(real name: Murtuza Mamedov) (1897-1961), - famous
Azerbaijani vocalist, performer of opera and folk music,
one of the founders of Azerbaijani vocal arts and
national musical theatre.
Bül-bül was born in 1897 in the village of Khanbagi,
near Shusha. From his childhood he became famous for his
beautiful voice, for which people called him “Bül-bül”,
which means “nightingale” in Azeri. He studied music and
vocal arts in Azerbaijan State Conservatoire and Italian
La Scala in Milan .
Bül-bül was famous not only for his beautiful tenor, but
also for his ability to blend national manners of
performance with traditions of Italian vocal school.
Bül-bül was first to play the lead role of Koroglu in
Uzeyir Hajibeyov's famous opera of the same name.
Bül-bül was also a prominent music scientist and
pedagogue. He wrote several monographs, which serve as
an important source for the students of history of Azeri
music. He was also the first person to prepare
study-books and manuals for teaching play on tar,
kemancha and balaban, the national musical instruments
in Azerbaijan . From 1932 till his death Bül-bül taught
in Azerbaijan State Conservatoire and helped bringing
about new talented generation of vocalists.
Bül-bül was awarded highest orders of the Soviet Union
and also the Garibaldi order in Italy.
Before the Armenian capture of Shusha in 1992 there was
a home-museum of Bül-bül and several monuments. After
occupation the house-museum, where Bül-bül used to live,
and all his monuments were destroyed, just like the
other house-museums of many other prominent Shushavians.
Several years ago Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan
bought statues to Bül-bül and several other famous
Karabakh Azeris in a black market in Georgia. These
monuments, which once decorated the central streets of
Shusha were intended to be sold as a scrap metal.
Nowadays these monuments are kept in the courtyard of
the Azerbaijani Museum of Arts in Baku. Pocked by bullet
holes, Bül-bül's monument stands as another mute witness
to the casualties that have resulted in the war over