Leyla Aliyeva attends a classical music evening entitled “Khojaly 613”


Leyla Aliyeva attends a classical music evening entitled “Khojaly 613”

Leyla Aliyeva attends a classical music evening entitled “Khojaly 613”

A classical music evening entitled “Khojaly 613” took place at the Heydar Aliyev Centre, February 27.

Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attended the event.

Leyla Aliyeva first became familiarized with the exhibition dedicated to the memories of Khojaly genocide victims in the Centre’s foyer.

Photos reflecting the genocide committed by Armenian armed forces, with the help of the former USSR’s infantry regiment No.366, in Khojaly on the night from the 25th to the 26th February 1992, and the extent of this tragedy are displayed in the exhibition.


A symphonic poem calling on to prevent recurrence of tragedies such as the Khojaly genocide

At the music evening dedicated to the Khojaly genocide were presented classical works of Azerbaijani and world composers, as well as a symphonic poem of French composer Pierre Thilloy. Soloists of the evening were Shukur Samadov (clarinet) and Sabina Rakcheyeva (violin).

The Azerbaijan State Symphonic Orchestra named after Uzeir Hajibeyli, conducted by Fuad Ibrahimov, performed at the music evening. The orchestra performed eminent Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov’s “Azerbaijani Capriccio”, Gara Garayev’s “Mourning Room”, the fragment “Travel” from the symphonic gravures “Don Kichot”, Asaf Zeynally’s “Mughamsayaghy” (Soloist Jeyla Seyidova on violin), and “Adagio” by American composer Samuel Barber.

Pierre Thilloy’s symphonic poem “Khojaly 613” is devoted to the memories of 613 civilians killed during the genocide committed on the night from the 25th to the 26th February 1992 by Armenian armed forces in Khojaly. The work combines classical music and Azerbaijan’s popular songs, including “Lachyn” and “Sary Gelin”. By the synthesis of marching rhythms, sounds of soldiers’ march and machine gun fires, the composer conveys the horrors of the Khojaly tragedy. The symphonic poem “Khojaly 613” calls on to peace and preventing recurrence of tragedies like the Khojaly genocide.


Pierre Thilloy: A human shares his friends’ joy and sorrow

Before the music evening, Pierre Thilloy shared his views on the symphonic poem: ““Khojaly 13” seemed to me the most appropriate name for the work, as Khojaly is the name of the town, 613 being the number of victims.” Noting that it has been 20 years he has been undertaking visits to Azerbaijan, the composer said it was no coincidence that he chose this theme. “I have been taking close interest in your country, and the number of my friends in Azerbaijan is increasing as time goes on. A human shares both his joy and sorrow with his friends, carrying the burden of sorrow in himself. Each time my Azerbaijani friends shared their thoughts about Khojaly, I used to ask myself what I could do. I knew that this subject was almost unfamiliar to the European environment, with very little information about Khojaly. I thought music would be the most appropriate way”, - said Pierre Thilloy.

Saying he had other works associated with Azerbaijan, the composer brought to attention the theme of war, as well as the work “Tears of the Hell”, which reflects the hardships Azerbaijan went through in connection with the war, and the work “Yanardagh”, underscoring that he would continue his creativity in this direction.

The composer said he was moved by the information he had received about the Khojaly genocide, and decided to devote a work to this tragedy: “During one of my visits to Azerbaijan, I participated in a photo-exhibition, where I saw a photo of a little child. Asking who this child was, I was told he was an internally displaced child. I realised that I was in a country with internally displaced citizens. Thereafter, I started doing my research and received some information about this war. In 1992, I was 22 years old, taking interest in international policy, but had heard nothing about Khojaly. I thought it would be unfair to remain silent towards such a genocide, and decided to compose a work about this tragedy.”

Premiere of the work “Khojaly 613” took place on February 21, 2013 in Paris. Then the work was presented in London, Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Rouen, Colmar, Brussels, Athens, Vilnius, Bern, Geneva, Dublin, Oslo etc.

State and government officials, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan, cultural and public figures and Khojaly witnesses listened to the classic music performed at the Heydar Aliyev Centre.