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Uzeyir Hajibeyov


Uzeyir bey Abdul Hussein oglu Hajibeyov - was an Azerbaijani and Soviet composer, conductor, scientist, publicist, playwright, teacher, translator, and social figure. He is recognized as the father of Azerbaijani classical music and opera. Uzeyir Hajibeyov composed music for the national anthem of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (also the anthem of the modern Republic of Azerbaijan) as well as the state anthem of Azerbaijan SSR.

Uzeyir Hajibeyov was born in Agjabadi in the Elisabethpol Governorate of the Russian Empire, which is now part of Azerbaijan.

In 1908, he wrote the first Azeri opera, named "Leyli And Majnun" based on the tragic love story.

In contrast to Sheikh Sanan, Hajibeyov's operas Rustam and Sohrab (1910), Asli and Karam (1912), Shah Abbas and Khurshudbanu (1912), and Harun and Leyli (1915) were entirely based on Azeri folk music elements, primarily mugham.

In October 2006, the musical comedy Arshin Mal Alan ("The Cloth Peddler") by Uzeyir Hajibeyov, written in 1913, was announced to be performed on western stages for the first time.

One of Hajibeyov's greatest legacies was bringing forward the idea of establishing a professional music school. Hence the Baku Academy of Music (known then as the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire), was founded in 1920 and named after Hajibeyov after his death. The school has trained Azerbaijan's finest composers such as Gara Garayev, Fikrat Amirov, Jovdat Hajiyev, Soltan Hajibeyov, Tofig Guliyev, and Vagif Mustafazade. His statue "sits" in front of this grand building that is still devoted to the synthesizing Eastern and Western musical traditions.