Muscat, Oman, 30 October 2022 – The 2022 Aga Khan Music Awards concluded this evening 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 at the Royal Opera House Muscat’s House of Musical Arts. 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 was presented to acclaimed tabla player Ustad Zakir Hussain during the Music Awards’ opening night concert on 29 October.
This evening’s programme featured performances by Peni Candra Rini, an Indonesian composer, improviser, vocalist and educator; Yasamin Shahhosseini, an Iranian oud player who is reimagining the place of the oud in Iranian music; the Tehran-based Golshan Ensemble, which performs Iranian classical music; and Soumik Datta, a sarod player from the United Kingdom who fuses his training in Hindustani classical music with pop, rock, electronica and film soundtracks to raise awareness about urgent social issues, including climate change, refugees and mental health.
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.
In her concluding remarks, Fairouz Nishanova, Director of the Aga Khan Music Awards, expressed gratitude on behalf of the Music Awards and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for the invitation from the Sultanate of Oman to hold the Awards celebration in Muscat, and for the collaboration of Oman’s Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports; Royal Opera House Muscat and its House of Musical Arts; and the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, which performed in the programme of 29 October. Quoting remarks delivered by Prince Amyn Aga Khan at the previous evening’s performance by Awards laureates in the House of Musical Arts, she added, “We couldn’t have hoped for a clearer demonstration of the power of music to unite us despite our many apparent differences, and to affect our emotions and our dreams.”
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.
Special prize for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of his highly visible model of enlightened cross-cultural musicianship that 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.
Singer and guitar player from Niafunké, Mali whose music combines acoustic guitar with local instruments to echo the sound of “desert blues” in an earthier, tradition-based style.
Sarangi player, singer, composer and community activist from Rajasthan’s hereditary Langa musical community, who performs Sufi poetry set to traditional and newly composed melodies.
- Coumbane Mint Ely Warakane (Mauritania)
Singer and ardin (harp) player from Trarza, in southwest Mauritania, who performs the music of Mauritanian griots in a deeply traditional style.
- Daud Khan Sadozai (Afghanistan)
Leading exponent of the Afghan rubab who has had a major impact on the preservation, development and dissemination of Afghan music worldwide.
- Peni Candra Rini (Indonesia)
Indonesian composer, improviser, vocalist and educator whose knowledge of traditional Indonesian performing arts informs her creation of new works produced worldwide.
Sarod player who fuses his training in Hindustani classical music with pop, rock, electronica and film soundtracks to raise awareness about urgent social issues including climate change, refugees and mental health.
- Yahya Hussein Abdallah (Tanzania)
Singer and composer of devotional songs and reciter of the Qur’an from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania who composes and sings in Swahili as well as some of Tanzania’s 126 local languages.
- Yasamin Shahhosseini (Iran)
Leading young master of the oud who is reimagining the place of this instrument in Iranian music through her innovative compositions and improvisations.
Singer from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, known as the Queen of Pashtun Folklore for her career-long devotion to the orally transmitted traditional music of tribal Pashtuns.
Tenth-generation sarangi player from a hereditary lineage in Rajasthan who is expanding the language of the sarangi in film music and through innovative cross-cultural collaborative projects.
Four women who perform Iranian traditional music with a contemporary sound and are active as teachers, with a special focus on transmitting their musical tradition to girls and women.
Punjabi musician with a lifelong practice of singing Sufi poetry in local shrines and festivals, often accompanied by ecstatic dance.
- Seyyed Mohammad Mousavi & Mahoor Institute (Iran)
Founder and long-time director of Mahoor Institute of Culture and Arts, who has made seminal contributions to the development of Iranian music and musicology.
- Zulkifli & Bur’am (Aceh, Indonesia)
Revitalisers of Acehnese song traditions who have cultivated community building amongst youth through their participation in Bur’am, a traditional singing and drumming ensemble established by Zulkifli.
The Aga Khan Music Awards Master Jury also named Musallam al-Kathiry as the winner of a special award for Excellence in Service to Omani Musical Heritage. Mr al-Kathiry, a music researcher, arts manager, performer and composer from Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, has made important contributions to the collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of Omani music.
Full biographies of the laureates are available here
The Master Jury that selected the winners consisted of six distinguished arts professionals from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, India, Turkey, Tunisia and the United States: H.E. Shaikha Hala Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Divya Bhatia, Rachel Cooper, Yurdal Tokcan and Dhafer Youssef.
Full biographies of the Master Jury members are available here
The Aga Khan Music Awards – administered by the Aga Khan Music Programme, an endeavour of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture – are governed by a Steering Committee co-chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan and his brother, Prince Amyn Aga Khan. The other members of the Steering Committee are: Ara Guzelimian, Special Advisor, Provost Emeritus, The Juilliard School, and Artistic and Executive Director, Ojai Music Festival; Salima Hashmi, Professor Emeritus, Beaconhouse National University; Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Central Asia (UCA); Joseph Melillo, Executive Producer, Emeritus, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Sir Jonathan Mills, Director, Edinburgh International Culture Summit; and Zeyba Rahman, Director of the Building Bridges Program at the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
Full biographies of the Steering Committee members are available here
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