Khan Shushinski – outstanding representative of traditional Azerbaijani art of mugham, pearl of world music art

Khan Shushinski (Isfandiyar Aslan oglu Javanshirov’s stage name) - one of the well-known khanandes (singers) and popular artists of Azerbaijan, was born on August 20, 1901 in the “Pearl of Karabakh” – Shusha city, which was liberated on November 8, 2020, after almost 30 years of illegal Armenian occupation.

His father Aslan bay, grandchild of Mahammad Javanshir, is from generation of Panahali khan, the founder and first ruler of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh khanate.

Famous intellectuals of Shusha would often gather in Aslan bay’s home and build meetings of poetry and music. Isfandiyar had grown up in the environment of music.

When he was 16 years old, his teacher named him "Khan Shushinski" because he sang "Kurd-Shahnaz" mugham in an amazing way.

Prominent Azerbaijani musicians and renowned representatives of Karabakh singing school Jabbar Garyaghdioglu and Seyid Shushinski also had a great influence on the Khan's upbringing as a singer.

In the 1920s, Khan Shushinski came to Baku and expanded his performing activities. Along with "Mahur-Hindi", "Bayati-Gajar", "Qatar" instruments, "Karabakh shikastasi", "Arazbari", "Heyrati" percussion mughams, folk songs and classifications took a big place in Khan's repertoire.

Khan Shushinski sang folk songs with special enthusiasm, instilling new shades in them.

In 1934, Khan Shushinski was awarded the first prize at the first Transcaucasian Art Olympiad in Tbilisi.

He also represented the Azerbaijani music culture at a high level and with dignity in other countries.

In 1960, he established the "Mugham Studio" under the auspices of the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic, where he taught young singers the secrets of mugham.

Khan Shushinski also highly represented Azerbaijani music abroad. In 1943, he was awarded with the title of People’s Artist and later with different honor awards.

The 70th birth anniversary of Khan Shushinski was held at the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall in 1971.

He also taught at the Azerbaijan State Music School and created a new generation of mugham singers.

As a true creative artist, Khan enriched the national music treasury with new songs. Everyone admired and memorized his songs "Gamarim", "Shusha's mountains". Khan Shushinski also addressed the composer's songs in his work. In this sense, he was the first singer of Uzeyir Hajibayli’s song "Black Eye" and sang it with great pleasure.

Khan Shushinski died on March 18, 1979 and was buried in the Second Alley of Honors.


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