Oman · 29 October 2022 · 3 min
Prince Amyn Aga Khan
Muscat, Oman, 29 October 2022 – In this evening’s opening programme of the 2022 Aga Khan Music Awards, Prince Amyn 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”. 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, Prince Amyn Aga Khan addressed the distinguished audience that filled the concert hall of the House of Musical Arts. He 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 Music Awards continue on 30 October with more performances, films and presentations of awards.