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Baku celebrates Uzeyir Hajibeyov's birthday

Baku celebrates Uzeyir Hajibeyov's birthday
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On the world’s stage for classical music, Baku is fast becoming a big destination.

It is largely because of the Azerbaijani capital’s International Music Festival, which this year celebrates its sixth edition.

Since 2009 it has been devoted to the creativity of Azeri composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov and the festivities begin on September 18, the day of his birth.

Many performances are based on his work and Azerbaijan’s Culture and Tourism Minister Albufaz Gabayev said it is also a chance to celebrate the country’s rich and varied cultural traditions.

‘‘Baku was a capital of culture of the Caucasian region and it’s still a city which is open to change and exchange. We want to be the most powerful country in the region and one of the strongest for cultural and sporting activities,’‘ Gabayev told euronews.

The Azerbaijan State Symphonic Orchestra opened the festival with a performance at Baku’s Philharmonic Hall.

Formed in 1920, it was one of the first orchestras in the Soviet Union and has toured the world showcasing Hajibeyov’s compositions.

Our correspondent in Baku, Irmak Zenturk said: ‘‘Workshops, music schools and concerts all combine to celebrate the best of Azeri music and culture over 10 days. With a growing number of international artists taking part, the popularity of Baku’s Uzeyir Hajibeyov’s festival is fast spreading beyond these shores.”

The sixth Uzeyir Hajibeyov International Music Festival takes place in Baku on September 18-28, 2014.