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OneWorldWalk Artist Profile: Faik Ibragim ogly Chelebi

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Faik Ibragim ogly Chelebi
Famous 11-String Tar Player


Photo of Faik Ibragim ogly Chelebi

Faik Chelebi is a gifted pupil of a famous Azeri musician Bahram Mansurov (1911-1985), one of the most distinguished tar performers and teachers of the last hundred years. As a tar-player, Chelebi has performed in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, and has been invited to perform in the U.S. by Indiana University, City University of New York (CUNY), CREEES at Stanford University, and the Silk Road House in Berkeley. His visit is sponsored by the Silk Road Foundation.

Faik Ibragim ogly Chelebi, originally from Sheki, Azerbaijan (of the south-east Caucasus), is a well-known folklorist virtuoso tar player. Chelebi holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and dedicated his 1999 dissertation to the Azeri instrumental genre reng. Chelebi authors many scholarly articles in Russian and Azeri languages, and is the current Professor of Music at the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia as well as a research fellow at the Russian Institute for History of the Arts, both located in St. Petersburg.

At the same time, Chelebi has a long and very successful history of solo performance on the 11-string tar - different from the original Iranian 5-string tar. His repertoire consists of instrumental mughams; the Azeri mugham being a highly original Azerbaijani version of the well-known Iranian classical cycle dastg?h. This Islamic art music, based on modal principle, is emotionally deep and beautiful, and at the same time represents an amazing typological parallel to the European baroque music.

Faik Chelebi represents the unique solo “poem” version of traditional mugham suite usually performed by a singer and accompanied by an instrumental ensemble. However, the mughams, tantamount to classical tradition, can be performed on the tar alone when the musician is a deep connoisseur of the genre and a great virtuoso and improviser.

During his presentation, Dr. Faik Chelebi will offer an improvisational set of various mughams. Dr. Izaly Zemtsovsky, visiting professor in music at Stanford University, will be introducing and commenting his performance.

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