azerbaijani conductor to gain international recognition.

Niyazi was born in Tbilisi in an extraordinarily musical family in 1912. He was surrounded by some of Azerbaijan’s greatest musicians. His father, Zulfugar Hajibeyov was one of the founders of the Musical Theater in Azerbaijan.

Uzeyir Hajibeyov, the founder of Azerbaijan’s classical movement, was Niyazi’s uncle. Hajibeyov made him familiar with Azerbaijani folk music, Western opera and symphonic works.

Niyazi wrote the opera “Khosrow and Shirin” (1942). His ballet “Chitra” (1971), based on an Indian motif, won the international Nehru Prize in 1974.

Among his symphonic works, his favorite was the Mugham “Rast” (1956). “Rast” achieved worldwide popularity. It was included in the repertoire of many symphony orchestras around the world.

His repertoire was not confined to Azerbaijani composers. He also used to perform many of the world’s classics as well as conduct world-famous orchestras.

Niyazi’s incredible ability as a conductor was innate.

He conducted with distinguished musicians such as Sviatoslav Richter, Heinrich Neuhaus, David and Mstislav Rostropovich. Niyazi’s friends included many great musicians like Evgeny Svetlanov, Dmitri Shostakovich and Dmitri Kabalevski.

Niyazi died on August 2, 1984 in Baku and was buried in the Alley of Honor.

Azerbaijan has lost many musical giants such as Gara Garayev, Fikrat Amirov, Rashid Behbudov.

These gifted people can never be replaced. Niyazi was certainly one of the greatest men of Azerbaijan.