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Uzeyir Hajibeyov

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Hajibeyov (Hajibeyli) Uzeyir Abdulhuseyn oglu (Azerbaijani: Üzeyir Hacıbəyli; born in Shusha, Nagorno-Karabakh, 18 September, 1885, died 29 November 1948) was an conductor, scientist, publicist, playwright, teacher and translator. He was the creator of the first operas and operettas in the East. He was a people’s artist of the USSR (1938), academician of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (1945), professor (1940), Stalin prize-winner (1941-1946), the chairman of the Composers’ union of Azerbaijan (1938-1948), rector of the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire (1928-1929; 1939-1948), director of the Art Institute of A. S. of Azerbaijan (1945-1948).

Hajibeyov’s first education was in a religious school (medrese), where he learned Arab and Farsi languages. Then he studied in a two-year Russian-Azerbaijan school. Here, due to his favourite teacher Mirza Mekhti Hasanzadeh, he became acquainted with the creative activity of the famous writers of the East and the West. The richness of the musical-performance tradition of Shusha influenced greatly the musical education of Uzeyir Hajibeyov. Uzeyir bek wrote: “The first musical education I got in my childhood in Shusha, from the best singers and saz -players. At that time I sang mughams and tesnifs. Singers liked my voice. They made me sing and taught at the same time.” The first teacher of Uzeyir Hajibeyov was his uncle Agalar bek Aliverdibeyov, the excellent connoisseur of Azerbaijan people’s music. And the first literary debut of Uzeyir Hajibeyov was in Shusha, when he was 13 he wrote a book of fairy-tales and short stories. It is called “Kitabi-mezheke” (“A book of jokes”), and he illustrated his book himself.

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