Young Azerbaijani composer to perform at Sunset Center in Monterey

Thu 01 Nov 2018 04:00 GMT | 08:00 Local Time

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The concert is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Young Azerbaijanji pianist and composer Abuzar Manafzade will give a concert at the Sunset Center in Monterey on Nov. 4, the Monterey County Weekly reports.

The concert is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 

When Youth Music Monterey music director Farkhad Khudyev hosted a successful U.S. premiere of the only symphonic work ever written for the Iranian violin-like instrument kamancheh in 2013, he had no idea it would culminate in a world premiere this weekend. A young pianist/composer from Azerbaijan named Abuzar Manafzade took in a YouTube video of the concert and sent Khudyev some audio files of his new work, Monterey Country Weekly reports. 

“I knew the balaban from having grown up in Turkmenistan, but the virtuoso Nijat Masimov took it to a whole new level,” Khudyev says. “It was ethereal and supernatural sounding – almost extraterrestrial.”

Following that traditional lead, Manafzade’s concerto is the first of its kind, pairing the orchestra and piano with balaban and with the naghara, a cylindrical double-headed hand drum. Coming to play the naghara here is Natig Shirinov, recognized as the greatest living percussionist in Azerbaijan.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for a youth orchestra to host such high-caliber overseas guests to play a work which has never been heard anywhere before,” Khudyev says. “It’s quite special to discover and hear these new sounds.”

The first half of the concert features the Junior Youth Orchestra with works by Berlioz, Stravinsky and Dvorak, including the orchestra’s internal concerto competition winner Katrina Bauer tackling Cello Concerto No. 2 in B flat major by John Garth. Following intermission, the Honors Orchestra sandwiches Manafzade’s Concerto for Balaban, Naghara, Piano and Symphonic Orchestra between Berlioz’sLe Corsaire Overture and the Jubilee from modern American George Chadwick’s Symphonic Sketches.






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