Ms. Alexandria Sultan von Bruseldorff who is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Azerbaijan National Conservatory is doing her doctoral studies entitled “The research on acoustic and physiological properties of the voice apparatus of mugham singers (khanende)”. This groundbreaking research is aimed to fill the gap in voice science providing an objective explanation on the vocal production in mugham using the systematic, comparative and empirical methodology. Such in-depth study of mugham singer’s throat with the use of the medical and acoustic instrumentation will benefit a number of disciplines, including medical practitioners in order to care for the singers with the extra sensitivity, voice pedagogues, and most importantly singers who can be educated about their own voice to improve their performance; as well as will provide important information for the education about health, wellbeing, and mugham performing strategies in both educational and vocal pedagogical contexts. Pursuing her dream of classical voice performance in 2006, Ms. Sultan von Brueldorff was able to earn a “Bachelor of Music” degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), USA, where she had been a member of the Opera Theater of VCU performing leading roles. In 2007, Alexandria was accepted to the Evening Division at The Juilliard School for Opera Workshop training program, where she continued her vocal studies with renowned soprano, Dodi Prothero. In 2013, she received a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance, Pedagogy, and Voice Science from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, United States. During her master studies she has earned several certificates from prestigious Fellowship programs including American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS), Graz, Austria; Vienna Language of Lied, Vienna, Austria; Florence Voice Seminar, Florence, Italy; Opera festival di Roma, International Opera Training Program, Rome, Italy. Ms. Sultan von Bruseldorff was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, on the historical crossroads of a unique social, political, economic, cultural, and musical coalescence of East and West, in the family of the “legendary Azerbaijani Mugham virtuoso” Ker Akhad Aliyev (Blind Akhad) - blind accordion player and one of the inventing developers of Azerbaijani Garmon who “contributed to the preservation and development of the traditions of Mugham and folklore art.” (Mugham Encyclopedia of Azerbaijan). Esteemed by her great grandfather’s personal life struggles and acute dedication to music and empowered by the historical musical traditions of her motherland, Ms. Sultan von Bruseldorff developed a great impetus toward learning and performing music, as well as a commitment to education through music. She was featured on American TV and AZTV channel gathering acclaims as a “versatile singer” with an “unusual rich timbre and electrifying stage presence”. Ms. Sultan von Bruseldorff has had pleasure of singing as a soloist with orchestras under the batons of Francesco Carotenuto, Rui Zhang, Gerardo Edelstein, Charles West, John Guthmiller, Joe Miller, Ismail Hajiyev, Teimur Goychaev, and Rauf Abdullaev in well-respected concert halls in Azerbaijan, Europe, Canada, and the United States including The John F. Kennedy Center, USA; Markham Theatre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, Canada; The Opera Theatre of VCU with Richmond Symphony; Alexander Hamilton House, New York; Niagara International Chamber Music Festival with Gould String Quartet and Silk Road Chamber Orchestra, Niagara-on-the Lake, Canada; Palazzo Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza with International Chamber Ensemble under the auspices of Academia Filarmonica, Rome, Italy; Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Concert Hall with Symphonic Orchestra named after Uzeyir Hajibeyli; International Mugham Center, Baku; Liederabend concert in the Schubert Geburtshaus Museum, Vienna, Austria; Eggenberg Palace, Austria. Along with her performing career, Ms. Sultan von Bruseldorff has also participated in a number of scholarly conferences, such as designation as a panelist-presenter for The First Pax Turcica Conference, which brought together scholars, community leaders, diplomats, and students from different communities around the world, which was co-hosted by the prestigious School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) at Shapiro Center, Columbia University, NY. Ms. Sultan von Bruseldorff participated at the International Conference on Music in Russia and the Soviet Union: Reappraisal and Rediscovery held in the University of Durham, England, 2011; the International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology (SysMus14), Music, Mind & Brain Research Group of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE), Goldsmiths University, London, UK, 2014; International Scientific Conference dedicated to the musical legacy of the world-renowned composer, People’s Artist of Azerbaijan, holder of the Order of Glory and the “Humay” Award winner, professor, Tofig Bakikhanov, held at the Azerbaijan Composers Union, 2015; ISME 2018 - 33rd World Conference of International Society for Music Education, Baku, Azerbaijan; Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, Plenary Assembly “Intercultural Cooperation in Eurasian Space”, Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2019; ISME LEGACY 2019, where she participated with two topics “An Acoustic and Physiological Analysis of the Voice of the World Renowned Mugham Singer Mansum Ibragimov” and as an invited speaker with the topic “The Lasting Legacy of the Legendary Azerbaijan Mugham Virtuoso of Garmon Akhad Aliyev (Kor Akhad)” Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey; VoiceIstanbul 2019, International conference on the voice in all its aspects, participated with two topics “Approaches in Voice Training and Voice Analysis of Vocal Mugham at the Azerbaijan National Conservatory” and “Joint work of Voice Doctor and Vocal Pedagogue on Voice Treatment in the Context of Azerbaijani Mugham Singer's Voice”, Medipol University, Istanbul, Turkey; V Republican Congress of Otorinolaringologists of Uzbekistan, "Modern Otorinolaryngology: Problems and Innovations", participated with the topic “Scientific Analysis of the Mugham Singer’s Voice using Real-Time Magnetic Resonance Imaging during the Performance of Azerbaijani Mugham: Pilot Research” (Part I), Tashkent, Uzbekistan, September 9-10, 2021. In the USA, Ms. Alexandria Sultan von Bruseldorff actively participated in the work of Azerbaijani diaspora organizations. She was a member of the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Azerbaijani Society of America. In 2008 and 2009, Ms. Sultan von Bruseldorff was awarded “with heartfelt appreciation for sharing her exceptional talent and supporting the advancement of the Azerbaijani Culture in the United States” by the Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA), NY, USA. In December of 2010, during the International Solidarity Day of Azerbaijanis around the world, she was praised by the prestigious “Xalq Gazeti” (the national newspaper of Azerbaijan) for her “outstanding support toward the advancement of Azerbaijani music in the United States of America”. Ms. Alexandria Sultan von Bruseldorff is the co-author of the book “Qarmonun əfsanəsi” (“The legend of garmon”) dedicated to the 125th anniversary of her legendary great grandfather. This book was published by the International Mugham Center and officially presented in May 2019. Currently, she is working on translating this book into English in order to revive and spread her grandfather’s musical legacy around the world and also inspire visually impaired musicians. Ms. Alexandria Sultan von Bruseldorff is a member of professional music organizations including the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), a Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO, and The International Society for Music Education (ISME).
Alexandria Sultan von Bruseldorff
Azerbaijan Doctoral Student at the Azerbaijan National Conservatory