Space of Mugam - 5th International Music Festival, 10-12 March 2018, Baku

In recent decades the safeguarding and promotion of unique forms of the traditional music of Eastern peoples, and particularly, Azerbaijanian Mugam, have been drawn to the forefront of attention on the global scale. Inclusion of Azerbaijanian Mugam ino the UNESCO World List of Masterpieces oi the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity proves immense artistic value and intercultural potential laid down in this music tradition.

Given that Heydar Aliyev Foundation had initiated “Space of Mugam” International Music Festival, the high-scale international cultural event unique of its kind and embracing all manifestations of the musical phenomenon based on elaborated modal systems.

Competition of Mugam Performance is regularly held bi-annually in the frame of the Space of Mugam Festival since March 2009 in Baku. It is inclined to play a role in:

  • gathering up-to-date information about the current state of the inter-related music art forms covered by the concept of makam (titled muğam in Azerbaijan)
  • restoring historic ties between different contemporary ethnic/regional music cultures
  • fostering lively creative interaction between musicians who enliven this type of music

The previous three editions of the competition have revealed outstanding talent among the young and emerging performers from many countries and regions and already positioned some of the prize-winners and participants on the international scene of world music.


  • AZ1073, H.Javid avenue 506 block, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • +994 12 539-70-47 ext. 2151
  • +994 12 539-70-48
  • info@mugamcompetition.az

General Outline

  1. Title

Space of Mugam Competition of Mugam Performance/ International Music Festival

Baku, March 2018. 

  1. Organizers
  • Heydar Aliyev Foundation
  • Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Republic
  • Azerbaijan Composers Union
  • Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
  • Azerbaijan National Conservatoire 
  1. Competition Structure
  • The Competition consists of Elimination (preliminary selection) and Two Public Rounds in two categories - Solo Vocal Performance and Solo Instrumental Performance
  • A Preliminary Selection based on documents and recordings will be held to decide which contestants qualify for the Competition.
  • The chosen participants will be invited to perform publicly during the competition in Baku, Azerbaijan. 
  1. Competition Dates

March 10 -12, 2018 

  1. Venues

Azerbaijan National Conservatoire (Alasgar Alakbarov, 7, BAKU) 

  1. Jury

Distinguished experts in traditional music - musicians, researchers, and music promoters from different countries will he attracted to judging the competition. 

  1. Repertoire
  • A program with duration about 15 min. for the First Round and about 25 min. for the Second Round should reflect some particular traditional music culture in its richness and internal diversity. Each group should exert its efforts towards presenting the given music culture in a way most clear and attractive for a foreign listener for whom this culture is not innate. Attracting additional means like lecture talk, guided performance, use of printed and new media, staging elements etc. is permissible. 


  1. Eligibility

The Competition is open to vocal and instrumental soloists up to 35 years old, born on or after March 1,1983. The accompanying ensembles consisting of up to 4 persons are not subject to above age limit. 

  1. Application Deadline February 01, 2018

The application form available on the web-site: www.mugamcompetition.az filled in and accompanied by the video recording, photo and short artistic bio. 

  1. Application Method

The registration to the competition is done through the on-line application ONLY. The applicant must fill-in the Registration Form and download an individual photo, passport page with personal information, artistic bio and video recording (up to 10 minutes long). Photographs taken within six months of the date of application, from the front, from the chest up, must be in a high-quality digital data format (minimum 300 dpi). Photographs must be free from copyright. Photographs will be used in official programs, on the Competition s official website, and for other public relations purposes.

The application may not be processed if the registration form is incomplete. 

  1. Address for Applications

All contact details are indicated in the Contacts section of the competition web-site. 

  1. Preliminary Selection

Space of Mugam - Music Competition - Regulations

  • The Preliminary Selection shall he done by way of screening documents and recordings submitted by the applicants.
  • The results of the Preliminary Selection shall be sent out to the applicants by February 12, 2018.

 Participation in the Competition

  1. Travel Expenses for Contestants

The Organizing Committee is providing for free the hotel accommodation to the contestants living outside Azerbaijan for the period of their participation in the competition. Arranging the traveling to and from Baku is the responsibility of the contestants.

Note: Contestants residing outside Azerbaijan are advised to choose the option ol open return date ticket. 

  1. Accommodation for Contestants

II the contestant uses the accommodation of the Secretariat s choice from the day of registration until the day specified below, the organizers shall pay the accommodation expenses and arrange lull board for the contestant with his/her accompanying group for the duration of their participation in the competition. The accommodation and board for those contestants not passing through the First Public Round will not be paid for by the Organizing Committee from the day of announcement of the results. All other costs are to be borne by the contestants themselves. 

  1. Order of Performances

The sequence of performances will be defined by means of draw taking place at 10:00 am on March 07,2018. 

  1. Competition Performances
  • The Competition is open to the public.
  • All performances from the Public Round to the Prizewinners Gala Concert may be distributed live on TV and/or radio and/or the Internet. Video and audio recordings of the performances may also be distributed on TV and/or radio and/or the Internet. Sale of CD, DVD and other media recordings of performances might be also planned. 
  1. Judging
  • A Judging Committee consisting of 3 jury members shall judge the performances according to the rating system. Rating lists complied by individual experts will be drawn into a general table and results of rating calculations will be discussed within the jury before getting publicly announced
  • The jury members and contestants are not permitted to be in contact during the Competition. Once a contestant fails to pass a round, this condition will no longer apply.
  • No objection or complaint shall be allowed concerning the decision made by the Judging Committee. 
  1. Prizes: Vocal Performance section:

Grand Prix - Cash prize of EUR 10,000

First prize - Cash prize of EUR 7,000

Second prize - Cash prize of EUR 5,000

Third prize - Cash prize of EUR 3,000


Instrumental Performance section:

Grand Prix - Cash prize of EUR 7,000

First prize - Cash prize of EUR 5,000

Second prize - Cash prize of EUR 3,000

Third prize - Cash prize of EUR 2,000 

  • Judging Committee may decide not to award a place or to award the same ranking for several prizewinners.
  • If several prizewinners are awarded the same rank, the total amount of cash prizes at that ranking and the following ranking(s) shall be divided equally.
  • Other special awards, such as Audience Prize, may be presented.
  • Supplementary prizes provided by organizations and individuals that support the aim of the Competition may be awarded to the prizewinner(s).
  • The prize money shall be paid as a cash net sum at the Closing Ceremony of the Competition. 
  1. Prizewinners Gala Concert
  • The organizers shall hold Prizewinners Gala Concert in Baku. The winners of the Grand Prix, first, second and third prizes must agree to perform at the

Prizewinners Gala Concert.

  • In the Prizewinners Gala Concert, the winners will perform the pieces that they performed in the Public Round. The pieces to be performed will be specified by the Festival`s Artistic Committee.


  1. Visa Acquisition

The Secretariat will do its Lest to arrange for waiving visa lee for the contestants entering Azerbaijan. However, applicants themselves must he ready to obtain the appropriate visas to enter the country to participate in the Competition. II an invitation letter or any other document is required for travelling, the applicant must request it from the Secretariat well in advance. 

  1. Insurance

Whether or not insurance is purchased is entirely the responsibility of the participants and contestants. This applies to health and injury insurance, as well as loss or damage to the instrument or to luggage, in the case of accident, fire or theft during the travel. 

  1. Restrictions

The contestants shall not give any public performance during the period of the Competition other than those required for the Competition.

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