Azerbaijani composer Ahmad Jovdat Ismayil oglu Hajiyev, also sometimes referred to as Djevdet Gajiev, was born in Shaki in the north west of Azerbaijan on 18 June 1917. He was influenced by the traditional folk music that he heard in this area as he was growing up. His family moved to Baku and he studied composition with Uzeyir Hajibeyov and Leopold Rudolf at Baku Conservatory.
In 1936 he wrote a single movement Symphony No 1 - the first symphonic work ever written by an Azerbaijani composer, which enabled him to study at Moscow Conservatory. He had to return to Baku during World War II, but was able to continue his Moscow studies after the war, becoming influenced profoundly by Dmitri Shostakovich.
During his career, Hajiyev produced eight symphonic works, contributing significantly to the development of the symphony in Azerbaijan. Several of his works were influenced by contemporary events, including his last symphonic work, January 20, dedicated to the victims of Black January (the Saturday Massacre) in 1990, when many Baku civilians were killed by Soviet troops and tanks.
Jovdat Hajiyev died in Baku on 18 January 2002, aged eighty-four.
Echoes of Oblivion by Robert McCarney - Champions of Oblivion