About the Aga Khan Music Initiative - AKDN
Aga Khan Development Network

The Aga Khan Music Initiative:
Nurturing Local Talent and Creating Global Connections

Aga Khan Music Initiative

The Aga Khan Music Initiative was launched in 2000 by His Highness the Aga Khan to support talented musicians and music educators who are striving to preserve, transmit, and further develop their musical heritage in contemporary forms.

The Music Initiative began its work in Central Asia, and later expanded to include musicians and artistic communities from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Its programmes support:

  • Development of innovative approaches to traditional “master-apprentice” music training;
  • Performances and artistic collaborations among musicians in the Music Initiative’s regions of activity and other parts of the world, and
  • Production of the 10-volume CD-DVD anthology Music of Central Asia, co-produced with the Smithsonian Institution.

Summary of current programme activities

Master-apprentice training centres in Kabul and Herat; music research and archiving in Herat and Badakhshan; outreach to schools, public recitals, instrument-making workshop.

Nationwide implementation of “Murager” (Heritage) programme, a system for preserving and transmitting traditional performance and composition through mass education.

Countrywide master-apprentice training programme; methodology development for national music education; creative youth laboratory for tradition-based musical innovation.

Academy of Maqom, elite training aimed at revitalizing Tajik classical music; master-apprentice programme in all regions of Northern Tajikistan; instrument-making workshops.

Pilot initiative for GBC (Gilgit-Baltistan-Chitral) to support master-apprentice training; regional music & arts festival in Hunza linked to recording, collecting & archiving; international presentations of indigenous music traditions of Northern Areas.

Music & arts training for children from Darb Al Ahmar and establishment of DAA Arts School. Regular concerts at El Genaina theatre, Aslam Square and other HCP-redeveloped spaces. Continuation of Remix Asia interregional workshops & festivals.

Creation of country and community-specific arts education and performance programme for AKDN-redeveloped spaces in Damascus and Aleppo in collaboration with local partners.

Europe & North America
Artists from AKMI roster are featured in: CD-DVD anthology, interregional and international performances and artistic collaborations, creation of new musical works, composition and commissioning programmes, university residencies and outreach.