Fikret Meshedi Jamil oglu Amirov (November 22, 1922, Ganja - February 20, 1984, Baku) was a prominent Azerbaijani composer. The music of Fikret Amirov perhaps has been heard outside of Azerbaijan more than that of any other Azerbaijani composer.
Fikret Amirov grew up in an atmosphere of folk music. Fikret's father, Meshedi Jamil Amirov, was a famous "khanande" (mugam singer) from Shusha, who composed and played tar.
During his childhood and early adolescence, Fikret began composing pieces for the piano. After graduating from Ganja Music College, Fikret entered Baku State Conservatory and studied under Boris Zeidman and Uzeyir Hajibeyov.
When World War II broke out in 1941 Amirov, who was only 19 at the time, was drafted, and his studies at the Conservatory interrupted. Amirov was wounded near Voronezh and hospitalized. He was demobilized from the military service and returned to Baku to continue his studies at the Conservatory.
Amirov's music was strongly influenced by Azeri folk melodies. He created a new genre called symphonic mugam. Amirov's symphonic mugams were based on the classical folk pieces and were performed by many renowned symphony orchestras throughout the world, such as Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski.
Amirov was a prolific composer. His most famous pieces include symphonic works such as "Shur" (1946), "Kurd Afshari" (1949), "Azerbaijan Capriccio" (1961), "Gulustan Bayati-Shiraz" (1968), "The Legend of Nasimi" (1977), "To the Memory of the Heroes of the Great National War" (1944), "Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra" (1948) etc.
His ballets include "Nizami" (1947) and "1,001 Nights," (sometimes referred to as "The Arabian Nights") which premiered in 1979. Amirov wrote the opera "Sevil" in 1953.
He also wrote a number of pieces for the piano including "Ballad," "Ashug's Song," "Nocturne," "Humoreska," "Lyrical Dance," "Waltz," "Lullaby" and "Toccata." He also wrote numerous film scores.
Michelle Kwan, World Champion Ice Skater from the U.S. used Fikrat Amirov's symphonic piece "Taj Mahal" from "Gulustan Bayati-Shiraz" in her skating program in 1997.
Amirov was honored as People's Artist of the USSR (1965) and awarded the USSR State Prize (1949, 1980).