Spring 2002 (10.1)
Silk Road Chamber Orchestra in Toronto
by Yusif Savalan
Here in Toronto, Canada, there are a
number of talented Azerbaijani musicians who teach in music schools
in the area. As I met and became reacquainted with them, I thought
to myself, wouldn't it be great to gather these people together
to perform Azerbaijani music?
So in June 2001, we created the Silk Road Chamber Orchestra,
with composer Adil Babirov and violinist Rufat Amiraliyev. The
Orchestra also includes cellist A. Weber, tar player Mohammad
Aman, pianist Rena Amiraliyeva, pianist Rashad Feyzullayev, tenor
Vagif Karimov and clarinetist Faig Ahmadov.
Babirov, who studied composition under famous Azerbaijani composer
Gara Garayev, serves as the group's Artistic Director. Ismayil
Hajiyev, the former conductor of the Niyazi Symphony Orchestra
and the son of composer Jovdat Hajiyev, is our conductor. As
a classically trained professional singer, I provide the vocals.
Our audiences enjoy hearing familiar pieces like Uzeyir Hajibeyov's
"Sansiz" (Without You), Fikrat Amirov's "Evlari
Var Khana-Khana" (They Have A House), Tofig Guliyev's "Sana
da Galmaz" (It Won't Be Left To You / Your Beauty Won't
Last Forever) and "Gamgin Mahni" (Sad Song), Emin Sabitoghlu's
"Bu Geja" (Tonight), Asaf Zeynalli's "Olkam"
(My Country), and the unforgettable "Ayrilig" (Separation)
by Ali Salimi.
Left: The Silk Road Chamber Orchestra, recently organized
Our classical repertoire draws upon the works of Azerbaijani
composers such as Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Gara Garayev, Adil Babirov
Our first concert was held November 24, 2001 at the Glenn Gould
(CBC) Radio Studio in Toronto.
We already have three projects in 2002: a Novruz concert, a broadcast
for "Tapesh" TV in Los Angeles and a recording in Baku
for Tofig Guliyev's 85th Jubilee. In January 2002, we founded
yet another group - the Tabriz Folk Ensemble - which features
Mohammad Aman (tar and artistic director), Ramin Shadpour (garmon),
Mahmoud (kamancha), Mukhtar Nobary (naghara), Vahid Mehdizade
(gosha naghara) and myself as vocalist.
Most of our audience consists of Azeris from Iran. An estimated
90,000 Iranians live in Toronto, about 30 percent of them Azeris.
In addition, quite a few Persians who have married Azeris as
well as second-generation Azeris whose parents emigrated from
Iran also attend our concerts. It's wonderful to see the bittersweet
joy we bring to Azeris as they listen to this much-beloved music
so far away from home.
Tabriz-born Yusif Savalan began
his professional singing career with Tabriz Radio under the direction
of composer Ali Salimi. To learn more about the Silk Road Chamber
Orchestra or the Tabriz Folk Ensemble, e-mail Yusif at email@example.com.
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