TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Muslim Magomayev: Light of unfading star

03 August 2017 [14:54] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Laman Ismayilova

This year will mark the 75th anniversary of the legendary Azerbaijani singer and People’s Artist of the USSR, Muslim Magomayev.

Muslim was loved not only in Azerbaijan and the Soviet Union, but all over the world. To honor the memory of this great musician President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to solemnly mark the 75th birth anniversary of the world famous singer and composer, Muslim.

Muslim, dubbed the "King of Songs" and the "Soviet Sinatra", is a wonderful example of a person whose inner light was enough to warm the hearts of many people across the globe.

Azerbaijan's baritone won the audience with charisma and sincerity. He quickly became a cult figure that gave many concerts filling huge arenas all across the Soviet Union, while his albums sold millions.

He represented one of the most respected artistic dynasties in Azerbaijan. His grandfather, also Muslim Magomayev was one of the founders of modern Azerbaijani classical music.

Magomayev's father, Mahammad Magomayev, who died two days prior to the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II while serving as a soldier in the Soviet Army, was a gifted scenic designer and  his mother, Aishet Kinzhalova, was an actress.

Raised by his paternal grandmother, Muslim learned to play the piano as a child, and began to take voice lessons at the age of 14.

As a teenager, he was interested in Italian songs, American jazz, and other styles of popular music. He majored in piano and composition at the Baku Conservatoire.

He became famous around the USSR at the age of 19 after a stellar performance at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow. He became known in Europe after a successful performance at the Youth Festival in Helsinki, Finland.

A very important stage in mastering his vocals skills even further was his training in the "La Scala" Opera Theater in Milan. Muslim's stay in Italy – a country of innumerable art treasures and the home of belcanto – in the 1960s was not only beneficial for his singing, but also affected his inner world.

He remained among the main supporter of the Italian school of singing through his life. Magomayev splendidly sang the leading arias of Figaro, Scarpia, Mephisto, Onegin.

At age of 30, Magomayev was one of the youngest recipients of the highest artistic title, People's Artist of the USSR. He also received numerous awards for his contribution to opera and popular music in the Soviet Union.

The legendary singer also wrote songs, film soundtracks and music for theater performances. In addition, he played in films and acted as a host in television and radio broadcasts.
He also loved to paint pictures, but called it his hobby.

In later life, Magomayev struggled with a serious heart condition. In 1998, Magomayev officially ended his musical career and gave only a few performances together with his wife.

One of the greatest singers of 20th century died of a heart failure in Moscow on October 25, 2008 and was laid to rest in Baku.

Some traditional music festivals to commemorate the brilliant singer are held annually in Baku and Moscow.


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