On March 10th, 2012 the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra gave a dazzling performance of Azerbaijani classical music at North Park Birch Theatre in San Diego, California. The concert commenced with the national anthem of Azerbaijan performed by the Grossmont College Master Chorale and the Orchestra. Orchestra Director Dr. Randall Tweed informed the audience about the rich history of Azerbaijani classical music, its founders and prominent classical music composers of Azerbaijan.
The first part of the concert featured two masterpieces by Fikret Amirov: Kurd Avshari and Gulistan Bayati-Shiraz. Dr. Tweed informed the audience about Amirov’s works and how Amirov incorporated traditional mugham music into classical orchestra pieces, highlighting his novel approach. The second half of the concert was devoted to Kara Karayev, another prominent Azerbaijani composer. The Grossmont Symphony Orchestra performed the “Seven Beauties” ballet suite, one of Karavev’s most famous pieces.
Along with classical pieces, a few folk songs were featured by a trio of local Azerbaijani folk musicians: Mehdi Bagheri on kamancha, Parisa Daneshvar as a singer, and Amir Etemadzadeh on hand percussions. Singer Parisa Daneshvar greeted the audience in the Azerbaijani language and conveyed her Nowruz holiday wishes. A brilliant kamancha performance by Mehdi Bagheri conveyed the depth of the Azerbaijani soul and captured the hearts of audience members. The event was sponsored by Switzer Highlands Association, an organization created to promote cultural exchange and understanding between American and Azerbaijani cultures.
Post written by Jamila Del Mistro, Karabakh Foundation Volunteer