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A world of good sounds at the Gabala International Music Festival

A world of good sounds at the Gabala International Music Festival
By Euronews

<p>Kicking off in the middle of these picturesque mountains in northern Azerbaijan, is this year’s Gabala International Music Festival.</p> <p>It showcases ensembles and music from around the world – but a special place is always reserved for Azerbaijani composers and ethnic music.</p> <p>Katy Furmanski, who plays the double bass, explains the appeal of Azerbaijani music:</p> <p>“I had never played any music whatsoever by an Azerbaijani composer before I started working with Femusa and it’s been absolutely wonderful to learn these works which have a very unique style to them.”</p> <p>The all-female chamber orchestra Femusa is a UK-based ensemble led by Azerbaijani born violinist Nazrin Rashidova.</p> <p>Rashidova, Femusa’s artistic director, says: “The idea to start a female chamber orchestra came in the last year of my Masters. When I made some research to find that there hasn’t been one in the UK in Britain since the 1950s.</p> <p>“Playing in a female orchestra has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, it’s beautiful to watch, and the minus, well, we’re a little temperamental.”</p> <p>Femusa’s players consist of 11 nationalities and performed a world premiere of a piece called Three Valentines, written especially for them by the British composer Paul Lewis.</p> <p>Next year, the Gabala Music Festival will celebrate it’s 10th anniversary season.</p>