The Nightingale of the Tatar People: 6 facts about the life and work of Ilham Shakirov
January 17, 2019
The famous Tatar singer passed away at the age of 84th year of life after a long illness.
Survived the horrors of war
Ilham Shakirov was born on February 15, 1935 in the village of New Bulyak, the Sarmanovskiy District, Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1937, when Ilgam was two years old, his father was arrested on a false denunciation. Later, Gilmutdin died in a prison colony of disease and hunger. He was rehabilitated in 1972 “for lack of corpus delicti.”
There were also horrors of military life in the boy’s life. Hunger, like the others, was saved by alms, and when they were not served, he sang. Pieces of stale bread and boiled potatoes became his first fee.
Ilham’s voice was loved by the whole village. The school convinced that he need to study further.
All the life he connected with the Tatar State Philharmonic
In 1954 he entered the Kazan Musical College. One year later, Ilgam Shakirov was accepted into the vocal faculty of the Kazan State Conservatory to the class of E. A. Ambrosimova and Z. Bairasheva.
The whole creative life of I. Shakirov with a duration of more than 59 years is associated with one collective – the Tatar State Philharmonic named after Gabdulla Tukai, where he came to be a pop singer in 1960.
“The Tatar musical community suffered an irreparable loss. An outstanding representative of the Tatar musical culture who devoted his entire life to the propaganda of Tatar national musical art, the legendary singer, whose name is known all over the world, whose songs brought up several generations of spectators passed away, ” told the journalists at the Tatar Philharmonics named after G. Tukay.
Flawlessly mastered owned folk style
Shakirov was a brightly gifted and talented performer, the owner of a beautiful timbre of his voice – a unique baritone. Singer impeccably mastered folk manner of performance. Ilham Shakirov won the love of the public and the popularity of his performances on the radio, then on television, noted at the Philharmonic.
Indeed, users of social networks, who responded to the departure of their favorite artist, called Shakirov “the nightingale of the Tatar people”, “inimitable and over-talented” singer.
“He exposed his talent in full. One of the features of the creative character of I. Shakirov was his bright personality. And his voice, unique in its beauty and strength, generously endowed with the nature of the richness of melismatics, made it possible to reveal the full depth of human feelings, ”the Tatar State G. Tukai Philharmonic Society stressed.
It is known that the repertoire of the performer consisted not only of Tatar songs (we are talking about folk songs, pop, classical works). He also performed works of Kazakh, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Karakalpak, Bashkir musical art.
He was awarded the title of People’s Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation, is the holder of the G.Tukai State Award of the Republic of Tatarstan. The holder of the Golden Apollo Award.
“Kara urman” performed by Shakirov amazed Rostropovich himself
A special place in his work was occupied by old Tatar folk songs “Kara urman”, “Zilyaylyuk”, “Taftilyau”, “Uel”, “Tugan tel” and others.
After the concert in Moscow in 1974, an outstanding conductor and composer Mstislav Rostropovich came backstage to the singer. “You killed me with this song!” Rostropovich exclaimed instead of a greeting. Thus, Kara Urman struck him in the very heart.
Mstislav Leopoldovich invited the young singer to visit him. Later Ilgam Shakirov told his friends that he was extremely surprised and touched – the table in the Rostropovich house was filled with Tatar dishes. For many years, Shakirov recalled this day as one of the most important in his life.
Humor was his weapon
Shakirov is remembered as a cheerful and straightforward person. In the past, he did not hesitate to call the Ministry of Culture the Ministry of Culture and Leisure, poet Garay Rakhim, a close friend of Shakirov told the Tatar-inform news agency.
“We met in the early 60s. Ilgam was at the top of his popularity, and I was a budding poet, whom the magazine first published. Suddenly he approached: “Oh, Garay! And I know you – read your poems. Thank you! “There has never been a shadow stardom,” he noted.
About the sense of Shakirov’s humor a lot of tales circulating. Sometimes the joke became his weapon and in delicate situations. One such story was described by TV presenter Ildar Kiyamov.
“Once someone wrote a denunciation to the party committee, they say, musicians from the Shakirov’s group grew their hair, they appear unshaven on the scene. How so? The singer was called for explanation . But Shakirov managed to get out. Seeing the portrait of Karl Marx on the wall, he asked: “Is it possible for him, and we must shave?” The claims somehow disappeared by themselves, ”Kiyamov said.
The farewell concert of the singer was held on his anniversary in 2010
Ilham Shakirov officially left the stage in 2010 – his 75th birthday. The anniversary concert in honor of this date was held at the Tatar State Philharmonic Society after G. Tukay.
“Today is a big holiday for all Tatar people,” said then Zilya Valeyeva, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan, addressing the birthday man. “By just an applause, you can see how dear you are to us.” Zilya Valeyeva read out a congratulatory letter from Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev and said that this was not a singer’s farewell concert, but only the beginning of anniversary celebrations.
“When they praise me so much, I even get a little lost,” the hero of the evening replied, embarrassed. “As long as there is a Tatar song, our people have a future.”