mainpage Faradzh KARAEV

Faradj Karaev is one of the leading composers of the post Soviet era.
The chronology of his creative works resembles more the typical avant-garde cardiogram than a classical gradual growth. Neoclassics and serial music, pointillism and sonore, collages and modality, neoromanticism and mugam, postmodernism and jazz, European instrumental theatre and a theatre of folk instruments, conceptualism and electronic music… However, none of this exemplifies the essence and meaning of his compositional art. It is more important for F.K. to mark music and absurdity than to demonstrate any compositional practice, technology or style. He easily operates within any musical sign, style, technology or image, he does not feel any composer’s complexes even when he finds himself in strange musical territory. In this way his music produces very contradicting and even mutually exclusive impressions. It may seem that all concepts, images, thoughts and feelings of F.K.’s music are only illusions, because they do not have any meanings, expressions, planes, mass or assertions. At the same time in his music one may hear numerous meanings, parallels, senses and contexts so that it feels like many composers sound together.

In the period of total rule of social realism in Soviet art, one party dictatorship and censorship, F.K. was writing so differently from conventional music, and totally opposed to the accepted composing tradition and practice. To picture him as an ardent opponent to the Soviet system, a dissident or a radical oppositionist would be a bit of an exaggeration. But he could always keep his integrity intact, saving his inner freedom and right to artistic choice in any situation…

(from R.Farkhadov's annotation)


Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, 19.12.1943.

In 1966 graduated cum lauda from the Azerbaijan State Conservatory, composition class by prof. Kara KARAEV, his father. 1970-1971 – post-graduate course at the same class.

In 1966-2003 teached composition, orchestration, and polyphony at The Azerbaijan State Conservatory (since 1991 – Baku Musical Academy), since 1994 – professor.

Since 1991 lives in Baku and Moscow. Since 1999, professor at The Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Music Theory department. In 2003-2005 professor at The Kazan State Conservatory, Composition department.

In 1994-1996, Vice-Chairman of the Association of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Moscow.
Since 1995, co-founder and president of Yeni Musiqi Society for contemporary music in Baku.
In 1980–1994 worked as an Artistic director of the BaKaRA Ensemble (Baku).
In 1991 composer-in-residence in Folkwang-Hochschule Essen, Germany.
In 2007-2008, 2010-2011, 2013-2014, 2015-2016 — Art Director of the project "Face To Face With Time" ("Zamanla üz-üzə"), by Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan. In 2011, 2013, 2015 — Artistic director of The International festival of contemporary music named after Qara Qarayev in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Many works were performed in the festivals and concerts through out former USSR, Europe, USA, South America, and Japan. Among performers of Faraj KARAEV's works are conductors: Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Valery Sinaysky, Alexander Lazarev, Maxim Schostakovich, V.Yurovsky (USSR/Russia); R.Abdullayev (Azerbaijan); E.Bağirov, (Turkey/Azerbaijan); J.Metzmacher (Germany); R. de Leeuw, E.Spanjaard (Netherlands); R.Freisitzer (Austria), D.Sachs (USA). Among ensembles, performing and commissioning works by Faradzh KARAEV – BOLSHOY Theatre ENSEMBLE (Moscow, Russia), STUDIO FOR NEW MUSIC (Moscow, Russia), ENSEMBLE MODERN (Frankfurt/Main, Germany), NIEUW ENSEMBLE and SCHÖNBERG ENSEMBLE (Amsterdam, Holland), ENSEMBLE RECONSIL WIEN (Австрия), QUATOUR DANEL (France), CONTINUUM (New-York, USA) etc.

NEW  The article about Faraj KARAEV in German encyclopedia "Die Musik in Geschichte und
(PDF, 104 Kb)


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