February 20, 2008

Heydar Aliyev Foundation developed an album dedicated to the 70th jubilee of Arif Babayev

Album dedicated to the 70th jubilee of Arif Babayev, Professor, People’s Artist of Azerbaijan, outstanding mugham singer, has been developed by Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The album includes a book smartly published in Azeri and English and 4 CDs consisted of folk songs, tesnifs and mughams performed by the singer.

The book, which is opened with words ‘… Arif is our great singer’ national leader Heydar Aliyev said in the meeting with figures of literature and art in the spring holiday celebration in 1998, is rich with photographs of Arif Babayev taken with the great leader, President Ilham Aliyev, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, MP Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva.

The book contains also pictures reflecting meetings of Mehriban Aliyeva with mugham singers, roles Arif Babayev played on the stage, his photos with his teachers, students and family.

The book talks of life and creativity of Arif Babayev, his contributions to development of mugham. According to the book, distinguished from the youth for inborn talent A.Babayev for short time possessed the big respect of the people. The young singer who in 1964 became soloist of Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Society named after M.Magomayev in 1966 started working at the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater on the invitation of People’s Artist Afrasiyab Bedelbeyli. Arif Babayev, who worked at the Theater till 2006, was one of skilful performers of roles as Mejnun in ‘Leila and Mejnun’, Kerem in ‘Asli and Kerem’, Garib in ‘Ashyg Garib’, Shah Ismail in ‘Shah Ismail’, Jamal in ‘Gelin gayasy’. Operas such as ‘Leila and Mejnun’, ‘Asli and Kerem’ in which he played are in the golden fund.    

According to the book, as a great mugham singer Arif Babayev belongs not only to his homeland Azerbaijan but to the entire East. Mughams ‘Shur’, ‘Rast’, ‘Bayaty-Shiraz’, ‘Chahargah’, ‘Mirza Huseyn Segahy’, ‘Zabul segah’, ‘Segah’, folk songs, tesnifs, composer songs have entered the treasury of our art of music.

The book talks about pedagogical action of the singer too. He was one of the first teachers in the mugham class of Azerbaijan State Conservatoire. Arif Babayev, who received the academic degree of professor for the first time among mugham singers of Azerbaijan, heads at present the Mugham Chair at Azerbaijan State Conservatoire. Majority of his students are popular singers of the republic. People’s artists Nezaket Teymurova, Aygun Bayramova, honorary artists Konul Khasiyeva, Gulustan Aliyeva, Fehruz Sekhavet, Jabir Abdullayev, soloist of Opera Theater Sebuhi Ibayev are his students.

The book says possessing high scenic culture, having performed in over 60 countries A.Babayev gave great contributions to development of mugham and our national music.

The book mentions Arif Babayev possessed deep respect as a permanent and fair jury in the mugham contests that were organized in 2005 and 2007 on the personal initiative of Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, MP, and much appreciated by Azerbaijanis throughout the world.

According to the book, the state has properly valued fruitful services of the master as soloist and mugham singer of the Opera and Ballet Theater. He was granted the honorary titles of Honorary Artist in 1978 and People’s Artist in 1989, awarded ‘Shohret’ Order in 1998 upon Decree of national leader Heydar Aliyev. Arif Babayev, who is the scholar of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan from 2002, was awarded ‘Istiglal’ Order for great services in development of the art of mugham of Azerbaijan upon Order of February 15, 2008 of President Ilham Aliyev.

The book’s section ‘I dream of Garabagh’ analyses in detail the creativity of the singer.

Texts in the book have been written by Mustafa Chemenli, translated into English by B.Hajiyev.