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Ageless baritone was the first to bring classical arias and songs to the Soviet stage

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“Magomayev had an incomparable voice, blending melody into his epic style that trembled any venue where he performed. Every song that he performed was a sample of high art. The singer not only had a divinely beautiful voice at every performance, but he also put a part of his soul into each song.” (Caption and Photo: azernews.az)

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Muslim Magomayev was born in Baku on August 17, 1942. Muslim Magomayev made Azerbaijan’s musical history as the country’s first world-famous baritone singer. Muslim composed his first melody on his grandfather’s piano when he was five years old and remembered it throughout his life. His rare voice impressed his teachers when he was eight years old. Muslim Magomayev, who began performing at the age of 14 in the sailors’ club, achieved his first success in 1962, returning with a medal from the VIII World Festival in Helsinki.

He was a soloist with the Azerbaijan State Opera and a Ballet Theater and trained at Milan’s world-renowned “La Scala” theater. He shared the roles of Figaro from “Barber of Seville” and Scarpia from “Tosca” with Enrico Pyatsa. In 1963, he gave his first solo concert at the P. Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow.

The subsequent work of Muslim Magomayev is related to Moscow. Songs for his voice have been written by prominent Russian composers. However, Azerbaijani music Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s romances “Sensiz,” “Sevgili canan,” and other works hold a special place in the singer’s repertoire.

At the age of 31, Muslim Magomayev received the honorary title of National Artist of the USSR. He received the highest honors bestowed upon the independent Republic of Azerbaijan, the “Shohrat” and “Istiklal” orders. The singer’s repertoire consists of approximately 600 works. The song “Azerbaijan,” written in the words of Azerbaijan’s People’s Poet Nabi Khazri, holds a special place in the work of Muslim Magomayev, who also dabbled in composition, and is still widely sung today.

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The name of the great artist, who has a unique and deserving place in Azerbaijan’s musical culture, is also included among the world stars and rare personalities. The singer’s concerts on various continents demonstrate the breadth of his creative geography. He performed in the world’s most famous concert halls and was the subject of numerous films. In the mid-1960s, Muslim became well-known in the Soviet Union and several other countries.

It’s no coincidence that the Big Theater’s management was desperate to get him to join their troupe. It got so bad that the USSR’s Minister of Culture, Ekaterina Furtseva, took Muslim under her protection.

One of Muslim’s greatest dreams was to study in Italy, and the Azerbaijan Opera and Ballet Theater sent young Muslim to “La Scala” theater to gain experience. He has been fascinated by the records of Italian classics such as Mattia Battistini, Enrico Caruso, Mario del Monaco, and Tinna Ruffo, from whom he took vocal lessons in absentia, since childhood. His youthful dreams have come true, and he has had the opportunity to learn from living legends such as Chenarro Barro and Enrico Piazza.

As a result, Muslim returns to Baku as a real Figaro and appears on stage in “The Barber of Seville.” His friendship and collaboration with the renowned pianist Rauf Atakishiyev pave the way for his continued success on this path. Every performance of “The Barber of Seville” is sold out, and Figaro – Muslim Magomayev is greeted with unprecedented enthusiasm by the Baku audience.

He composed music for the films of Eldar Guliyev. Later, the director carried out Gleb Drozdov’s orders. He wrote music for the play “Yaroslavna” based on motifs from “Igor Polk’s Epic.” In that play, he portrayed Prince Igor, and Tamara Sinyavskaya portrayed Yaroslavna.

Tofig Ismayilov directed a film concert about him called “Oxuyur Muslim Magomayev (Muslim Magomayev is singing)” in 1971. Muslim Magomayev, who managed to keep listeners’ love for many years, was awarded the USSR’s “Red Flag of Labor” and “Friendship of Peoples” orders, as well as the title of National Artist of the USSR.

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Muslim Magomayev died on October 25, 2008, and was laid to rest in Baku’s First Alley of Honor.

Muslim Magomayev was instrumental in the development of Azerbaijan’s vocal performance school. The artist’s performance style, aspects of his creativity, and the new traditions he introduced distinguish him in the history of Azerbaijani musical culture. By drawing on classical traditions, the outstanding singer contributed to the advancement of vocal art. At the same time, Muslim Magomayev made Azerbaijan’s musical history as the country’s first world-famous baritone singer.

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the National Artist of the USSR, world-famous opera and pop singer Muslim Magomayev, a commemorative event was held in the Alley of Honor on August 17. President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva both sent floral tributes to the memorial service.

The event was attended by representatives of culture and the public, artists, and media workers, as well as the Minister of Culture Anar Karimov and family members of the late artist. In her speech, his wife, Tamara Sinyavskaya, stated that Muslim Magomayev is always in her thoughts.

Farhad Badalbeyli, the director of Baku Music Academy and National Artist, spoke about his friendship with Muslim Magomayev. Anar Karimov, Minister of Culture, emphasized the late artist’s breadth of work: “Muslim Magomayev is an Azerbaijani musician who has made significant contributions to world music in general. He was a good person, a great artist, and a good friend.” 

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.” 

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

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Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

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