Murad Magomedovich Kajlayev is a well-known Soviet and Dagestani composer and conductor, People’s Artist of the USSR (1981), laureate of international premiums and contests, Artistic Director and chief conductor of the Great Academic Concert Orchestra named after Silantyev, professor and academician at Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
Murad Kajlayev was born on January 15, 1931 in Baku to a Lak family. He graduated from Baku State Conservatoire from Boris Zeidman’s composition class. He was expelled from there for his ardour for practicing non-academic musical genres but soon he was reclaimed. He worked as a teacher at musical school named after Pyotr Tchaikovsky, in Makhachkala, as chief conductor of the Dagestan Radio Symphonic Orchestra (1957-1958), artistic director of the Dagestan Philharmonic Hall (1963-1964) and secretary of administration of the Union of Composers of the RSFSR (from 1968). From 1990 to 2000, was in charge of Variety-Symphonic Orchestra named after Y.V.Silantyev.
Murad Kajlayev is the author of the first ballet of Dagestan called Goryanka (“Girl of the Mountains”), the ballet Shamil, musicals Millions of the Newlywed, Time of Red Apples, music to films and theatrical performances, and also songs. He worked extensively with poet Rasul Gamzatov. In 2010, he established the Dagestan Musical School for Gifted Children. In 2011, he founded a unique museum dedicated to musical culture of Dagestan affiliated with the school.