Los Angeles radio interviews Azerbaijan’s Consul General

On May 19, 2016 the LA Talk LIVE radio aired a full-hour program on Azerbaijan’s music, culture, history and literature. Hosted by famous musicians Ruslan Biryukov (Founder of the Glendale Philarmonic Orchestra) and Frank Fetta (Conductor of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra), the program’s main guest was Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev.

During the program, Consul General Aghayev informed the audience about Azerbaijan’s traditional and classical music. He noted that the first opera (Leyli and Majnun, 1908), operetta (Cloth Peddler, 1913) and ballet (Maiden Tower, 1940) of the Muslim world were all composed and staged in Azerbaijan.

Speaking of great Azerbaijani composers such as Uzeyir Hajibeyli, Qara Qarayev and Fikret Amirov, the diplomat highlighted the significance of their works for the world’s cultural heritage.

Stressing the importance attached by the Consulate General to making the Azerbaijani music more known in the U.S., the Consul General spoke of the U.S. premieres of Hajibeyli’s ‘Cloth Peddler’ operetta in Los Angeles in 2013 and Qarayev’s ‘Seven Beauties’ ballet in San Diego in 2014 - to the crowds of thousands of American spectators.

Highlighting Azerbaijan’s traditional music genre Mugham, which has been recognized by UNESCO as Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Aghayev mentioned that as a sign of tremendous musical value of this genre, NASA decided to make Azerbaijani Mugham a part of an exclusive collection of only 27 songs representing the world’s musical heritage to be sent to space on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977.

Speaking of Azerbaijan’s jazz music, the Consul General informed the listeners about Vagif Mustafazade, who was one of the most renowned jazz musicians of Azerbaijan. Aghayev also spoke about Azerbaijan’s long-standing traditions of multifaith harmony and multiculturalism, its ancient region of Karabakh, - which has produced so many famous Azerbaijani musicians, poets, writers and others, - as well as about Azerbaijan’s literature and its greatest representative Nizami Ganjavi, whose poem was used by Eric Clapton for his Grammy-winning song ‘Layla’.

The interview was accompanied by fragments of the works from the aforementioned musicians, as well as legendary singers such as Rashid Behbudov and Muslim Magomayev. The full versions of the compositions will be aired on May 26.

The video of the live interview can be watched here:

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