Azerbaijan International

Winter 2004 (12.4)

Concerts: Tar

Ramiz Guliyev: 40 Years of Performance

Ramiz Guliyev, Eyyb Guliyev - Tar

Above: Concert commemorating the 40 years of Tar Performance by Ramiz Guliyev held at Philarmonic Hall on November 26, 2004. Ramin was accompanied by his son Eyyub Guliyev (right) on tar, and with the State Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Rauf Abdullayev. Photo: Aynura Huseinova

Ramiz Guliyev commemorated 40 Years of Tar Performance at Philharmonic Hall with a concert on November 26, 2004. Recognized today as one of the foremost tar players in the world, he is the recipient of both the Presidential Award (bestowed by Heydar Aliyev) and the title of People's Artist. For a portion of the evening, Ramiz was joined by his son Ayyub Guliyev on tar. Rauf Abdullayev conducted the State Symphonic Orchestra.
In addition to being a world-class master performer, Ramiz teaches tar to post graduate students at Baku Music Academy. Ayyub, a student there, is completing his Master's Degree in Conducting.

Ramiz jokes about his first attempts at playing tar. He was nine years old at the time. For a long time, he had been eyeing a tar that hung on the wall of his uncle's home in Aghdam (now under military occupation by Armenians). His uncle no longer could play as he had injured his arm during World War II. Ramiz finally convinced him to take the tar down.

When he finally held the coveted instrument in his hands, he was so thrilled that he ran outside and climbed a haystack and started strumming, even though he hadn't the slightest clue how to play it. "It was really too heavy and I was too little," he recalls. "I was just making sounds, but I was so proud of myself. I looked around to see if anyone was paying attention, somehow expecting someone to say, 'Good job!'" Ramiz finally detected two pairs of eyes staring at him through the fence. Recognition at last: it was two shepherds with their flock of sheep.

These days, Ramiz has no lack for audiences nor for applause.His expertise is acknowledged far beyond the borders of Azerbaijan. He has been invited to perform in more foreign countries than most Azerbaijanis have including Japan, Norway, much of Europe and the United States.

Ramiz traced his professional journey at this concert. He began with Haji Khanmammadov's Concerto No 1 for tar and Symphonic Orchestra, which launched his professional career on stage. Other works included: Segah Mugham, Gambar Huseinli's First Love, Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dance, and Heyrati. His son joined him in playing a variety of Tofig Guliyev's songs, Schubert's Serenade, Mikis Theodorakis' Sertaki Dance, and Hasan Rezayev's Chahargah Rhapsody.

The Maestro has released eight CDs between 2002 - 2004. This year alone, he produced three: Singing Hearts (duo with son Ayyub), Cry of the Yellow String, and I Want to See Karabakh. Hoping to leave a legacy for future tar players, Ramiz has written seven books with scores for tar, featuring both Azerbaijani and foreign composers. In addition, he has about 20 instructional books for the tar.

For more about Ramiz, read: "Sing Tar, Sing: Like Father, Like Son-Passing on the Tradition" by Betty Blair, AI 7.4 (Winter 1999). Search at Contact Ramiz:

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