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Festival “Culturescapes” in Azerbaijan with Franghiz Ali-Zadeh’s Cello Concerto

In the current issue of the Neue Musikzeitung (December 2009) there is a report by Barbara Haack well worth reading (p.4) about the Basle Sinfonietta’s concert tour to Azerbaijan. During the course of the festival “Culturescapes,” the renowned ensemble performed, among other works, the Cello Concerto by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh. Haack wrote the following in her contribution entitled “Musical Bridge from Basle to Baku:”

“From Basle to Baku and back. A concert tour to the capital of Azerbaijan on the outer edge of Europe (others say on the outer edge of Asia) is not everyday professional life for the musicians of the Basle Sinfonietta – although the professional orchestra, organised as an association and thus essentially self-determined by the musicians themselves, certainly enjoys prescribing unusual programmes and projects (…). The orchestra travelled to Baku with a slightly altered programme. New in their baggage was the Cello Concerto by the Azerbaijani composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh with soloist Julius Berger. Conducting the orchestra – as is frequently the case with the Sinfonietta – Stefan Asbury. (…) Such a concert experience must be a highlight in Baku that will not soon be repeated. Whoever experienced it will retain “musical” memories of the so faraway country of Switzerland. And that, ultimately, is what Juuriaan Coolman wants to attain with the festival “Culturescapes.”


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