Aigul Barieva

Aygul Barieva / Айгуль Бариева

Published: May 10, 2017

Aygul Barieva (Айгуль Бариева in Russian) is a renowned Tatar singer who’s been performing now for more than 20 years. She’s a Distinguished Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan, among many other awards. Most of her repertoire is in the Tatar language, though she occasionally performs in Russian as well.

Barieva is from Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. She was interested in music from a young age, attending a music school—where she studied piano—and performing in contests. She rapidly picked up the pace when she was 17, performing in a number of student music festivals in Tatarstan. Barieva received further musical education in Kazan, at the Kazan State University of Culture and the Arts (Казанский государственный институт культуры и искусств), and after graduation joined the Tatar folk vocal ensemble Sornay (Сорнай), with whom she toured Europe. Several years later, she went to the Vatican to perform in the Festival of Sacred Music, where she actually performed for the pope.

Barieva released her first album in 1996, though her second didn’t appear until 2004. To date she’s released eight, all chiefly in Tatar. She’s performed at many major Tatar and other festivals; in 2011 she was awarded Most Popular Song of 2011 at the Tatar Song festival (Татар җыры). She’s still performing concerts and touring today.

Barieva also has a secondary career as an actress. She’s known for the Tatar television shows Little Orphan (Бичаракай), which aired on TNV in Tatarstan starting in 2009. It’s about a family who takes in an orphan child, only to learn that he’s blind—and they disagree over what to do next. Barieva plays the mother, Guzel (Гузель), who’s more upset than anyone else and refuses to bond with or take responsibility for her child. Barieva has also worked as a creative on other television and theater projects in recent years.


A very recent song and music video from Barieva, “Яши, яши”:

Lyrics are unfortunately not available.


“White Cherry” (“Белая черёмуха”), a rare Russian-language performance from Barieva (though not an original song):


Lyrics for “Белая черёмуха”:

Белая черёмуха душистая
Щедро зацвела в моём краю,
Только не могу никак решиться я,
Не могу открыть любовь свою.
Я иду тропинкою извилистой,
И встают деревья на пути.
Птицы о тебе поют заливисто,
Обещают мне тебя найти.

Белый цвет, черёмухи цвет –
Это весны весёлый привет.
Пусть везёт тому, кто верит и ждёт!
К сердцу всегда любовь дорогу найдёт.
Белая черёмуха засыпала,
Будто бы снежинками, траву.
Хорошо, что вдруг мне счастье выпало,
Именем твоим его зову.

С веток лепестки летят и вьюжатся,
Их теперь – попробуй, догони!
На ветру они танцуют, кружатся,
Не даются в руки мне они.


The first episode of Little Orphan, the TV show Barieva starred in:

About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Julie Hersh