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Bül-bül (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 Nagorno-Karabakh.

سینا نورآذر

 

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