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  • Music of Central Asia Vol. 2, Invisible Face of the Beloved Classical Music of the Tajiks and Uzbeks The Academy of Maqâm
France Musique Prize 2012 for World Music awarded to Aga Khan Music Initiative artist Abduvali Abdurashidov

Marseille, France, 15 March 2012 -- The 2012 France Music World Music Prize has been awarded to the Tajik Artist, Abduvali Abdurashidov, at the international Babel Med Music forum in Marseille.

Mr. Abdurashidov was honoured for his mastery of the tanbur and sato, the main accompanying instruments for the performance of the Shashmaqom, the classical music of the Tajik and Uzbeks of Central Asia. The tanbur is a long-necked plucked lute with raised frets while the sato is an increasingly rare form of bowed tanbur.

He was also honoured for his critical and historical study of the music and poetry of the maqom tradition, which he undertook at the Academy of Maqom, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Created with the help of the Aga Khan Music Initiative in 2003, the Academy of Maqom takes its name from the venerable tradition of classical or court music that spans the Muslim world from Morocco to western China.

Six maqoms constitute the systematically organized repertory of Central Asian classical music known as Shashmaqom (six maqoms). The roots of Shashmaqom are linked most strongly with Bukhara, a historically multicultural city where performers and audiences included Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Central Asian (Bukharan) Jews. Shashmaqom performers were typically bilingual in Uzbek, a Turkic language, and Tajik, an eastern dialect of Persian, and sang poetic texts in both languages.

An album, dedicated to the Shashmaqom, is to be published by Ocora and disseminated widely on Radio France. Mr. Abdurashidov’s music is currently available on the Smithsonian Folkways/Aga Khan Music Initiative CD/DVD release “Music of Central Asia Vol. 2: Invisible Face of the Beloved: Classical Music of the Tajiks and Uzbeks”.

For press enquiries, please contact:

Sam Pickens
Aga Khan Development Network
1-3 Avenue de la Paix
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 22 909 72 00
Facsimile: +41 22 909 72 91


The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) 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.