Muscat: Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and Pakistan’s Zarsanga, also known as ‘Queen of Pashtun folklore’ and Tanzania’s Yahya Hussein Abdallah were among the ten winners of the prestigious The Aga Khan Music Awards 2022.
The ten artists spanning genres ranging from Pashtun folk to West African blues will be honoured at a glittering ceremony, which will be held at the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) from October 29-31. The ceremony will be organized in conjunction with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. All music award winners will receive cash prizes totalling $500,000.
The Aga Khan Music Awards Master Jury also named Oman’s Musallam al Kathiry as the winner of a special award for excellence in service to Omani musical heritage. Kathiry is a music researcher, performer and composed and has made important contributions to the collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination of Omani music.
First awarded in 2019, the triennial celebration is held under the auspices of the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community, with the aim of supporting artists and preserving the musical heritage in areas such as the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and North Africa.
“Music can serve as a cultural anchor, deepening a sense of community, identity and heritage, while simultaneously reaching out in powerful ways to people of different backgrounds,” reads the award statement.
“While contributing to the preservation and ongoing development of musical heritage, many of the laureates draw on the power of music to raise awareness about social and environmental issues.”
The winners were chosen by a jury consisting of international arts professionals including Sheika Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the director general for Bahrain's Authority for Culture and Antiquities, and British dancer and choreographer Akram Khan.
The other winners are Afel Bocoum (Mali), Peni Candra Rini (Indonesia), Asin Khan Langa (India),
Coumbane Mint Ely Warakane (Mauritania), Daud Khan Sadozai (Afghanistan), Soumik Datta (UK) and Yasamin Shahhoseini (Iran).
The jury also had special mentions for the outstanding contributions to music. They were Dilshad Khan (India), Golshan Ensemble (Iran), Sain Zahoor (Pakistan), Seyyed Mohammad Musavi and Mahoor Institute (Iran) and Zulkifli and Bur’am (Aceh, Indonesia).
Besides Bahrain’s Shaikha Hala Bint al Khalifa and UK’s Akram Khan, the Master Jury comprised of distinguished arts professionals from Azerbaijan, India, Turkey, Tunisia and the USA: Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Divya Bhatia, Rachel Cooper, Yurdal Tokcan and Dhafer Youssef.