It is with great sadness that we share the news that on June 20, 2022, we lost our friend and colleague Aida Huseynova. Aida was in Istanbul when she passed away following a long illness.
A native of Baku, Azerbaijan, Aida was trained as a musicologist. Her professional training included a master’s (1987) and doctorate (1992) from the Baku State Conservatory and the St. Petersburg Conservatory, respectively. During her years as associate and then full professor of musicology in Baku, she came to Bloomington three times as visiting scholar (2000, 2001-2002, and 2007-2008). Following the third visit, on a Fulbright, Aida was invited to teach at IU, first as adjunct lecturer, and from 2017 until her passing as lecturer in Music in General Studies at IU’s Jacobs School.
IU Professors Emeriti, Mary Goetze and William Fierman, sent their thoughts upon Aida’s passing:
“Aida’s brilliance, charm, enthusiasm, and warmth enriched all those whose lives she touched. Aida was a distinguished researcher who authored numerous books and articles. Many of her works—especially the monograph Music of Azerbaijan: From Mugham to Opera—lovingly introduced English readers to the music of her homeland. Aida was a key link in bringing Azerbaijani culture to widespread live audiences throughout the world—from Sydney, Qatar, and London to Stanford, UC Berkeley, and New York—cooperating with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble and with the Mark Morrison Dance Group. Although the audiences saw Aida only during her notes presented just prior to performances with these groups, she was working far in advance as the cultural bridge between Azerbaijani artists and those preparing the American productions.
Although the music of Azerbaijan was at the heart of Aida’s professional life, she was extraordinarily versatile. She researched and wrote about Shostakovich, and after her return from her first stay at IU she gave lectures to Azerbaijani audiences about jazz. She was a frequent participant in outreach activities with Inner Asian and Uralic National Research Center, as well as other campus units. She often served as resident artist with the International Vocal Ensemble in IU’s Jacobs School of Music. The IAUNRC produced a CD entitled ‘Sing around Turkey’ featuring Aida accompanying tenor Omer Turkmenoglu; in addition she authored a DVD, ‘Music and Culture of Azerbaijan,’ and co-authored ‘Music and Culture of Kyrgyzstan.’ At IU Aida performed in many recitals, festivals, and ceremonies, and with a wide variety of local groups, including as soloist and member of the Bloomington-based Silk Road Ensemble and East-West Music Group. Aida took great pride in her teaching. Besides her classes ‘Music of the Silk Road,’ ‘East-West Encounters in Music,’ ‘Popular Music of Europe and Asia,’ and ‘Music of Russia,’ she also taught music theory. It is no wonder that her classes were always full, with long waiting lists of students still eager to enroll: her vibrant instruction was alive with musical examples she would insert to the delight of her students, and even in large classes she found ways to encourage broad participation.
We will profoundly miss the frequent manifestations of Aida’s talent, grace, energy, wit, integrity and generosity, but will find beauty in the memories of the days when our paths crossed and merged in Bloomington.”
A recording of the memorial concert in her honor is available to view on YouTube.
Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center