Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

Love´s Deep Ocean

Alim & Ferghana Qasimov A "Century of Song" concert

Whenever he appears on a concert stage the experts agree: Alim Qasimov, in the words of New York Times after a recent appearance at the invitation of the Kronos Quartet at Carnegie Hall, »is simply one of the greatest singers alive. His voice makes each line a revelation«.

When an artist with his biography attracts such effusive praise, he must have achieved more than a musician of similar talents. Born in1957, Alim Qasimov comes from Azerbaijan, a region of the world better known for its economic and political crises than as a meeting point of the international music world. His family worked in a Soviet commune.  His extraordinary talent was quickly discovered and promoted.  After he was recognized as the best singer of his year in his native land in 1982, a triumphant procession through the international concert halls began.

At a classical music festival he made the acquaintance of American singer Jeff Buckley. A brief collaboration between the two artists ensued, which brought Qasimov to the attention of a wider audience in the western hemisphere. In 1999 he received the UNESCO International Music Prize, a prestigious award comparable to the Nobel Prize, which is only awarded to artists of the calibre of Leonard Bernstein, Yehudi Menuhin or Herbert von Karajan.

Qasimov’s singing is an extension of mugham, a traditional form of improvisation whose roots lie in Persian and Arab music and which has been passed on orally from generation to generation. It is based on a complex modal system which defines intervals, melody and rhythm and whose structure is comparable to a suite or rhapsody.

»Expansive gestures and closed eyes« writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of his mysteriously weightless style of presentation »underline his concentration, sitting cross-legged does not stop his body from resonating. Passionate crescendi keep increasing the intensity to new levels, his vibrating voice appears to have no limits.«

The series Century of Song has been produced by the Ruhrtriennale.