Spring 2001 (9.1)
Gasimov's Latest Concert in Tabriz
From March 3-15,
2001, Alim also had a very successful series of performances
in Tabriz, Iran. It was his first visit to this city, which boasts
the largest Azerbaijani population in what is often referred
to as Southern Azerbaijan. Tabriz is Iran's third largest city,
with a population of more than 2 million. For years, people in
Tabriz had been begging Alim to come and give a concert. The
only other performance that the mugham master had ever made in
Iran was at a festival in Tehran in 1993.
Originally Alim had intended to give five concerts in Tabriz,
but interest ran so high that ten concerts were scheduled, two
a day. The auditorium was packed each day. Although the auditorium
seats 700 people, more than 1,000 people attended each performance.
It became nearly impossible to get tickets for these sell-out
performances. Concerts were scheduled to last only one hour each,
but they usually lasted 1 1/2 to 2 hours and the final performance
was 2 1/2 hours long.
Reportedly, during Alim's rendition of the Azerbaijani folk song
"Sari Galin" (Yellow Bride), the concert organizers
had to pass out tissues because so many men and women in the
audience were emotionally touched and started crying. Since the
1960s, Azerbaijani music performances were discouraged. Only
recently has the government begun to allow Azerbaijanis to begin
performing publicly. Alim's daughter, Fargana, 21, who usually
performs with him, did not do so in Iran. Women are not allowed
to perform on stage as featured soloists when there are men in
When Alim was leaving the concert, fans surrounded the car. One
girl pushed her hand through the window, begging for Alim to
write his autograph on her hand. He didn't oblige, as it is against
Iranian rules for a man to sign a woman's hand.
For more about new trends related to Azerbaijani music in Iran,
see the article featuring Rahim Shahriyari in this issue.
(9.1) Spring 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2001. All rights reserved.
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Gasimov - Master of Mugham
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