A nation is known, recognized and distinguished among the world nations by certain characteristic features. The highest and the greatest of these features is culture.

HEYDAR ALIYEV
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Arif Malikov's grave in the Alley of Honor visited on his birthday

The 90th anniversary of the birth of the distinguished composer, educator, People's Artist of the USSR and Azerbaijan, recipient of State and Heydar Aliyev awards, and academician Arif Malikov (1933–2019) was commemorated on September 13.

On this occasion, Minister of Culture Adil Karimli, well-known figures of culture and art, officials of the ministry, family members of the artist, and other guests paid a visit to the grave of the artist in the First Alley of Honor and laid flowers on it.

Speaking at the memorial ceremony, Adil Karimli emphasized that Arif Malikov, with his unique creativity, has forever etched his name in the history of musical culture. He noted that the national leader, Heydar Aliyev, always paid attention to the composer's creativity and highly appreciated it. President Ilham Aliyev has been and is continuously working to perpetuate the memory of Arif Malikov, keep his art alive, and pass it on to future generations. The order on perpetuating the memory of the outstanding composer, signed by President Ilham Aliyev in 2019, is evidence of this attention.

The minister noted that the 90th anniversary of the famous composer's birth will be widely celebrated. On the initiative of First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva and with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation under her leadership, the artist's anniversary will also be marked by the performance of his ballet "The Legend of Love", considered one of the masterpieces of world classical music, in his homeland after half a century. This magnificent ballet, which has conquered numerous international stages, will be performed at the Heydar Aliyev Palace as part of the XV Uzeyir Hajibeyov International Music Festival on September 18–19.

People's Artist and Chairman of the Union of Composers of Azerbaijan, Firangiz Alizadeh, emphasized that Arif Malikov was not only an exceptional composer but also an artist, educator, and public figure. She noted, "Arif Malikov, in his capacity as a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, made significant contributions to supporting the just cause of the Azerbaijani people. His compositions cover various genres, and I am glad that his works are now part of the curriculum in educational institutions. Arif Malikov raised talented students and left behind a great legacy."

People's Artist Farhad Badalbeyli, rector of the Baku Music Academy named after U. Hajibeyli, emphasized that Arif Malikov was not only an exceptional composer but also a great personality: "He had a strong-willed character, which sometimes led to conflicts with others. Nevertheless, he always spoke his mind directly. I hope that his students will continue his legacy in the ballet genre.

It's worth mentioning that Arif Malikov was born on September 13, 1933, in Baku. He pursued his education at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory (now BMA) between 1953 and 1958, specializing in composing (Gara Garayev's class). Starting in the 1960s, he worked as a teacher, from 1979 to 1986 as a professor, and from 1986 to the end of his life as the head of the composers' department at this educational institution.

The outstanding composer, known for his substantial contributions to the development of musicians in our country, died on May 9, 2019.

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