In 1997, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Byulbyul, the Government of Azerbaijan and personally President of Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev decided to organize Buylbyul’s International Competition of Vocalists. In his address to the Competition unforgettable Heydar Aliyevich wrote: “Having in Baku, the capital city of the independent Azerbaijan, such a prestigious competition gives us a feeling of great satisfaction. Participation in the jury of the Competition of internationally renowned musical figures and attraction of young singers from abroad are signs of interest for work of the great musician as well as for unique musical culture of Azerbaijan. I hope that the First International Byulbyul Competition of Vocalists would make the world discover new talents and it would become a great tradition promoting the development and enrichment of world culture.”
Years passed… The First Buylbyuls International Competition of Vocalists in 1997 attracted young singers from 10 countries. Laureates of the Competition have taken a strong position in the international arena. Suffice it to mention soprano Dinara Alieva, tenor George Oniani, baritone Elchin Azizov. Many laureates have become leading soloists in their theaters. Among jury members were such outstanding singers as Maria Bieşu (Moldova), Evgheniya Miroshnichenko (Ukraine), Nedda Casei (USA), sisters Gasimov (Azerbaijan), Nodar Andguladze (Georgia). For times the high competition jury was headed by the great Russian singer Irina Arkhipova. She made a huge contribution to the development and prestige of the competition. At a press conference she said: “I love the Byulbyul Competition because it attracts mostly young singers from Siberia, the Far East, Central Asia, Caucasus, and South-East Asia. Thanks to such a presentation at the Byulbyul Competitions, we know that in all these regions, an own strong vocal school has appeared and successfully develops. A new generation of young talents has grown in Azerbaijan too. I will never forget the impressions of Baku, of its beauty and hospitality of its people.”
After Irina Arkhipova’s retiring from life, the jury of the Fifth Competition in 2010 was headed by another outstanding singer, Professor Evgeny Nesterenko. At the initiative of the Byulbyul Foundation and Polad Byulbyul Ogly, Organizing Committee started cooperation with the Dutch agency TACT International Art Management (Amsterdam). Just then, at the Fifth Competition, invited jurors were not only outstanding singers and musicians, but also artistic directors of the most important American and Western European theaters – from the Metropolitan Opera in New York to Staatsoper in Berlin. That gave a certain result. Several laureates and participants of the Competition were approached to sign contracts with European opera houses.
Chairman of the Sixth Competition in 2012 will be internationally known baritone, People’s Artist of Russia Sergei Leiferkus. This year, the Competition takes place at the 115th anniversary of birth of Byulbyul and will go down in history because in parallel to it, the Fair of Singers is organized that will be a presentation of artists for directors of American and Western European opera theaters as well as of theaters from Russia and other CIS countries. That’s a new round of the Competition’s development. We wish all the success!