Summer 2004 (12.2)
Left: The Artists' House in Baku designed by Senchikin
and built on Stalin's orders after hearing the opera, Koroghlu.
just read Aida Huseinova's article about Maestro Lutfiyar Imanov: "Celebrating 75 Years: Lutfiyar
Imanov Reminisces about his Opera Career" in the Summer 2003 issue (AI
11.2). What a great singer he was! We've personally heard him
perform the lead roles in various great operas such as Fikrat
Amirov's Sevil, Verdi's Rigoletto, and Uzeyir Hajibeyov's Koroghlu
(Son of a Blind Man).
We should mention what happened after Koroghlu was performed
at the first Decade of Azerbaijani Art and Culture in Moscow
in 1938. If we're not mistaken, Bulbul was singing the lead role
of Koroghlu at that time. Konstantin Ivanovich Senchikhin, one
of Azerbaijan's distinguished architects, used to tell this story.
Stalin, himself was present at that concert and after the performance,
he commented: "Such talented artists should live in very
good apartments in Baku." So the Soviet government immediately
allocated 3 million rubles for the construction of a residence
for musicians here.
This commission was assigned to Senchikhin who used to talk about
how difficult it was to design an apartment complex within the
budget requirements of 3 million rubles. No more, no less! It
was a very strict order! Senchikhin managed to do it successfully
and the result was the apartment building located on Samad Vurghun
and Bakikhanov Streets. People used to refer to it as the Artists'
House (Dom Artistov in Russian) though, perhaps, few Azerbaijanis
know the real story behind it.
Presently, musicians live there such as Haji
1918) himself strongly influenced by Hajibeyov and a student
of Gara Garayev. Khanmammadov went on to compose five concertos
(tar, kamancha and harp). It was the first time that anyone had
ever composed a concerto for the traditional stringed instrument
to sound samples,
search Khanmammadov at AZER.com].
Senchikhin studied together with other great architects such
as Sadikh Dadashev and Mikayil Useynov
[see "The Soviet Period of Architecture in Azerbaijan: The
Twists and Turns of the Career of Mikayil Useynov" by the
late Ilham Aliyev, President of the Architects Union, AI 6.4,
Winter 1998]. He is remembered for a number of beautiful buildings
in Baku; for example, the Monolit [the apartment building across
from the Nizami statue near Fountains Square], the Medical Institute,
Technical Library, Air Force Headquarters, "Dom Spetsialistov",
Dinamo Sport Complex, the interior design of Dzerzhinski's Club,
the landscape on the Chkalov Climb (across from the Philharmonic
Hall), the apartment building across from the Artists' House,
as well as various Metro stations.
Please continue publishing articles about the history of music,
art, architecture and science in your magazine. There are some
amazingly gifted, talented and hard-working people in Azerbaijan.
Dr. Tofik K. Khanmamedov and wife Dr. Alla K. Khanmamedova
daughter of Architect K. I. Senchikhin
Sugar Land, Texas
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