Azerbaijan International

Summer 1996 (4.2)
Page 76

Music in the Air
Friends Foundation Sponsors Music Programs

Music was in the air this spring as the FRIENDS of Azerbaijan Culture Foundation (Azerbaijan Madaniyyatinin Dostlari) continued their work supporting young Azeri artists and performers with an exciting program of musical events.

Left: From the "Conductor Series" by Elturan. Courtesy of the Artist.

April 12: The "Baku and Jazz" Concert was an outstanding success. The Amoco Foundation presented the Foundation of FRIENDS with a $15 thousand check to help foster the continuance of musical and artistic events in the city.

Azerbaijan's First Organ Music Contest took place in Baku on April 27th and cash awards were given to the best performers. It was jointly sponsored by FRIENDS, the Music Academy and AIOC (Azerbaijan International Operating Company) who is sponsoring "The Musician of the Year" award.

May 3: Our First Anniversary was celebrated with a concert at the Absheron Hotel. Many of the performers were Board Members who played alongside some of the "up and coming" young Azeri musicians. Special features were Vladimir Persan who played Classical Guitar and Ruslan Agababayev who played jazz piano.

Photo: Nargiz Jafarova, 12, performs Handel's "Passacaglia for Piano and Orchestra." She is accompanied by the Gara Garayev State Chamber Orchestra.

May 4: Piano Competition for the students at Bul Bul Music School, Baku's famous School for Music Performance. There were three age categories. Again, there were cash awards and the grand prize winner was invited to play for President Aliyev at his birthday celebration May 10.

May 5: An Historical "Kirke" Concert was held at the Lutheran Church ("Kirke"), identical to one performed in 1913 exactly 83 years on the same day. The 1996 Concert was sponsored by FRIENDS but the earlier concert was believed to have been made possible by some of the famous Oil Barons such as Taghiyev, the Nobel Brothers and others, some of whom were supposedly parishioners of the church. The Lutheran Church at the time was the place where numerous Organ and Chamber Music Concerts were performed.

The idea for the concert developed when someone found a program from 1913 along with the sheet music for organ, cello, violin and voice. The program indicates how cosmopolitan the community was in the early part of the century as it included selections by composers of various nationalities; for example, German (Bach, Fitzenhauer and Bruch), Norwegian (Shelderup and Swenson), Church Music composer (Popper) and Russian (Glazunov).

May 10: President Heydar Aliyev's Birthday Celebration took place at Behbudov's Song Theater. The concert included performances by both Russian and Azeri children. And included compositions by Beethoven, Chopin , Scriabin, Bernstein, Malikov, Bellinia and Saint-Saëns performed on piano, cello, violin and voice. FRIENDS co-sponsored the event along with the International Charity Foundation ("New Names") and "Businessmen for Young Azeri Talent".

AIOC sponsored a Piano Competition in May. While AIOC is handling the prizes for the winners, FRIENDS has undertaken to award the teachers of each winner with $50. Winners always receive something but teachers are usually left out-but not this time.

FRIENDS invites readers of Azerbaijan International to participate and help foster the arts in Azerbaijan. The Foundation actively sponsors Azerbaijan's visual and performing arts community and is dedicated to the preservation of Azerbaijani culture. For more information, contact Anne Kauzlarich at the U.S. Embassy (Fax: 99412-98-37-55 or e-mail ( Annual private membership $10 (inactive) or $50 (active); $1,000 or more (business). Checks may be deposited directly into a US account. Request details.

From Azerbaijan International (4.2) Summer 1996
© Azerbaijan International 1996. All Rights Reserved.

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