Alim Qasimov marks his 60th birthday

Alim Qasimov marks his 60th birthday

Today Azerbaijani musician and one of the foremost mugham singers Alim Qasimov is marking his 60th birthday.

Qasimov was born on August 14, 1957 in Shamakhi. He graduated from Asaf Zeynally Music College in 1982 and from Azerbaijan State Theatrical Institute named after M.A.Aliyev in 1989.

In 1983 he won the national Jabbar Garyaghdioghlu Singing Competition. As his career progressed he was recognised internationally, winning awards at the 1983 and 1987 UNESCO Symposia on Traditional and Modern Art of Central Asian and Asian Countries. The 1990s saw Qasimov tour widely with concerts in Iran, Brazil, the United States and throughout Europe. Qasimov was named the "People's Artist of Azerbaijan" in 1993 and earned the highest honour in his field in 1999 when he won the International IMC-UNESCO Music Prize.

He was awarded the International Music Council-UNESCO Music Prize in 1999, one of the highest international accolades for music. His music is characterized by his vocal improvisation and represents a move away from the traditional style of mugham. Qasimov has recorded nine albums, three of which are mugham albums with his daughter, Farghana Qasimova.

On 21 November 2009, he was included in a 500 most influential Muslims of world book.

The secretary of the Azerbaijani Writers' Union, President of the Azerbaijani PEN Centre Chingiz Abdullayev, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that Alim Qasimov is a person with which Azerbaijani music is associated in the world now. "He is an outstanding mugham singer, whose singing is considered outstanding by many well-known musicians and composers. Alim Qasimov combines both folk and modern motifs, thanks to him people understand what genuine folk art is," the writer stressed.

"We congratulate Alim Qasimov on his jubilee and are proud of the fact that we have such a compatriot - a man who made mugham popular all over the world," Chingiz Abdullayev said.

The writer also drew attention to the importance of mugham as a manifestation of folk culture. "It is a special music that makes a strong impression on listeners, which is why I think mugham has become so popular, because it's real music. It's given special attention, it's included in the list of UNESCO's cultural heritage. Thanks to the attention of the first vice-president of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation's work, mugham is being studied in many music schools. Largely due to such performers as Alim Qasimov, this music is recognized and accepted all over the world, " he stressed.