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Aga Khan Music Initiative and Serious UK Bring Homayun Sakhi, Kronos Quartet and Bardic Divas to London Olympics Music Festival

London, 19 July 2012 - As part of the contingent of over 1,500 musicians from around the world performing on the weekend before the London Olympics, Homayun Sakhi, the Kronos Quartet and the Bardic Divas will appear on the Asia Stage in Battersea Park on 21 July 2012.

The Homayun Sakhi Trio’s performance with Kronos Quartet will feature Sakhi’s Rangin Kaman (“Rainbow” in Persian), a 28-minute composition for Afghan rubab, string quartet, and percussion, which was commissioned by the Aga Khan Music Initiative as part of its pioneering multi-year collaboration with the Kronos Performing Arts Association. The Bardic Divas, who have been part of the Aga Khan Music Initiative’s (AKMI) roster since the 2007 CD-DVD “Bardic Divas” was released in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways, will follow the presentation of the “Rainbow”.

The concerts reunite musicians renowned for the performance of their own classical traditions as well as for composing, arranging and performing new music that combines traditions. The concerts also represent yet another important new collaboration with AKMI’s long-standing partner Serious UK, a leading creative production company that is renowned for making connections between artists, audiences and communities.

The concerts follow a series of collaborations that date back to 2008, when the Aga Khan Music Initiative and Serious UK presented a world premiere of AKMI-supported artistic collaborations between Kronos Quartet and the Alim Qasimov Ensemble at London’s Barbican Centre. These new musical works, together with “Rainbow”, were later featured on the 2010 CD-DVD release by AKMI and Smithsonian Folkways entitled “Rainbow: Kronos Quartet with Alim and Fargana Qasimov and Homayun Sakhi”. The CD later won the Independent Music Award in the Best Word Traditional Song category.

The Bardic Divas bring together eight exceptional female singers from the Central Asia: Byambajargal Gombodorj from Mongolia; Ulzhan Baibussynova and Raushan Orazbayeva from Kazakhstan; Adinai Kudabaeva from Kyrgyzstan; Tawus Annamyradova from Turkmenistan; Fargana Qasimova from Azerbaijan; Ozoda Ashurova and Abduvali Abdurashidov from Tajikistan; and Nodira Pirmatova from Uzbekistan.

Each woman is a master of her own tradition; together they perform a collection of oral poetry, story telling, lyrical song and instrumental music that is part entertainment, part social commentary and part philosophy.

For more information about the concerts at the BT River of Music, please see

For more information about the Aga Khan Music Initiative, please see:

The Aga Khan Music Initiative is an interregional music and arts education program 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. Music Initiative began its work in Central Asia, subsequently expanding its cultural development activities to include artistic communities and audiences in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. AKMI 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.

For press enquiries regarding the Aga Khan Music Initiative, please contact:

Sam Pickens
Aga Khan Award for Architecture
1-3 avenue de la Paix
1202 Geneva
Telephone: +41 (22) 909.72.00
Facsimile: +41 (22) 909.72.91


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