Grand international music festival draws to a close in Gabala

By Nazrin Gadimova
The fifth grand Gabala International Music Festival, organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which ushered in a new tradition in the history of the national musical culture of Azerbaijan, as well as plays an important role in the expansion of international cultural relations and promoting Azerbaijan's rich musical culture worldwide, ended on August 6.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, one of the art directors of the event, Principal of the Baku Music Academy, People's Artist Farhad Badalbeyli and Chairman of the Azerbaijan Elders Council Fattah Heydarov expressed their gratitude to President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva for the grand music festival, which was held over 14 days.
The traditional music festival, which brought together the world's famous musicians and music lovers from around the country, started on July 24. The Gabala stage hosted Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Bashmet and the Symphony Orchestra of New Russia, a jazz band from Cuba, Amos Talmon, Boris Berezovsky, Vadim Repin, Oksana Yablonskaya, Dmitry Yablonsky, Yoder Benjamin, Mirko Roverelli, Carmelo Corrado Caruso, Idil Biret, Nina Kogan, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Jean Koenig, Ayman Musahadzhaeva, Alexander Soloviev, Sergei Leiferkus, Muza Rubackyte, Hee Yong Choe, and Mikhail Gutman, as well as world-famous conductors, musicians and bands from Russia, Turkey, UK, USA, Italy, France, South Korea, Israel, Lithuania, Cuba, and Kazakhstan.
The festival featured such events as an open-air concert of the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra named after Uzeyir Hajibayli, numerous chamber music concerts, a concert dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi, a concert of Cuba`s Santiaguero jazz band, a party of chamber music dedicated to the memory of outstanding Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, as well as the "Viva opera!" concert of the winners of the International Competition named after Bulbul and numerous mugham events.
Also, famous artists from Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey performed works by Verdi, Puccini, Gara Garayev and Jovdet Hajiyev at the concert.
Performing as special guest of the Gabala International Music Festival was Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, which marks its 75th anniversary this year. The orchestra, led by renowned British conductor Jan Latham-Koenig, brought together the best musicians from all around the world.
Famous Israeli musician Amos Talmon hailed the organization of the festival, saying the event gained wide popularity across the world.
"The beautiful Gabala fascinated me. Conducting Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in such an amazing place is a great honor for any conductor," Talmon said.
Dmitry Yablonsky, a famous violinist and one of the art directors of the event, said the Gabala International Music Festival is great contribution to the development of culture worldwide.
"Apart from familiarizing the music lovers who gathered here with the best classical pieces, the Gabala festival also introduces the Azerbaijani culture to them," Yablonsky said. "This year we have a much more diverse concert program than in previous years. Each concert is unique."
The festival in Gabala has become well known far beyond Azerbaijan, as well as an important event in the cultural life of the world.
The geography of the international festival in Gabala is expanding year-on-year. The weather there does not present bad surprises, so, almost all the concerts and rehearsals are held in the open air.
In an interview with Euronews Dmitry Yablonsky said that the 400-year-old cello sounds especially good on the shore of a mountain lake and the beauty of these places and the music festival are related.
"When you rehearse in nature it gives you terrific inspiration. The nature of Azerbaijan is unique: there are 9 of the 11 climate zones. The local mountains rise 5,000 meters high. Even the stage was set in such a way that the mountains were seen by the musicians, not by the audience. At the stage we just enjoyed these amazing, wonderful mountains," Yablonsky said.

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