Muslim Magomayev is an Azerbaijani-Russian legend. During the 60s and 70s, he was leading a life of an operatic baritone and of a Sovietic pop singer. Muslim was born in August 17, 1942 in Baku and died in October 25, 2008 in Moscow.
Muslim Magomayev was representing one of the most respected artistic dynasties in Azerbaijan. His father Mahammed Magomayev was a gifted painter, his mother Ayshet Magomayeva was an actress while both his grandfather Muslim Magomayev and his grandfather's friend Uzeyir Hajibeyov were prominent composers.
At the age of 14, Muslim began to take lessons from teachers of voice choreography and finished piano lessons. As a teenager, he became interested in Italian songs, American jazz and other styles of popular music.
In 1962, at the age of 20, Magomayev first appeared in Moscow where he performed within the frameworks of the Days of Azerbaijani Culture. He sang two musical pieces in a gala-concert on the USSR's main stage, the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, and became a celebrity on a spur of the moment. A year later he gave his first solo concert in the Moscow Tchaikovsky Concert Hall to a full house and became a soloist of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. Muslim earned fame in the USSR as an opera singer with Rossini's The Barber of Seville. He also became famous for his arias from Puccini's Vissi D'Arte aria from Tosca and from his grandfather’s Shah Ismayil.
In 1965 after the probation in the La Scala theatre in Milan, Muslim turned down the invitation to sing in the Moscow Bolshoi Theater. Instead, the singer turned to popular music. After triple performances a day and album sales, the singer became an idol of an entire generation.
In 1966 and 1969 Magomayev performed in Paris Olympia with great success. The director of Olympia Bruno Coquatrix offered him a contract. Regardless the opportunity, Ekaterina Furtseva claimed that Muslim should pay off by performing at governmental concerts. In 1969 the singer received MIDEM Gold Disc Award in Cannes of France for the sales of more than 4.5 million of copies.
Magomayev is also known as a composer : he wrote songs and film soundtracks. In addition, Magomaev played in films and acted as a host in television and radio broadcasts devoted to prominent musicians of the 20th century.
Magomayev has been living and working in Moscow since the early 1970s. In 1997, in recognition of Magomayev's professional successes, a Russian astronomical society named two planetoids of the Solar system in honor of him and his wife, Tamara Sinyavskaya, a prominent Russian opera singer who worked as a soloist at Bolshoi Theater. An official website dedicated to Muslim is http://www.magomaev.info.
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