Sunday, October 26, 2008

Muslim Magomayev dies

One the first singers to appear on Barihunks was Muslim Magomayev who I am sad to report passed away yesterday. Here is the ABC News report:

Singer Muslim Magomaev, a legendary crooner of the Soviet stage, died in Moscow on Saturday (local time) aged 66 after a long illness, his personal website and Russian news agencies reported.

Magomaev, who launched his career with an internship in Milan's famed La Scala opera theatre in 1963 and enjoyed great success in Paris's Olympia theatre, abandoned opera in favour of a more pop repertoire, becoming a legend of the Soviet Union's 1960s generation.

Born in Azerbaijan's capital Baku in 1942, Magomaev sang over 600 Russian and Neapolitan romances, classical arias and pop songs, and was himself author of over 20 songs and film soundtracks.

Named USSR People's Artist in 1973, Magomaev later founded Azerbaijan's state symphonic orchestra and headed it from 1975-1989.

"Muslim's death is one of the worst shocks for me, but his first appearance many years ago was also a shock - happy, sunny and wonderfully emotional, he immediately won over colleagues who admitted he was more talented," friend and fellow singer Lev Leshchenko said.

"Muslim was one and only, he gave people new hopes, and all of our country sang his songs - he was a great singer, a great artist," Mr Leshchenko told the Dni online newspaper.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin offered their condolences to Magomaev's widow, opera singer Tamara Sinyavskaya, with Russia's culture ministry comparing Magomaev to Frank Sinatra and Yves Montand in their statement.

Ninth round matches in Azerbaijan's football championship will begin with a minute of silence honouring Magomaev, website reported.

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