|World-renowned composer, musician, scientist, publicist, playwright, educator and public figure, the founder of the modern Azerbaijani professional music and national opera - Uzeyir Hajibeyov was born in Agjabedi village of Shusha on September 18, 1885. His childhood and youth has passed in Shusha and he got initial education here.
After his parents moved to from Agjabadi to Shusha he got primary education at the two-class Russian-Turkish school here. Shusha's rich musical and performing traditions influenced Hajibeyov’s musical education.
In 1899-1904 he studied at Gori Pedagogical Seminary, was familiar with the culture of advanced world during seminary years. He has mastered the works of the European musical classics; learn to play the violin and brass instrument, made notes for folk songs. After graduating from the seminary in 1904, U. Hajibeyov was appointed teacher in the Hadrut village of Jabrayil region. He taught Russian language, arithmetic, history, and music at the school.
U. Hajibeyov arrived in Baku on the eve of the Russian revolution of 1905-1907, taught at the Bibiheybat, then at the “Saadat” school. Beginning for literary performance in Baku he worked a translator in “Hayat” newspaper. Also has been an associate of “Irshad” newspaper, which began to be published since that day. In 1907, has published Turkic-Russian and Russian-Turkic dictionary of "Account Issues" and " Political, legal, economic, military words used in the press”. He has translated Russian writer Nikolai Gogol's "Greatcoat" story into Azerbaijani.
By performing “Leyli and Mejnun” opera at the theatre of H.Z.Taghiyev in 1908, U.Hajibeyov has founded the art of opera not only in Azerbaijan but also in the Muslim East.
One after another in 1909-1915 U.Hajibeyov has written librettos of "Sheikh Sanan" (1909), "Rustam and Sohrab" (1910), "Shah Abbas and Banu Khurshud" (1912), "Asli and Karam" (1912), "Harun and Leyla" (1915) mugham operas relied on folk epics and legends and Firdovsi’s “Shahnameh".
U.Hajibeyov went to Moscow to study music in 1911, studied at the Ilyinski special music courses under Moscow Philharmonic Society. His satirical stories and topical satires sent from Moscow were released in the "Igbal" newspaper.
The composer’s first musical comedy in three acts is “Husband and Wife", which is the first example of the musical comedy in Azerbaijan.
U. Hajibeyov educated at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire in 1913. The St. Petersburg period played an important role in the creation of Hajibeyov and he created "Arshin mal alan" musical comedy here.
In 1921, the composer founded the first music school for students in Baku - Azerbaijan State Turkic Music School. Functioning at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory since 1926, he taught the theory, harmony, basics of Azerbaijan music, including established conservatory's first many-voiced chorus staff.
Together with Muslim Magomayev he released collection “Azerbaijan Turkic Folk Songs" in 1927. Hajibeyov organized the first orchestra of traditional musical instruments attached to the Radio Committee of Azerbaijan in 1931.
On April 30, 1937, the Azerbaijani State Opera and Ballet Theater staged "Koroglu" opera for the first time and in the same year U. Hajibeyov was deserved to the title of "People's Artist of the USSR”.
By the decision of Council of People's Commissars of the USSR dated January 23, 1945, Azerbaijani branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences shifted into Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences SSR. In the same year was elected 15 active members to this body. U. Hajibeyov was also positioned at its first squad. Art Institute of Azerbaijan AS was established by composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov in 1945, and originally called the Art History Institute of Azerbaijan. In 1945-1948, Uzeyir bey chaired to the institute.
U.Hajibeyov laid a new direction in the history of musical culture of Azerbaijan and national composer school. Genius composer, who authored the first opera, first musical comedy and a series of musical patters in other genres in the history of music, is also a folklorist-composer and musician-scientist, revealing depths and directions of Azerbaijan music and exploring them.
All over his life, this unforgettable figure served to the culture and music of Azerbaijan, and made notes for more than 300 folk songs, wrote marches, cantatas, fantasy, songs and romances, also chamber and choral compositions.
Composer gained the title of Honored Artist of Azerbaijan (1935), People's Artist of the USSR (1938), Stalin Prize laureate (1941), "Order of Lenin" and "Red Banner" award, academician of the Azerbaijan AS (1945), Professor (1940), chairman of the Azerbaijan Composers' Union (1938-1948), rector of Azerbaijan State Conservatory (1928-1929, 1939-1948), director of the Institute of Arts under Azerbaijan AS (1945-1948), and author of the anthem both of Azerbaijan SSR and Republic of Azerbaijan.
Uzeyir Hajibeyov passed away in Baku on November 22, 1948.
By the decision of National leader Heydar Aliyev, each year September 18 began to be celebrated as the Music Day.