A large group of Tajik musicians will participate in the First International Maqam Festival that will be held in the Uzbek city of Shahrisabz from September 6-10, according to the Ministry of Culture (MoC).

An official source at a MoC says the Tajik delegation will be led by the Minister of Culture Shamsiddin Orumbekzoda and its members will include  Asliddin Nizomov, Faroghat Azizi and a  large group of musicians from Tajikistan’s Academy of Maqam under the direction of Abduvali Abdurashidov.  

Established by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the Maqam International Festival is expected to widely popularize one of the famous genres of classical- and musical art of People of the East.

162 maqam performers from 29 countries of the world will participate in the festival that will be covered by journalists from 30 countries of the world.  

The following events are expected to be held at the scope of the Festival: scientific-practical conference, on the topic “Music art of maqam and its role in the world civilization” that will bring together representatives of 20 countries; solo concerts of Uzbekistan and world maqam masters; and competition of ensembles, singers and instrumentalists (the lyrics are built on ancient folk poetry and lyrical works of oriental classical literature such as Hafiz, Jami, Bedil). 

As of 2018 onward, the festival will be held every other year in  Shahrisabz, one of the ancient cities of the Great Silk Road.  Coordination is in the hands of the Ministry of Culture of Uzbekistan, the Uzbek National Center of the Maqam Art, other stakeholders and under the patronage of UNESCO.

Tajikistan’s Academy of Maqam was founded in 2003 by Abduvali Abdurashidov, a leading music scholar and celebrated performer classical music (Shashmaqam).  The Academy offers comprehensive training to highly qualified students in historical, theoretical, and practical elements of Shashmaqam.  The Academy’s curriculum includes fifteen different subjects ranging from vocal technique, performance on musical instruments and music theory, to the history of world religions, analysis of classical poetry, and Persian language.

The Academy is beneficiary and long-term partner of the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia (AKMICA)’s Touring Program

The Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia (AKMICA), a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, was created in 2000 by His Highness the Aga Khan to contribute to the preservation, documentation, and further development of Central Asia’s musical heritage.  These goals include revitalizing important musical repertories by helping tradition-bearers pass on their knowledge and craft; building sustainable cultural institutions that can eventually be maintained by local organizations and communities; and supporting artists who are developing new approaches to the performance of Central Asian music.  Worldwide, the Music Initiative strives to increase knowledge about Central Asia’s music and culture, particularly among students, and to nurture collaborations among musicians from different parts of Central Eurasia and beyond.