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Gara Garayev at 100


University of North Texas - Voertman Concert Hall

The University of North Texas, College of Music, its outstanding and internationally recognized faculty and well as guest artists will get together to mark an epoch in the history of the classical music of Azerbaijan and celebrate the Centenary of the eminent Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev. (also spelt Kara Karayev).  1918-2018.  The chamber music program consisting works of Gara Garayev will include 24 Piano Preludes, Violin Sonata, Vocal Romances, Preludes in Jazz style, Miniature Dances and others.  

Student and close friend of D. Shostakovich, Garayev was among the leading representatives of "Soviet music" and the first Azerbaijani composer to gain international recognition. In 1961, Garayev’s Suite from The Path of Thunder ballet was performed under the baton of twelve-time Academy Award nominee and founder of the Los Angeles International Music Festival Franz Waxman along with works of musical giants Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg.  In 1962, Samuel Barber became the first ever American composer to attend the Congress of Soviet Composers in Moscow.  Garayev together with Dmitri Shostakovich, Samuel Barber, and other significant Soviet composers jointly worked and discussed ideas, realities, compositional methods and problems facing composers of the twentieth century when in 1962, Samuel Barber became the first ever American composer to attend the Congress of Soviet Composers in Moscow. Thus, Garayev emerged as a groundbreaking twentieth-century modern composer, whose works made an appearance in many concert halls of the world, including countries of the former Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States.

From folk music to twelve-tone technique, to jazz, the music of Garayev presents it all.  The distinct architecture of Garayev works, the beauty of his melodies, and the innovative harmonic and orchestral language of his music are striking.  In addition, the unforgettable palette and richness of his music touches a wide spectrum of human emotions, as his works express love and struggle, joy and sadness, humor and drama, dreaming and reality.  Garayev moved with time, he felt the pulse, inspired his listeners and rose to the top.  

This program is organized with the assistance of the Azerbaijan-American Music Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to building cross-cultural and “musical bridges” between the USA and Azerbaijan.

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