The winners of Aga Khan music award 2022 was announced in Switzerland on Wednesday, featuring all 10 laureates with diverse identities and backgrounds including one from Afghanistan.
According to a press release published by the Aga Khan Development Network, the awardees receive $5,000 cash prize plus professional development opportunities including commissions for 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.
Daud Khan Sadozai, an Afghan musician who plays Rubab, a popular musical instrument is among the laureates of the 2022 Aga Khan music award.
Daud Khan entered into the music world when he was only 17 and was following Ustad Mohammad Omar, the “Sultan of Rubab” of Afghanistan.
According to his biography, after the death of his teacher, Daud Khan Sadozai emigrated to Germany, where he studied engineering. Later he travelled to India to study the sarod, an adaptation of the Afghan rubab, with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. He presently lives in Cologne, Germany, and though he has never returned to Afghanistan, his impact on the preservation, development, and dissemination of Afghan music worldwide has been pronounced and sustained. He has trained many young musicians of both Afghan and non-Afghan origin in the unique Kabuli style of Hindustani raga performed on the Afghan rubab as well as in instrumental music from Afghanistan’s regional folk traditions. Along with frequent appearances as a solo concert artist, he regularly participates in workshops and masterclasses devoted to intercultural music-making, where he is known as an inspiring and generous teacher.
The awardees names and short biographies are as following:
- Zakir Hussain (India)
Special prize for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of his highly visible model of enlightened cross-cultural musicianship that 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.
- Afel Bocoum (Mali)
Singer and guitar player from Niafunké, Mali whose music combines acoustic guitar with local instruments to echo the sound of “desert blues” in an earthier, tradition-based style.
- Asin Khan Langa (India)
Sarangi player, singer, composer and community activist from Rajasthan’s hereditary Langa musical community, who performs Sufi poetry set to traditional and newly composed melodies.
- Coumbane Mint Ely Warakane (Mauritania)
Singer and ardin (harp) player from Trarza, in southwest Mauritania, who performs the music of Mauritanian griots in a deeply traditional style.
- Daud Khan Sadozai (Afghanistan)
Leading exponent of the Afghan rubab who has had a major impact on the preservation, development and dissemination of Afghan music worldwide.
- Peni Candra Rini (Indonesia)
Indonesian composer, improviser, vocalist and educator whose knowledge of traditional Indonesian performing arts informs her creation of new works produced worldwide.
- Soumik Datta (UK)
Sarod player who fuses his training in Hindustani classical music with pop, rock, electronica and film soundtracks to raise awareness about urgent social issues including climate change, refugees and mental health.
- Yahya Hussein Abdallah (Tanzania)
Singer and composer of devotional songs and reciter of the Qur’an from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania who composes and sings in Swahili as well as some of Tanzania’s 126 local languages.
- Yasamin Shahhosseini (Iran)
Leading young master of the oud who is reimagining the place of this instrument in Iranian music through her innovative compositions and improvisations.
- Zarsanga (Pakistan)
Singer from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, known as the Queen of Pashtun Folklore for her career-long devotion to the orally transmitted traditional music of tribal Pashtuns.
According to the AKDN press release, the triennial Awards, established by His Highness the Aga Khan in 2018, recognise exceptional creativity, promise and enterprise in music in societies across the world in which Muslims have a significant presence.
The Aga Khan Music Awards reflect the conviction of His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims, that 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.
This comes as performance of any sort of music and playing musician instruments are prohibited in Afghanistan since the take over of the country by the Taliban last year. According to the latest reports from Afghanistan, musical instruments were broken and put on fire and the majority of musicians have left the country in the last 14 months of Taliban’s governance.
Taliban consider music prohibited and Haram based on their religious beliefs and the ‘so-called’ Sharia law they are imposing in Afghanistan.