Abulfaz Garayev: Mstislav Rostropovich is personification of modern Azerbaijan culture

The great musician Mstislav Rostropovich is the personification of modern Azerbaijani culture, the country's Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev said, speaking to the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza about the 9th Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival, which started in Baku on Sunday.

As the minister noted, Rostropovich, as well as his ancestors, played a big role in the development of the culture of modern Azerbaijan. "When our conservatory was created 100 years ago, Uzeir Gadzhibekov invited many famous musicians, including Mstislav Leopoldovich's father Leopold Rostropovich. The maestro was born in Baku. In the Soviet times he visited Azerbaijan several times, performed works of Azerbaijani composers," he reminded in the first place.

"After Azerbaijan became an independent country, these ties started to expand. Mstislav Rostropovich arrived in Baku at the invitation of Heydar Aliyev and put forward an initiative to hold festivals here. We always were happy to see Mstislav Rostropovich, we were proud that we have such a fellow countryman," Abulfaz Garayev stressed.

"After Azerbaijan became an independent country, these ties started to expand. Mstislav Rostropovich arrived in Baku at the invitation of Heydar Aliyev and put forward an initiative to hold festivals here. We always were happy to see Mstislav Rostropovich, we were proud that we have such a fellow countryman," Abulfaz Garayev stressed.

It was at the initiative of Mstislav Rostropovich to hold the first Shostakovich Festival in Azerbaijan in 2006. "It was his last performance in Baku, but his idea of ​​holding festivals has been preserved. Every year we hold Uzeyir Hajibeyov's festival, every two years we hold Kara Karaev's festival, the Bul-Bul music contest and the Gabala summer classical music festival take place regularly. A series of music festivals, reflecting the tendencies of modern musical culture, testifies that Azerbaijan is keeping pace with the world musical processes," the minister pointed out.

As the minister pointed out, significant attention is paid to the cultural events of the republic at the state level. "The 90th anniversary of Mstislav Leopoldovich is celebrated in accordance with the decree of the President. The President stimulates holding of celebrations of the jubilees of outstanding cultural figures in every possible way: this year we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tofik Kuliev, Farhad Badalbeyli will celebrate his 70th birthday soon/ It is a very good, positive tradition," he said.

"Our musicians perform on the stages of Russian theaters, and musicians from Russia are frequent guests at the conservatoire of Azerbaijan. We are united by a common culture of music that was formed during the Soviet era. It must be multiplied and developed," Azerbaijan's Minister of Culture and Tourism concluded.

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