Country of origin: Tajikistan
Years active: 1964-


In the month of May 1964, by decision of the Council of Ministers under the State Comittee for Radio Broadcasting and Television of Tajikistan, a variety art group called 'Гульшан' (Gulshan) was organized. Leyla Sharipov became its first artistic director, and the musical director was pianist and composer Mikhail Muravin.

The formation of the repertoire for 'Гульшан' was based primarily on Tajik folk melodies. The initiative of pop processing of folklore melodies belonged to the composer Y.Ter-Osipov, followed by young composers—D.Dustmukhamedov, A.Saliev, F.Bakhor and others. The leading musicians of the orchestras began to practice the arrangement of folk music—Y.Lyadov, Y.Pulatov and Z.Nishanov. In pop arrangements they performed popular folk melodies, such as 'Дилбари джон', 'Сакина', 'Чехраи зебо', 'Гулумой'. 'Чарка чакидан гирад' and others. Very young singers at the time made their debut in 'Гульшан' concerts, B.Mamatkulov and A.Soliev. Tajik composers made their first attempts at composing pop songs. One can name such wonderful songs as 'Кабутари сафед' and 'Мавджигул' by D.Dustmuhhamedov, 'Мухаббат' by Z.Shahid, 'Мухаббат' by S.Sayfiddinova, 'уи тиллоранг' by S.Khamarev.

Since 1967, the head of the State Variety Orchestra 'Гульшан' has been a graduate of the Baku Conservatory, soloist of theater operas and ballet S.Ayni Orifşo Orifov, and the musical leader was initially Yuri Lyadov, but since 1978 has been Yuri Polatov. The variety ensemble 'Гульшан' participated in the International Festival of Youth and Students in Berlin (1973), decades of Tajik literature and art in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (1970s). Winner of the Komsomol Prize of the Tajik SSR (1976) and the State Prize of the Tajik SSR named Rudaki (1981). 'Гульшан' visited many countries of the world (Afghanistan, India, Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and others) and received diplomas of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and others.

In 1978, at the competition of performers of the Soviet song of the republics of Central Asia and Kazakhstan (in Tashkent), the performance of a song composed by Z.Mirshakar 'Ситора' (words by A.Shukukhi) with the soloist of 'Гульшан' Mahfirat Khamrakulova, brought her the title of laureate. The song itself was recognized as one of the best performed at the competition.

Today the variety ensemble 'Гульшан' is the only state pop group in Tajikistan, and operates under the State Institution of the State Association of Creative and Concert Groups of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan.

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