18 June 2019

75th birthday of Azerbaijani composer

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Today would have been the 75th birthday of Azerbaijani composer, pianist and founder of the jazz-mugam genre, Vagif Mustafazadeh.

Vagif Mustafazadeh (also written Vaqif Mustafazade) was born in Baku on 16 March 1940.

He was known for his virtuoso technique and unique use of harmonies. He was the first musician to use elements of Azerbaijani traditional music, mugam, in jazz.

Mustafazadeh wrote one of his most famous compositions, `Farewell` in 1972. The song became popular in Azerbaijan and abroad.

He died of a heart attack in Tashkent while performing the composition `Waiting for Aziza` on 16 December 1979. He was 39 years old.

His daughter, pianist and composer Aziza Mustafazadeh, is to perform at a concert to mark the anniversary this evening.

She said of her father in an interview with APA news agency, `The true hero dies in battle. People appreciate him now, though it is late. As the saying goes, better late than never. The people always loved Vagif. Sometimes innovators are not appreciated in their own time. It is not chance that my father died on stage. Throughout history extraordinarily talented people have not been appreciated fully. Once world-famous Bach, Mozart, Chopin were not appreciated. Such people always suffered. Even that’s why they die suddenly. Despite all this, we should be grateful to the people. My father is not alive, but his works live in their hearts. I think they will live for a long time.

`I am glad that the Azerbaijani people are able to appreciate Vagif Mustafazadeh. It is not chance that Heydar Aliyev did not forget my father’s work and said, “Give the green light to this handsome fellow from the Old City!” After this, attention and care for my father increased. Ilham Aliyev also listened and is now listening to my father’s works. If he had not been interested in my father’s work, the head of state would not have ordered that his anniversary be marked at the highest level.`

2016.03.16 / 16:46
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