Irina Bokova inaugurates the 2nd Gabala International Music Festival in Azerbaijan
During her official visit to Azerbaijan from 28 July to 1st August 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova inaugurated the 2nd Gabala International Music Festival on 30 July 2010, in the presence of Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of Azerbaijan and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Oral and Musical Traditions.
In her address at the opening ceremony, the Director-General expressed her firm conviction that “promoting the world’s vast reserve of musical expressions and other cultural traditions, through initiatives such as the present festival, enhances mutual understanding and dialogue”.
On the same occasion, Irina Bokova awarded the UNESCO Mozart Gold Medal to Mehriban Aliyeva “in recognition of her outstanding devotion to promoting humanity’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage, her unfailing commitment to fostering intercultural dialogue, her exemplary contribution to strengthening cultural diversity, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.”
The Gabala International Music Festival was established in 2009 on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation President Mehriban Aliyeva. Today the Festival is one of the most important cultural events in Azerbaijan. It promotes classical music and attracts a rapidly growing public from within the country and the whole world.
This year’s Festival was highlighted by the performance of the world famous London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, violinist Yuri Bashmet, virtuoso pianists Boris Berezovsky, Murad Adigozalzadeh and Oxana Yablonskaya, violinist Chloe Hanslip, conductor Rauf Abdullayev and other distinguished musicians.
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