On the occassion of the 130th birthday anniversary of the founder of the Azerbaijani classical music Uzeyir Hajibeyli, the City of Santa Monica in U.S. State of California has issued a special proclamation. In accordance with the proclamation signed by the City’s Mayor Kevin McKeown on behalf of all City Council members, September 18, 2015 has been proclaimed the “Uzeyir Hajibeyli Memorial Day” in the City of Santa Monica.
Bordering Los Angeles on the westside, the affluent beachfront city of Santa Monica is also known as a hometown of many Hollywood celebrities.
The proclamation that was sent to Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles notes: “Uzeyir Hajibeyli was born in the City of Agjabadi in Azerbaijan on September 18, 1885. He is recog-nized as the father of Azerbaijani classical music, as well as the founder of the first opera, Leyli and Majnun (1908), and first operetta The Cloth Peddler (1913) in the Muslim world.”
Highlighting the great composer’s achievments, the proclamation states: “In his fusion of tradi-tional Azerbaijani music and European classical opera, Hajibeyli created a new musical genre, merging Eastern and Western music. Through his music as well as work as a journalist, teacher and translator, Hajibeyli played a vital role in the fight against illiteracy and helped usher in a cultural shift that launched a period of enlightenment that transcended his country’s borders and reached many others in the Eurasia region.”
The document further notes: “Hajibeyli composed the first national anthem for Azerbaijan and actively participated in the formation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, which was the first-ever parliamentary secular democracy in the Muslim world”
Speaking of Hajibeyli’s “Arshin Mal Alan” (Cloth Peddler) operetta and musical film, the proc-lamation says: “The first ever U.S. screening of the newly re-mastered and colorized version of the film will take place on September 19, 2015 in Los Angeles.”
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