The 10th Silk Road International Music Festival has opened its doors to music lovers in Shaki, Azerbaijan.

Famous music bands and theatre troupes, talented musicians from Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are taking part in the festival jointly organised by the Azerbaijan Composers Union, the Ministry of Culture and Shaki Executive Power.

The festival’s opening ceremony was held in the Upper Caravanserai Hotel Complex.

Speaking at the event, the Head of the and Shaki Executive Power Elkhan Usubov noted that Shaki is a great place for holding international festivals, and it is already known as the city of festivals. He said that music bands, masters of art from many foreign countries participate in the annual international festivals held in the city.

“The Silk Road International Music Festival is a big event in the cultural life of Shaki. Festivals play an important role in expanding tourism potential and international recognition of Shaki,” he said.

Usubov stressed that Azerbaijan pays great attention and care for preservation of cultural heritage and promotion of the country’s rich culture.

He emphasised the importance of work of President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice President of Azerbaijan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva carried out in this area.

Firangiz Alizade, the festival’s Artistic Director, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Composers Union noted that the Silk Road International Music Festival, which became a wonderful tradition as a grandiose musical festival, is held for the tenth time in Shaki. Variety of concert programs will be presented as part of the festival, she said.

The chairman of the Composers Union noted that, as at the first festival, the program of the 10th anniversary festival will also traditionally begin with the play “Leyli and Majnun” by the great composer Uzeyir Hajibayli.

“We believe that this festival, which has become a celebration of music, friendship and solidarity, will once again resonate in people’s hearts with wonderful feelings, indelible impressions,” Alizade added.

The opera “Leyli and Majnun” was presented p by artists of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. The director of the play is Honoured Art Worker Hafiz Guliyev; conductor and choirmaster – Honoured Art Worker Sevil Hajiyeva.

Leyli’s part in the play was performed by Ravana Amiraslanli, and the role of Majnun was played by honored artist Elnur Zeynalov.

At the end of the performance, Firangiz Alizade awarded Hafiz Guliyev with Uzeyir Hajibayli medal.

The 10th Silk Road International Music Festival will continue in Shaki until July 3.

For centuries, Shaki, which is located on the route of the ancient Silk Road, was an important centre of art and commerce.

Shaki is a unique place set in a picturesque mountain area rich in green valleys, springs, purest rivers, waterfalls and mineral water springs, dense woods and alpine meadows.

Rightly called the architectural reserve of the country, Shaki has its own theatre, a historical museum, caravanserais, mosques, minarets, bridges, the house-museum of the Azerbaijan writer and philosopher Mirza Fatali Akhundov, etc.

Shaki is also a major centre of crafts and has many shops where one can buy jewels and engravings by local craftsmen. The city still has street names that indicate the ancient professions, Duluzchular (potters), Zargarlar (jewelers), Halvachilar (confectioners), etc.