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The 5th  Qara Qarayev  international                                                            
contemporary music  Festival          Baku, Azerbaijan, 14-19 April 2013


Qara Qarayev V International Festival of Contemporary Music

From April the14th to 19th of 2013, Baku will host "Qara Qarayev V International Festival of Contemporary Music". The fifth festival is conceived as a continuation of the tradition — there will be only contemporary music sound at all festival's concerts.

Varied and exiting program of the Festival will present Baku listeners the opportunity to meet with high art. France and Germany, the Netherlands and Russia, Austria and Azerbaijan will be represented by orchestras, bands and soloists, which will perform the music of today as a long and strong tradition of the festival.

U.Hajibeyli Azerbaijan State Symphonic Orchestra under Rauf Abdullayev will open and close the festival. The festival program consists of the world of the twentieth century music including works by Qarayev, Schönberg, Respighi, Ligeti, Berio, Shostakovich, etc. — composers who greatly influenced their contemporaries and opened a new way of composer's thinking in the twentieth century.

In the festival concerts Amsterdam Asko|Schönberg, a recognized European leader of the new music performers and a well-known ensemble Accroche Note from Strasbourg, will participate, both with a program including works by Dutch and French composers.

One more surprise — the play "Variété" to the music of unpredictable dreamer Mauricio Kagel will be shown on the stage of the Theatre for Young People. This play is one of the most extravagant of the modern European classics. Such artists as German-Spanish AVA Dance Company, accompanied by an contemporary music ensemble of Baku Con tempo, under Ukrainian conductor Vladimir Runchak will participate in it. German accordionist Eva Zöllern will also take part in the ensemble.

Concert programs: "PIANO I" — pianist Gulshen Annagiyeva "degenerative music" of the Third Reich and the "non-existent" music of the Soviet Union, "Piano II" — Moscow piano duo, Alexei Lyubimov and Ivan Sokolov, and "Piano III – Around Blues" — Dutchman Marcel Worms are sure to draw the attention of the audience to their non-standard solution, as well as program "Organ +" by Marianna Vysotskaya, where the Baku musicians will also take part. And of course, the festival program will devote a considerable place to new Azerbaijani music.

The time of 5th festival named after Kara Karayev has come at last. Long 27-year time line stands between the first and upcoming festival. With a view of speedy developments, discoveries and insights granted to us by contemporary world — it is a whole epoch. The year 1986 and the year 2013. The first glimpses of "perestroyka" at the periphery of Communist Empire and third decade of independence built up within complicated geopolitical force lines. Whereas in industrial society personal computer was luxury, the word "fax" was only heard in recent past, today is marked by total absorbing in global social network, sweeping and constant presence of internet as one more complex but additional human sense organ. That time avantgardisme was regarded as some sort of heroic deed, perhaps, today it is the way of getting rid of "know-all" scepsis and satiety of art. The world of music of that time was blooming in full creativeness owing to such universally esteemed leaders-composers as John Cage, Karl-Hainz Schtockhauzen, Lucano Berio, György Ligeti, Vitold Lutoslavski — the time of heroes has gone. Of grand figures of Musical avantgard one can mention only Pierre Boulez, now being rather conductor, at the same time the notion of modern art itself particularly music has been fragmented to such an extent that it has dissolved in numerous strategies, tactics, ideals, criterion and the absence of the above said that composer's personality influence on musical process is almost impossible.

We may say that festival of "Contemporary Music" which is taking place today turns to be within conditions of post-modernism or as this trend is now being called by various cultural theorists meta-modernism, as modernism in the sense of its understanding and perceiving in 1980s does not exist any more. Nevertheless thematic of groping for new non-established yet invisible artistic aspirations do not fall into sight of Baku festival project. Summing up diverse at the same time thoroughly selected concert programs of festival, I would dare to bring forward possible reach-through idea of festival — turning to dream of many figures of artististic avantgardisme of passed XX century — designing aspiration for personal liberation, spontaneous and over-rational thinking at the same time in several flows capable to look at the depths of micro-world and mental observation of galaxies, to roll up time up to the moment and extend it to eternity in art.

Karayev Festival remains faithful to its clear goal — to make local audience acquainted with what has already been established being musical classics. By the way dedication of festival to Karayev does not have memorial meaning — this is not the festival dedicated to music by Karayev, great composer; it is most likely continuation of enlightening mission commenced by him on expanding listeners' horizons up to perceiving and comprehension of music of XX c. This is actual even today therefore with the lapse of many years it turns to be that a new generation has raised in Baku having no idea about music of the past century and many musical pieces of this "new classic" haven't been heard either then or now. On the other hand what stresses are being made on performing music, what do performers want to bring to their audience? No common opinion can be found in this respect, making it more interesting for discussion. To avoid imposing ready-made answer on listeners I would say on my own behalf that owing to "contemporarily music" of XX c. we are able to look through thick centuries-old past of musical culture setting free imagination, harkening and touching the future speeding up its advent. Therefore the most diverse elements of musical speech — forgotten long time ago, making their mouth sore by their triviality or "reconstructed", may be juxtaposed and reconsidered within the scope of musical piece. Thus, audience is to face not simple however fascinating mission to make this journey through the time together with music.

Jahangir Selimkhanov

Deutsche Botschaft       Ministry of Culture of Russian Federation             Republique Française              Gemeente Amsterdam       Fonds Podium Kunstum performing arts fund NL           ArtsCouncil Azerbaijan