April 2024FeaturedInterviewsIssues

Nijat Mammadov Artist Interview

Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1993, Nijat Mammadov discovered his passion for the flute at a young age, honing his skills under the guidance of local professors. His musical journey led him to the Baku Music Academy, where he refined his technique and embraced diverse musical genres. In addition to pursuing his solo career, Nijat currently holds the position of principal flutist in the Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestra.

Can you give us 5 career highlights?
  1. My first professional trip outside of Azerbaijan (2004)
  2. My performance of the 4th Symphony by Tchaikovsky as a piccolo in Berlin Philharmonie with Sir.Neville Marriner (2011)
  3. Presidential Scholarship and Rostropovich Foundation Scholarship.(2007)
  4. Recommendation letters from Manfred Honeck, Giannadrea Noseda, Claudio Vandelli, Oksana Lyniv (since 2019)
  5. The first performer of Concerto Pastoral by Joaquin Rodrigo in Azerbaijan. (2024)
How about 3 pivotal moments essential to creating the artist you've become?
  1. First of all, I was lucky enough to start learning flute in the class of Azerbaijan's most experienced flutist, prof. Muzaffar Aghamalizade
  2. During a challenging period marked by career uncertainty, an unexpected gift from maestro Claudio Vandelli (assistant to the music director of the Tsinandali Festival) inspired me to go on. Mr. Vandelli proved himself to be most considerate and generous to gift me a Brannen Cooper flute.
  3. Certainly, the moral backing and empathetic connection provided by family members are crucial for everyone. I consider myself fortunate to be married to a fellow musician who consistently encourages and stands by me in every circumstance.
What do you like best about performing?
I wouldn't mention or differentiate a particular moment of performing as my favorite. The excitement between my first step on stage and first note from my flute, the loss of excitement as music fades away, the eye contact with musicians and conductor, positive reactions, and loud applause are the payoffs of my sacrifices and hard work.
The lovely side of stage excitement is that is that trills always sound perfect, and this, for me, is thrilling.
What does your schedule look like for the next 6 months?
Several solo concerts are expected in Baku in March and May. In the next 6 months, negotiations are underway with managers for organizing solo concerts in several cities in Europe.
What are your goals personally? Professionally?
Continuously work on refining flute-playing techniques, embouchure, and breath control to keep technical mastery.
Explore a diverse range of musical genres and expand the repertoire to develop versatility and a well-rounded musical profile.
Seek out and actively pursue various performance opportunities, such as solo recitals, chamber music collaborations, and orchestral engagements.
Collaborate with other musicians, composers, and artists to create unique and innovative projects that push the boundaries of traditional flute performance.
Build a strong network within the music industry, connecting with fellow musicians, composers, and industry professionals to open up new opportunities for collaboration and performance.
What inspires you the most in life?
To my mind, inspiration is a deeply personal and subjective experience, and musicians often find it in the most unexpected places, allowing them to create authentic and meaningful works of art. Personally, I feel inspired by the following:
To listening other musicians
Innovation and Experimentation
What has been your greatest professional challenge?
I believe the most challenging aspect of my professional career has been always being different from others. Another challenge has been carrying the responsibility of being the first performer of some pieces in my country, and thirdly, keeping the balance between my orchestral and solo careers.
Who were your music mentors? and what did you learn from them?
Undoubtedly, the role of Honored Artist Prof. Aghamalizade was invaluable in my early steps as a musician during childhood. The delicate details of orchestral performance, such as intonation, articulation, balance, and other nuances, were greatly improved through the practical guidance of Malin Nordlöf (The principal flutist of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra).
Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun, (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?  
Earlier, in my free time, I was interested in astronomy, and playing billiards and ping-pong. But now, I prefer to spend time mostly with my family. We like to play educational games, rollerblading and cycling with my daughter. She's 6 years old and her name is Jahan which means the "universe".
What 3 things would you offer as advice for a young flutist?
I would advise young musicians to do their best in optimizing the efficiency of their daily practices rather than non-stop practices: Practice with patience, passion, and always with a metronome.

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