Niyazi (Niyazi) |

Niyazi (Niyazi) |


Date of birth
Date of death
the USSR

Niyazi (Niyazi) |

Real name and surname – Niyazi Zulfugarovich Tagizade. Soviet conductor, People’s Artist of the USSR (1959), Stalin Prizes (1951, 1952). Some half a century ago, not only in Europe, but also in Russia, few people heard about the music of Azerbaijan. And today this republic is rightfully proud of its musical culture. An important role in its formation belongs to Niyazi, a composer and conductor.

The future artist grew up in a musical atmosphere. He listened to how his uncle, the famous Uzeyir Hajibeyov, played folk melodies, drawing inspiration from them; holding his breath, he followed the work of his father, also a composer, Zulfugar Gadzhibekov; living in Tbilisi, he often visited the theater, at concerts.

The young man learned to play the violin, and then went to Moscow, where he studied composition at the Gnessin Musical and Pedagogical College with M. Gnesin (1926-1930). Later, his teachers in Leningrad, Yerevan, Baku were G. Popov, P. Ryazanov, A. Stepanov, L. Rudolf.

In the mid-thirties, the artistic activity of Niyazi began, becoming, in essence, the first professional Azerbaijani conductor. He performed in various roles – with the orchestras of the Baku Opera and Radio, the Union of Oil Workers, and was even the artistic director of the Azerbaijani stage. Later, already during the Great Patriotic War, Niyazi led the song and dance ensemble of the Baku garrison.

A significant milestone in the life of a musician was 1938. Performing during the decade of Azerbaijani art and literature in Moscow, where he conducted M. Magomayev’s opera “Nergiz” and the final solemn concert, Niyazi won wide recognition. Upon returning home, the conductor, together with N. Anosov, took an active part in the creation of the republican symphony orchestra, which was later named Uz. Gadzhibekov. In 1948, Niyazi became artistic director and chief conductor of the new group. Prior to that, he took part in the review of young conductors in Leningrad (1946), where he shared fourth place with I. Gusman. Niyazi constantly combined performances on the concert stage with work at the Opera and Ballet Theater named after M. F. Akhundov (since 1958 he was its chief conductor).

All these years, listeners also got acquainted with the works of Niyazi the composer, which were often performed under the direction of the author along with the works of other Azerbaijani composers Uz. Gadzhibekov, M. Magomayev, A. Zeynalli, K. Karaev, F. Amirov, J. Gadzhiev, S. Gadzhibekov, J. Dzhangirov, R. Hajiyev, A. Melikov and others. No wonder D. Shostakovich once remarked: “Azerbaijani music is successfully developing also because in Azerbaijan there is such a tireless propagandist of Soviet music as the talented Niyazi is.” The artist’s classical repertoire is also wide. It should be especially emphasized that many Russian operas were first staged in Azerbaijan under his direction.

The listeners of most of the largest cities of the Soviet Union are well acquainted with the skill of Niyazi. He, perhaps, was one of the first conductors of the Soviet East and gained wide international fame. In many countries, he is known both as a symphony and as an opera conductor. Suffice it to say that he had the honor to perform at London’s Covent Garden and the Paris Grand Opera, the Prague People’s Theater and the Hungarian State Opera…

Lit.: L. Karagicheva. Niazi. M., 1959; E. Abasova. Niazi. Baku, 1965.

L. Grigoriev, J. Platek, 1969

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