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Aga Khan Music Awards

Hazar Imam with Prince Amyn and Prince Hussain at the inaugural Music Awards in Lisbon  2019-03-28
Friday, 2019, March 29

Gulbenkian Grand Auditorio

The Aga Khan Music Awards recognise outstanding creativity, promising talent and initiative in the fields of performance, creation, education, preservation and musical revitalisation in societies where Muslims have a significant presence. Awarded by the Aga Khan Music Initiative, prizes will be presented during a three-day free-entry ceremony that includes concerts, competitions and conferences. A highlight will be the participation of the Master Musicians of the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a group of artists who create new music inspired by the cultural legacies of the Middle East, the Mediterranean Basin, Central and South Asia, West Africa and China.

29 March – Grand Auditorium / 21:00

Inaugural Concert – Gulbenkian Orchestra with Master Musicians of the Aga Khan Music Initiative

30 March – Auditorium 2 / 10:30 / 14:30 / 17:30

Presentations by the Finalists in Performance


Aga Khan Music Initiative (as per AKDN)

Aga Khan Music Initiative is an interregional music and arts education programme with worldwide performance, outreach, mentoring, and artistic production activities. The Initiative was launched by His Highness the Aga Khan to support talented musicians and music educators working to preserve, transmit, and further develop their musical heritage in contemporary forms.

The Initiative designs and implements a country-specific set of activities for each country into which it invests, and works to promote revitalization of cultural heritage both as a source of livelihood for musicians and as a means to strengthen pluralism in nations where it is challenged by social, political, and economic constraints. Through its work, the Initiative strives to support exceptional artistic talent; promote the revival of historical connections among artists from Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa by organizing creative collaborations among artistic communities from these regions; and disseminate results of this work through a global network of partnerships with educational institutions, arts presenters, and music distributors.

To this end, musicians in the Music Initiative’s artist roster participate in diverse kinds of performances that range from concerts of traditional repertory to contemporary expressions of tradition-based art to interregional collaborations that feature talented artists from different countries in the Music Initiative’s regions of activity. Education is at the centre of the Music Initiative’s work. The Initiative focuses on developing and testing newly created teaching and learning methodologies, setting up teacher-training mechanisms, operating talent-support centres, and presenting performance and artist-in-residence programmes that provide students an opportunity to experience the creative challenges of intercultural music-making. Residencies and workshops featuring musicians from the Music Initiative’s artist roster have been presented at many academic and cultural institutions throughout North America and Europe.

The Music Initiative is a programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The Trust, in turn, serves as the cultural development agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the world’s largest private development networks, and the only one that prioritizes cultural development on a par with economic and social development in all of its projects and commitments. Through an integrated multi-sector approach to cultural development, the Music Initiative mobilizes the resources of the AKDN to support vibrant interlinked artistic communities devoted to creating new music rooted in but not constrained by tradition while also building audiences for such music through arts education on a mass scale.

Like other programmes of the Trust for Culture, the Music Initiative plays an active operational role in all the projects and activities into which it invests, and does not administer a grants programme for either individuals or institutions.

March 24, 2018

Aga Khan Launches Global Music Awards Program

The Aga Khan Development Network in Geneva, Switzerland, has announced the establishment of the Aga Khan Music Awards.

The triennial awards, which include $500,000 in prizes, will recognize exceptional creativity, promise, and enterprise in music performance, creation, education, preservation, and revitalization in societies in which Muslims have a significant presence. Award winners will be invited to pursue professional development opportunities arranged in collaboration with AKDN, including 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 awards will be governed by a steering committee co-chaired by the Aga Khan and his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan, and will be administered by the Aga Khan Music Initiative. Nominations for the awards will be solicited from a group of one hundred music specialists around the world. The first awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in Lisbon, Portugal, in late March 2019 and will be co-hosted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Lisbon Municipality.

"The Aga Khan Music Awards will aspire to fill a unique cultural role," said His Highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. "Among the world's many music awards, none of the current awards or prizes focus on the constellation of devotional music and poetry, of indigenous classical music, traditional folk music, and tradition-inspired contemporary music that has flourished in cultures shaped by Islam."


Speech by His Highness The Aga Khan at the Lisbon Aga Khan Music Awards 2019-03-31

Mawlana Hazar Imam delivers remarks at the inaugural Aga Khan Music Awards, held at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portuga

No one can ever say no to Fairooz....don't try


Your Excellency, President of the Republic, Professor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa,

Your Excellency, Vice-President of the Parliament, Mr. Jorge Lacão,

Madame Isabel Mota, President of the Gulbenkian Foundation,

Members of Government and of Parliament,

Diplomats, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

I have never known why they separate Distinguished guests from Ladies and Gentlemen, that's the way my speech is written....(applause and laughter by audience)

Speech by Prince Amyn Aga Khan at the Aga Khan Music Awards in Lisbon 2019-03-29

Prince Amyn Aga Khan delivers his remarks at the inauguration of the Aga Khan Music Awards AKDN / Akbar Hakim

Madame President of the Gulbenkian Foundation, Ms. Isabel Mota,
Honorable members of the Government, of Parliament, State Authorities, and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen

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Aga Khan Music Awards 2019-03-29


29 March 2019 – 31 March 2019
All Day
Edifício Sede – Grande Auditório
Av. de Berna, 45A , Lisboa
217 823 700
Google Maps »
Access for ticket holders only. Tickets are free and will be distributed from 10:00 of the same day (max. 2 tickets per person and limited to the capacity of the hall

Aga Khan Music Awards laureates, finalists announced

Afghan rubâb player Homayoun Sakhi (center) percussionist Salar Nader, and Chinese pipa player Wu Man, at the Aga Khan Music Ini

Laureates will share a $500,000 prize fund, and will also collaborate with the music awards to expand the impact of their work and develop their careers

The Master Jury of the Aga Khan Music Awards has announced laureates and finalists for the Awards’ inaugural cycle.
The music awards were established by His Highness the Aga Khan to recognize creativity, promise, and enterprise in music performance.

Laureates will share a $500,000 prize fund, and will also collaborate with the music awards to expand the impact of their work and develop their careers.

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