[This post consists of two sections highlighting events related to the Aga Khan Music Awards that took place in Muscat, Oman, on Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30, 2022. The material for October 30 has been compiled from the websites of the Aga Khan Development Network, the Ismaili. and the Oman News Agency. It is followed by a summary of events that took place on October 29. — Ed.]
October 30, 2022: His Highness Sayyid Bilarab bin Haitham Al Said and Prince Amyn Aga Khan Present Music Awards to 15 Laureates
The 2022 Aga Khan Music Awards came to a close on the evening of Sunday, October 30, 2022, with the presentation of awards to 15 laureates by His Highness Sayyid Bilarab bin Haitham Al Said and Prince Amyn Aga Khan during a gala concert held at the House of Musical Arts in the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM). This was the 2nd cycle of the Aga Khan Music Awards which was first announced in 2018. The first Aga Khan Music Awards ceremony took place in Lisbon, Portugal from 29-31 March 2019. Prince Amyn, younger brother of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan was accompanied at the award ceremony by Mawlana Hazar Imam’s children, Princess Zahra and Prince Hussain, and Princess Fareen, wife of Prince Hussain.
The awards presentation marked the culmination of a spirited two-day celebration in which laureates performed live or were presented in short films. A special Award for Lifetime Achievement had been presented to acclaimed tabla player Ustad Zakir Hussain during the Music Awards’ opening night concert on Saturday, October 29.
The second day’s ceremony comprised several segments, including live performances by some of the winners, films highlighting the journey of winner artists and their service to music regionally and internationally. Those films showcase the journey of Zulkifli and Bur’am ensemble from Pakistan, Mohammed Mousavi from Iran and Daud Khan from Afghanistan.
Fairouz Nishanova, Director of the Aga Khan Music Programme (AKMP) expressed her thanks and appreciation for the Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) and Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, for hosting the Aga Khan Award for Music in its 2nd cycle. She pointed out that the musicians who were gathered at the event came from various cultural backgrounds and countries.
Omani artist Musallam Ahmed Al Kathiri, who had been cited on the previous day for his contributions to the preservation and promotion of Omani musical heritage told the Oman News Agency (ONA) that he was honoured to receive the approval and satisfaction of the Award’s Steering Committee. This award, he added, would motivate him to exert further efforts in the field of music research and composition. Asin Khan Langa from India, one of the laureates of the Aga Khan Music Awards, also spoke to ONA and said that his work in the artistic and musical field enabled him to contribute to his society and to serve the art of playing the Sindhi Sarangi musical instrument.
Laureates of the 2022 Music Awards were selected by a Master Jury from a field of close to 400 nominees from 42 countries. They share $500,000 prize money and will have opportunities for professional development. These opportunities include commissions for the creation of new works, contracts for recordings and artist management, support for pilot education initiatives, and technical or curatorial consultancies for music archiving, preservation and dissemination projects.
The Aga Khan Music Awards was established in 2018 and is held every three years to celebrate exceptional and promising talents, as well as specialized projects in all fields of music — right from performance to innovation and education, with the overall goal of preserving and reviving musical traditions in societies where Muslims have a large presence around the world.
The performances of laureates and the presentation of awards took place before a distinguished audience that filled the Royal Opera House Muscat’s House of Musical Arts. It included Omani dignitaries and officials, members of the diplomatic corps, musicians and academicians, international guests of the Music Awards, including the Awards Master Jury and Steering Committee, and representatives of many AKDN institutions.
“Exposure to different ways of making music and thinking about music represents a form of enlightenment,” Prince Amyn stated in his remarks on the opening night of the Awards ceremony. “Being challenged to compose or improvise music that incorporates new musical languages and different kinds of instruments and performance techniques requires that musicians be creatively nimble and flexible, and that they be willing to find new ways of expressing our shared emotions and essentially similar dreams and experiences.”
Watching the musicians, it was clear they had embraced the challenge and were positively enlightened. Everyone in attendance over the past two evenings, in-person and online, witnessed historic cross-cultural collaboration and a sense of sublime beauty emanating via the Laureates’ music.
Date posted: October 30, 2022.
Last updated: October 31, 2022 (more external links added, see below.)
Also click on the following links for detailed reports and more photographs of the presentation ceremony of the Aga Khan Music Awards which took place in Muscat, Oman, on October 30, 2022.
- The National: Aga Khan Music Awards celebrate the best talent in Asia and Africa at Muscat event
- Oman Observer: Aga Khan Music Awards to Inspire Future Generations (PDF – ePaper)
- The Ismaili: Music Award Laureates share the gift of music
- AKDN: 15 Laureates Receive Aga Khan Music Awards at the 2022 Ceremony
- Oman News Agency: HH Sayyid Bilarab Patronizes over Aga Khan Music Award Ceremony
- Arabian Daily: In Pictures — Sayyid Bilarab presides over Aga Khan Music Awards Ceremony
[The following material has been compiled from the websites of the Aga Khan Development Network, the Ismaili. Oman Info of the Sultanate of Oman, and Oman News Agency — Ed.]
October 29, 2022: On Day 1 of the Aga Khan Music Awards in Oman, Prince Amyn Aga Khan Presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Renowned Tabla Player Zakir Hussain
The great medieval Arab philosophers, many of whom were also music theorists and even talented musicians, had a profound understanding of the power of sound to affect the human psyche and emotions. We are the heirs of their knowledge, and we are reaffirming that here this evening through the act of gathering together to experience collectively the power of live sound, beautifully crafted and shaped, on our emotions, on our dreams — Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Muscat, Oman, October 29, 2022.
In the opening programme of the 2022 Aga Khan Music Awards on Saturday October 29, 2022, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, younger brother of Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, presented a special Award for Lifetime Achievement to acclaimed tabla player Ustad Zakir Hussain, who was cited for his “enduring contributions to the musical heritage of humanity, peerless musical mastery, and sustained social impact as a performer and teacher”. Meanwhile, Omani musician Musallam Ahmed Al Kathiri was also honored by receiving the Aga Khan special award for music in recognition for his contributions to the preservation and promotion of Omani musical heritage. Prince Amyn was accompanied by Princess Zahra, Prince Hussain and his wife Princess Fareen. The ceremony was held under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd al Said, Secretary General at the Secretariat General of the Council of Ministers.
Two major award ceremonies, namely the Aga Khan Music Awards and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture as well as related programs are taking place in Oman over a period 3 days from October 29 to 31.
Zakir Hussain has long served as one of the world’s most visible models of enlightened cross-cultural musicianship. Over the course of his six-decade-long career, he has elevated the status of the tabla both in India and around the world through countless artistic collaborations, concert tours, commissions, recordings and film scores.
The latest of these artistic collaborations took place this evening in the Royal Opera House Muscat’s House of Musical Arts. Ustad Zakir Hussain performed as a soloist with the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Hamdan al Shaely in a performance of Peshkar, a concerto for tabla and orchestra composed by Zakir Hussain in 2015.
Before presenting the Award for Lifetime Achievement to Ustad Zakir Hussain, Prince Amyn Aga Khan addressed the distinguished audience that filled the concert hall of the House of Musical Arts. He said:
“Our gathering here in the magnificent Royal Opera House is a deeply symbolic one, for it celebrates not only inspiring artistic and scholarly creativity, but also the resilience of music and musicians in challenging times. It is most fitting indeed that we are marking this happy occasion in the Sultanate of Oman, a country in which the central place of the arts is sacrosanct and the meeting of the performing arts from both Eastern and Western cultures is enshrined in this remarkable architectural complex in which we are gathered.
“The great medieval Arab philosophers, many of whom were also music theorists and even talented musicians, had a profound understanding of the power of sound to affect the human psyche and emotions. We are the heirs of their knowledge, and we are reaffirming that here this evening through the act of gathering together to experience collectively the power of live sound, beautifully crafted and shaped, on our emotions, on our dreams.”
Prince Amyn also noted that the true impact of the Music Awards will be measured by the achievements of the laureates as they endeavour to use their musical talent and knowledge to contribute to the well-being of their respective societies and of humanity at large. He added that “the gift of artistic talent bestows a responsibility on those who receive it to share their good fortune with others, to unite us despite our many apparent differences.”
Prince Amyn underscored the important role of the Music Awards in supporting music educators. “By educating young people in their own musical traditions while also providing them the tools to expand those traditions in new cosmopolitan directions, we are helping to prepare a new generation of cultural leaders that will build bridges and connections across cultures,” he said.
Prince Amyn’s address was preceded by remarks from His Excellency Dr Jamal al-Moosawi, Director of the National Museum — Sultanate of Oman. Dr al-Moosawi noted that “Hosting the second edition of the Aga Khan Music Awards is very much in alignment with the Sultanate’s desire to build bridges of communication and cooperation between countries and cultures.”
As a finale to the evening’s programme, the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra was joined by the Aga Khan Master Musicians (AKMM), the resident ensemble of the Aga Khan Music Programme, in a rousing performance of “Tashkent,” composed by AKMM saxophonist Basel Rajoub and arranged for orchestra by Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky.
In addition to Ustad Zakir Hussain, other laureates who performed live or were presented in short films include sarangi players Dilshad Khan and Asin Khan Langa, from India; Tanzanian praise singer Yahya Hussein Abdallah; Coumbane bint Ely Warakane, a hereditary griot from Mauritania; singer and guitar player Afel Bocoum, from Mali; devotional singer Sain Zahoor and “Queen of Pashtun Folk Music” Zarsanga, from Pakistan; and music researcher Musallam Al-Kathiri, from the Sultanate of Oman.
The Aga Khan Music Awards continue on Sunday, 30 October with more performances, films and presentations of awards (please scroll to top of post).
Date posted: October 30, 2022.
Also see the following report(s) related to the Aga Khan Music Awards programme held in Muscat, Oman, on October 29, 2022.
- Oman Observer: Building Bridge of Communication – Aga Khan Awards Ceremony Kicks Off
- Muscat Daily: Music legends feted at Aga Khan Award for Music
- Oman Daily (in Arabic, please use Google translate function if you don’t read Arabic)
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[…] two-day celebration in which laureates performed live or were presented in short films. A special Award for Lifetime Achievement had been presented to acclaimed tabla player Ustad Zakir Hussain during the Music Awards’ opening […]
Thank you as always, for bringing the Aga Khan Music awards, and many other programs to us who are not able to attend or even view! Your reporting as always, par excellence! Thank you and God bless.
Kamru Mukhi, thank you too for the further info on Oman and your bringing up in Unguja and Pemba.
A timely post on day 1 of the Aga Khan Awards that are taking place in Muscat, Oman, and I look forward to details of events that will take place on the remaining two days, October 30 and 31.
Oman is of particular interest to me as I was born in Zanzibar in the 1940’s.
Historically, the Sultans of Zanzibar were Omani rulers and I lived there as well as in the island of Pemba during the rule of 3 Sultans, namely Seyyid Sir Khalifa bin Harub, Seyyd Sir Abdulla bin Khalifa and Sayyid Sir Jamshid bin Abdullah whose rule ended on 12th January 1964 when the Zanzibar Revolution took place. Sir Jamshid and his family now live in Oman.
Towards the end of July 2016, we had the opportunity to visit Muscat, Oman, with a group of friends after attending Jubilee Games in Dubai. We found Oman to be a very advanced country indeed and our stay was quite memorable. We also had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Royal Opera House (where the historical events are currently taken place).
Kamrudin A. Rashid
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
October 30, 2022.