Today marks birthday of Bulbul
Today is the birthday of great Azerbaijani singer Murtuza Rza oglu Mammadov aka Bulbul.
Bulbul was a famous Azerbaijani and Sovietopera tenor, folk music performer and one of the founders of vocal arts and national musical theatre in Azerbaijan. Bulbul was born in 1897 in the villageof Khanbagi, located near Shusha. He was known for his musical talent since his childhood, which is why people nick named him Bulbul ("nightingale" inAzeri).
He chose it as a stage name, when he became involved in professional music. Still a young khananda, he was invited to Bakuin 1920 to act out the role of Karam in Uzeyir Hajibeyov's opera Asli and Karam. There he was first introduced to a European-style opera and decided toexcel in this genre.
He later studied music and vocal arts inthe Azerbaijan State Conservatoire (now known as the Baku Academy of Music),where he was admitted in 1921, as well as in the La Scala Theatre in Milan,Italy. In his songs, Bulbul was able to fuse national manners of performance with traditions of Italian vocal school. He was also first to play the leadrole of Koroglu in Uzeyir Hajibeyov's opera of the same name in 1938.
Throughout his life, Bulbul was the vocal performer and the co-author of a number of songs and romances. Bulbul was alsoknown for his music-related publications and teaching vocal arts at his almamater, the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire between 1932 and 1961. He acquired aPh.D. degree in music in 1940.
His monographs nowadays serve as an importantsource for those studying Azeri music.
Bulbul was the first musician to publish study guides and manuals used in teaching students how to play the tar, kamancha and balaban, the traditional musical instruments of Azerbaijan. Bulbul was awarded the highest order of the Soviet Union – the USSR State Prize, as wellas the "Stella di Garibaldi" order in Italy. He died on 26 September 1961 in Baku.