July 30, 2010

Official opening of the Gabala 2nd International Music Festival was held

The Second International Music Festival held in Gabala at the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was officially inaugurated on July 30.


President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, MP Mehriban Aliyeva and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova attended the official ceremony where they received a warm welcome.


The event was addressed by President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva.


The First Lady noted Gabala, which used to be the capital of Caucasian Albania, one of the most ancient civilizations in the world, is a place where each era, each culture left traces. “Every person who comes here feels the breath of centuries. Although, there is no Caucasian Albania on the world map, Gabala acts as the capital of culture,” said Mehriban Aliyeva, adding “We are all united these days by music”.


Mehriban Aliyeva thanked UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova for arriving in Azerbaijan and participating in the Festival. She underlined the importance of Azerbaijan-UNESCO cooperation, adding this relationship is multifaceted. The First Lady also thanked President Ilham Aliyev for affording time to join the official opening despite the tough work schedule. Mrs Aliyeva noted the Festival took place thanks to the musicians participating in the event.


UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova wished successes to the Festival. Mrs Bokova expressed satisfaction with her visit to Azerbaijan. She noted Gabala was a wonderful stage for this international festival. The Director-General pointed out the Festival creates opportunity to become familiar with Azerbaijan`s rich musical heritage. She also thanked President Ilham Aliyev and Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva for respecting the UNESCO principles.


I.Bokova spoke of the importance of the Festival. She said the event reflects the spirit of Azerbaijan`s music and underlined huge significance of analogical events to bring in future hearts and thoughts together. She said Azerbaijan is a place where different cultures converge, and the Festival will present them at a high level. The Director-General also highly appreciated Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva`s merits in strengthening the intercultural dialogue.


Irina Bokova presented UNESCO`s Mozart Gold Medal to Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva.


A video featuring Azerbaijan`s culture was demonstrated.


Then a concert program was presented.


The London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed works by Azerbaijani and European composers. Dmitry Yablonsky, Yuri Bashmet, Emilio Ponzi, Chloe Hanslip and Farhad Badalbayli performed in the concert.


The ceremony ended with fireworks.