Taking the form of a panel discussion, the seminar covered topics relating to several distinct yet connected themes, including the strategy of the Awards, the role of music in development, the revitalisation of cultural heritage, and the future vision of the Awards programme.
The panel was composed of members of the Aga Khan Music Awards Master Jury, Steering Committee, and Secretariat, and was moderated by Sir Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, who posed questions to panelists relating to each of the themes.
Responding to a question on the objective of the Aga Khan Music Awards, Prince Amyn spoke of multiple purposes, explaining “The first one is to assist and stimulate musicians, both performers and composers, in Muslim cultures and areas that we know.” Prince Amyn continued, “Secondly, to assist the knowledge to go global, so that music can evolve not only locally, but also globally, in the dialogue of cultures. So, the idea is to form a global group of musicians performing and composing, whose music emanates from our traditions.”
Since its establishment 18 years ago, the Aga Khan Music Initiative has been working in the field of music education, responding to the provincial nature that prevails in educational institutions. The aim has been to encourage a pluralisation of education, disseminating traditional Eastern music to students of music in the Western world, and vice-versa.
Speaking of the long-term nature of education in the domain of arts and culture, Ara Guzeliman, Provost and Dean of the Julliard School in New York City remarked that, “Culture doesn’t spring overnight, it takes time and instruments, and it is not a coincidence that now there is fruit. I think the importance of this Award is, not only what happens here and now, but what happens from here moving forward, and the continuous support and development and evolution of these artists.”
The Seminar marked the penultimate event of the 2019 Aga Khan Music Awards. The proceedings are expected to conclude later in the evening with a Gala Concert and Prize-Giving Ceremony.