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  • AKMA 2020-2022: live edition
Aga Khan Music Awards Opens Nominations for the 2020-22 Awards Cycle

Geneva, Switzerland, 1 November 2021 - Nominations for the 2020-22 cycle of the Aga Khan Music Awards are now open. The triennial Awards, which come with US$ 500,000 in prizes, recognise exceptional creativity, promise, and enterprise in music that has flourished in cultures shaped by Islam. 

Nominations for the Music Awards will be solicited from a distinguished international group of performing artists and music specialists, who include educators, scholars, producers, arts presenters, and representatives of civil society and cultural development organisations. They are asked to recommend nominees whose work embodies or showcases music’s traditional role as a source of spiritual enlightenment, moral inspiration and social cohesion. Nominees may be individuals, groups, or organisations.

Domains in which nominees may have demonstrated distinction include:

  • creation of a musical work or body of work (which may be in the form of notated music, recordings, video, film, or digital media);
  • musical performance;
  • music-related social or humanistic endeavours (education; preservation, revitalisation, documentation and dissemination; social inclusion; and/or research and scholarship); and
  • the development, sustainability, and availability of music or musical institutions.

Nominations submitted to the Awards secretariat will initially be reviewed by an expert panel, which will select semi-finalists for consideration by the master jury. The identity of nominators is to remain confidential. 

The first Aga Khan Music Awards ceremony took place in Lisbon, Portugal from 29-31 March 2019. It was co-hosted with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Lisbon Municipality. The date and venue for the 2022 Awards ceremony will be announced soon.

Fairouz Nishanova, director of the Aga Khan Music Programme, said, ‘The launch of the second Awards cycle comes at an auspicious moment. Over the last two world-changing years, musicians have learned to innovate in the ways they develop, express, and disseminate artistic creativity, and we are excited to work with such a distinguished group of nominators to identify emerging talent, new directions, and significant achievement in a broad range of musical styles and languages.’ 

The Aga Khan Music Awards are governed by a steering committee co-chaired by His Highness the Aga Khan and his brother, Prince Amyn Aga Khan. They are administered by the Aga Khan Music Programme, an endeavour of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The master jury that selects winners will be drawn from eminent musicians, arts presenters, producers, and arts education leaders. Award winners will pursue professional development opportunities arranged in collaboration with the Music Awards during each triennial awards cycle. These opportunities, supported by special grants, will include 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.

Members of the Aga Khan Music Awards Steering Committee include:

His Highness the Aga Khan 
Prince Amyn Aga Khan 
Ara Guzelimian, Special Advisor, Provost Emeritus, The Juilliard School; Artistic and Executive Director, Ojai Music Festival
Farrokh Derakhshani, Director, Aga Khan Award for Architecture 

Sir Jonathan Mills, Director, Edinburgh International Culture Summit
Joseph Melillo, Executive Producer, Emeritus, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
Luis Monreal, General Manager, Aga Khan Trust for Culture 
Salima Hashmi, Professor Emeritus, Beaconhouse National University
Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Central Asia (UCA)

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