A statue of one of the outstanding representatives of Azerbaijani culture, teacher, People’s Artist of the USSR and Hero of the Socialist Labor, Gara Garayev, has been unveiled in 28 May Street of Baku.
The ceremony was attended by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva.
Addressing the ceremony, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends.
It is a very significant day in the life of our country today. We are gathered for the unveiling of the statue of great composer Gara Garayev in the center of Baku. I heartily congratulate the family members of Gara Garayev, Azerbaijan’s music community and all the people of Azerbaijan on the opening of the monument on the eve of the great composer’s birthday.
Gara Garayev is a great son of the Azerbaijani people, a great personality and a brilliant composer. He successfully represented Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani people. Thanks to his works Azerbaijan became better known in the Soviet Union and around the world. He glorified the people and the musical culture of Azerbaijan all over the world. During his life and work Azerbaijan was not an independent state, and the Azerbaijani people could communicate their talents to the world only through art, literature and music. Of course, the audience listening to Gara Garayev’s compositions appreciated that only representatives of a talented people could create such beautiful works.
The works of Gara Garayev are immortal. They live today and will live forever. In short, this great personality is our national pride. He owns an undeniable and exceptional contribution to the development of Azerbaijani classical music. At the same time, as you know, he was very attached to national music. Folk songs and our national music had a great influence on his work and creativity.
Gara Garayev was also an excellent teacher. He worked as the rector of the Azerbaijan State Conservatory. His followers, in turn, enriched the musical culture of Azerbaijan. In short, he was a very talented person who was very dedicated to friendship. I know that he had very interesting thoughts about friendship. He had a very close relationship with great leader Heydar Aliyev. This relationship was built on mutual respect and sympathy and was quite exemplary. As a young man, I attended some of their meetings as well. I saw and felt this sincere relationship, and that is the way it should be because, I want to say again, Gara Garayev is an outstanding representative of the Azerbaijani people and our national pride. Every citizen of Azerbaijan is justly proud to have such a great representative as Gara Garayev.
During Soviet times Gara Garayev received the highest awards. And they were all well deserved. He was honored with these awards as a youth. He received the highest orders and awards. Of course, if he had lived in the years of independence, he would have been awarded the highest awards of the independent Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, he died early. He could have lived longer and created a lot more compositions. But the works he created are the culminating point of Azerbaijani music. We once again bow to his unforgettable memory. I am very happy that this beautiful statue is being unveiled today in this beautiful and historical place close to his home.
Azerbaijan’s musical culture is very rich. We are justly proud to have such wonderful music. Our folk music and the art of mugham are the pinnacle of world music. Today, composers and artists developing Azerbaijani music are contributing to the continuity of these traditions and to the education of talented musicians and composers. The state of Azerbaijan is and will be doing everything possible to this end.
Azerbaijan's musical life is rich. Our country conducts various international events, festivals and competitions of world level. At the same time, we present the Azerbaijani music in the world. We host a variety of concerts, competitions and festivals. In other words, I believe that Azerbaijan is developing successfully in this direction as well. All the activities related to culture and history are conducted at a high level. Our historical heritage is preserved. Architectural monuments are restored. Museums, theaters and concert halls are renovated and built. Culture centers are opening in Baku and the regions. This is a result of the attention the Azerbaijani government pays to this area.
The cultural life of any country is of particular importance to its development. For many years and centuries we were deprived of independence. But our hearts have always cherished the love of independence. Our music, native language, literature and art have preserved us as a people, and today the Azerbaijani people are the masters of their own destiny. Today, Azerbaijan is the fastest developing country in the world.
The memory of Gara Garayev has been immortalized by the independent state of Azerbaijan. There is an avenue, a subway station and an arts school named after him. And today, a beautiful statue of him is being unveiled in this historical part of Baku. I want to sincerely congratulate the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion again. I want to once again express the general view that the bright memory of Gara Garayev and his immortal works will live in the hearts of the Azerbaijani people forever.