3rd International Mugham Festival “World of Mugham” kicks off in Baku

The 3rd International Mugham Festival “World of Mugham” was inaugurated at the Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku, May 9.

Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva attended the event.

Having opened the Festival, President of the International Festival Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony.

Address by Mehriban Aliyeva:

- Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, esteemed guests, dear friends.

Today we witness a very significant event in our city’s cultural life. The 3rd International Mugham Festival “World of Mugham” is inaugurated this evening. I would like, from the bottom of my heart, to welcome the participants of the Festival and all the guests coming to our country, and say “Welcome to Azerbaijan!”.

It is already the third time that the ancient art of mugham has brought together performers, masters, persons of art, scholars, music-lovers from various countries, and a nice music having no boundaries will unite us during the following ten days and bestow upon us pleasant moments.

This year, the inauguration of the Mugham Festival is held at the Heydar Aliyev Centre. This architectural monument itself looks like a music and arouses various feelings and imaginations in people. Some liken it to a sea wave, some to caravan of clouds, some to the strength of wind. This place is one of the symbols of Baku, comprising traditions and contemporaneity. This evening, nice mugham, the pearl of our cultural heritage, will be performed on this scene.

Dear Friends, during the Festivals, we will listen to famous masters of art and young performers.   Young people will participate in the mugham contest. Performances of masters of art will be sounded at the Baku International Mugham Centre, symphonic mughams and mugham operas at the Philharmonic Hall, the Opera and Ballet Theatre and other concert halls. The Baku Jazz Club will give us a chance to listen to the unique synthesis of mugham with jazz. Along with old traditions and history of Azerbaijan, capabilities of the modern art of performance will be shown. At the same time, we will witness how the mugham has affected in the 20th century all genres of our music culture. I’m hopeful the Festival program will show us colourful traditions and achievements of mugham schools of the countries being on a visit to Azerbaijan. The International Mugham Contest will discover new talents and contribute to better promotion of mugham both in our country and around the world, and its broader dissemination.

This Festival is distinguished by  a few novelties. The first novelty is that the mugham contest is held not only among khanendes (singers), but it will also cover instrumental art of mugham. Another novelty is that apprentices of music schools functioning almost inall  regions of our country will participate in this festival. They will perform along with famous khanendes, guests coming to our country, and, of course, this will be a matchless experience for young talents.

As opposed to those held in previous years, this year the festival will be held not only in Baku, but also in Nakhchyvan, Ganja, Lankaran, Gabala, Shamakhy, Shirvan and other cities and districts of the country.

There is increased interest in mugham around the world. This is attested to by the number of countries participating in the festival. 24 countries have joined the festival. Numerous experts and scholars coming from around the world will participate in the symposium to be held  within the framework of the Festival.

Dear Friends, the greatest wealth of each country is its cultural heritage. Azerbaijan is a country with ancient history and culture. Our cultural image, language, literature, poetry and music have centuries-long preserved us as a nation. And mugham is a true pearl of art. It is no coincidence that the Azerbaijani mugham has been entered on UNESCO’s List of Masterpieces of Cultural Heritage of Humanity  and, in addition, Azerbaijan’s tar and the art playing tar is also in this List. This is a sign of attention and care shown towards our cultural heritage and preservation of our cultural heritage on a world scale.

Dear Friends! You apparently know that the Festival is organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Since the first days of its activity, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has been showing special attention towards preservation of our cultural heritage. We have been developing and implementing a number of events in this sphere. Among them may be noted the Gabala Music Festival, as well as festivals named after Rostropovich, Gara Garayev and Uzeir Hajibeyli. Of course,  the most important one is the International Mugham Festival. I would like to thank everyone, who has contributed to the organization of the Festival. Today, I would like to welcome our famous masters of art and express them my respect and esteem. You are our coryphaeus, you are keeping mugham alive, raising new talents. I would like to wish you sound health and long life.

Dear Friends! In conclusion, I would like to congratulate all of you on the upcoming Novruz Bayram. I wish every success to the participants of the Festival, and us, very pleasant moments.

And now, I declare the 3rd International Mugham Festival “World of Mugham” open. Thank you very much.