National Music Day in Azerbaijan is celebrated on September each year. The music feast marks the birthday of the outstanding composer, founder of Azerbaijani professional musical art and opera, Uzeyir Hajibeyli.
The tradition of celebrating the birthday of the great composer as a holiday was laid by eminent conductor Niyazi Hajibeyov, who used to celebrate this day each year after Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s death. This tradition continues till nowadays.
Numerous cultural events, including gala concerts and festivals, are being held across the country as part of the celebration.
In 2009, it was decided to hold the International Music Festival in honour of the prominent composer.
Traditionally, national and foreign musicians, outstanding performers, orchestras from around the world gather in Baku to demonstrate their incredible talents.
Musicians and collectives from Germany, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, France, Bulgaria and other countries take part in the festival.
Uzeyir Hajibeyli laid the foundation of a national musical style. He was the first composer of an opera in the Islamic world.
The opera "Leyla and Majnun" (1908) is based on traditional folk music and dance, musical genres that relied on oral traditions.
Furthermore, the composer wrote his second opera "Sheikh Sanan", "Rustam and Sohrab", Asli and Karam, Shah Abbas and Khurshudbanu and Harun and Leyli entirely based on national folk music elements, primarily mugham.
He also composed three comedies including, "Husband and Wife" (1910), "If not this one, that one" (1911) and "Arshin Mal Alan" (1913).
"Arshin Mal Alan" or The Cloth Peddler was the latest and one of the most popular operettas of the eminent composer.
The operetta has been successfully performed in a plethora of languages in over 60 countries of the world, including in the U.S, Austria, France, China, Greece, India, Russia, and Turkey.