The concert was organised by the French office of The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) in order to commemorate the 613 civilians killed on 26 February 1992 in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly, Nagorno-Karabakh, when it was forcibly occupied by Armenian armed forces, supported by the No. 366 Soviet Infantry Regiment. The evening featured the London-based Orion Orchestra under the baton of the leading conductor and composer Laurent Petitgirard, TEAS told APA.
The centrepiece of the evening was the world première of a moving new piece, Khojaly 613, composed by Pierre Thilloy, dedicated to the victims of the Khojaly tragedy. The work was written for violin, balaban, percussion and string orchestra. Featured was the evocative sound of the balaban, an Azerbaijani wind instrument, performed by the internationally-acclaimed virtuoso Shirzad Fataliyev. The violinist was Sabina Rakcheyeva, the first Azerbaijani graduate from the Juilliard School in New York and Cultural Advisor, TEAS.
This outstanding work ably captured the horror of the Khojaly Massacre, featuring Azerbaijani folk tunes, including Lachin and Sari Gelin, set against a rich orchestral backdrop of military march rhythms and the sounds of conflict. The violin and balaban – which has a plaintive quality, akin to the human voice – represented the soul of the Azerbaijani people that fateful night, with the violin solo section gradually reaching a furious tempo until coming to a sudden, unexpected halt.
Writing about the piece, the composer said: “The Khojaly Massacre ranks amongst one of the most vivid and nightmarish visions in the collective memory of the Azerbaijani people, stemming from the dark, insidious Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that continues to harm an entire people.
“There is a mechanism, commonly called ‘memory’, which, far from providing vulgar pathos, is a bulwark against oblivion, and operates as a timeless sentinel of dignity. ‘Memory’ has always been a creative banner for composers and artists, who, beyond any political or revolutionary context, are able to remind others of milestones, troubled moments, and dramas, which touch the very depths of their soul.”
Eliza Pieter, Head, TEAS France commented: “One has to forgive in order to be able to rebuild peace, but one should never forget. It is imperative to remember, without having the desire for revenge. This has been achieved by the people of France and Germany in order to restore peace. Surely music is the best way of remembering the Khojaly victims?”
The programme also included the Nizami Symphony by the Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov (1922–84), which was inspired by the work of the 12th century Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi. This piece demonstrated his synthesis of western classical techniques and glorious, passionate Azerbaijani mugham, known as ‘symphonic mugham’.
This emotional evening also included Sir Edward Elgar’s elegiac Introduction and Allegro for Strings, a multilayered symphonic poem, featuring polyphonic interwoven themes and a fragment of a Welsh traditional song. As an encore, the string orchestra performed a piece of meditative music by Laurent Petitgirard, written for a section of the film Ecrire contre l'oubli (Lest We Forget).
This beautiful music and evocative setting had an undeniable impact on all those in attendance, making them aware of the terrible events of 21 years ago, and of the ongoing plight of the Azerbaijanis who remain unable to return to their homes and lands.
- 27/02/2015 Khojaly genocide became leading theme on Twitter
- 27/02/2015 Petition for Khojaly published on British Parliament website
- 27/02/2015 Italian people informed about Khojaly tragedy
- 27/02/2015 Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Co-chair countries should consider imposing sanctions on Armenia
- 27/02/2015 Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Armenia demonstrates non-constructive position on the issue of exchange of prisoners of war and hostages
- 27/02/2015 Azerbaijani FM: Number of foreign citizens paying illegal visit to Nagorno Karabakh decreased
- 26/02/2015 Nobel Prize laureate: Tragedies like Khojaly, if forgotten, will lead to more tragic events
- 26/02/2015 Azerbaijan commemorates Khojaly victims with a minute of silence
- 26/02/2015 Azerbaijan commemorating Khojaly victims - PHOTOSESSION
- 26/02/2015 In Taksim was held a flash-mob action on Khojaly tragedy
- 26/02/2015 Commemorative rally on Khojaly genocide held in Baku
- 26/02/2015 U.S. Congress commemorates Khojaly massacre - PHOTOSESSION
- 26/02/2015 Ziyafat Asgarov: Three co-chair countries recognizing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity should put pressure on Armenia
- 26/02/2015 Armenia incapable of waging war – Vice-speaker
- 26/02/2015 James Warlick: "These are days of remembrance”
- 26/02/2015 Arizona becomes 16th U.S. State to recognize Khojaly Genocide - PHOTOSESSION
- 26/02/2015 23 years pass since Armenians committed genocide in Khojaly town of Azerbaijan
- 25/02/2015 Turkish president expresses condolences to Azerbaijanis in connection with Khojaly genocide
- 25/02/2015 Armenians resort to provocation regarding premiere of play “Red Angel in Khojaly” on Khojaly tragedy in Milan
- 25/02/2015 Azerbaijani FM: Co-chairs propose to create working group on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement
- 25/02/2015 Turkish FM: "Turkey had a condition for the entry into force of Zurich protocols”
- 25/02/2015 Play “Red Angel in Khojaly” on Khojaly tragedy premiered in Milan - PHOTOSESSION
- 25/02/2015 Political analyst: Armenians are concerned that mass graves in occupied territories will be discovered
- 25/02/2015 Exhibition dedicated to anniversary of Khojaly genocide opens in Milan, Italy - PHOTOSESSION
- 25/02/2015 OSCE Chairman-in-Office makes speech at UN Security Council on situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
- 25/02/2015 ICRC President: “We do our utmost for the conditions of detention of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev to comply with the international standards”
- 25/02/2015 “Justice for Khojaly” events to be continued until April, 2015
- 24/02/2015 Separatist NK regime says will ignore US call
- 24/02/2015 Azerbaijani Parliament speaker: Khojaly crime won’t remain unpunished
- 24/02/2015 Turkish Foreign Ministry: ‘Parliamentary elections’ to take place in occupied Azerbaijani lands are provocation
- 24/02/2015 Members of Lithuanian Seimas: Khojaly tragedy is one the worst crimes against humanity
- 24/02/2015 The US State Department calls the Armenian side to return two Azerbaijani hostages
- 23/02/2015 Rally on 23rd anniversary of Khojaly genocide held in Vienna - PHOTO
- 23/02/2015 French Senate hold conference entitled "The Nagorno Karabakh conflict: the main challenges and tragic consequences for security and stability in the Caucasus" - PHOTO
- 23/02/2015 Khojaly genocide commemorated in Los Angeles-based synagogue - PHOTOSESSION
- 23/02/2015 Buses, trams and trolleybuses are moving with "Justice for Khojaly" slogans in Milan - PHOTOSESSION
- 21/02/2015 Presentation of book on Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict held in Argentina - PHOTOSESSION
- 21/02/2015 UC Berkeley learns truth about Khojaly Genocide - PHOTOSESSION
- 20/02/2015 Khojaly tragedy to be staged at Milan theatre
- 20/02/2015 Bayram Safarov: Armenia tries every means to inhibit meetings between Nagorno-Karabakh communities