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Concert in Solidarity with Afghan Musicians 2023

Monday • March 20, 2023   |   7:00 pm


Composer, pianist, and Longy student Arson Fahim has curated a concert in celebration of Afghanistan’s rich musical legacy, on the eve of Nawroz, the Afghan New Year. “Concert in Solidarity with Afghan Musicians” will feature arrangements of traditional Afghan music as well as music by Afghan composers, including original compositions by Arson and classmate Qudrat Wasefi. The concert will feature both small-ensemble and full-orchestra performances, including music played on the traditional Afghan Rubab as well as the commonly used Tabla.

photo by Adriana Arguijo Gutierrez

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Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 2021, the country has sunk into a humanitarian crisis deeper than ever. Millions were already facing extreme poverty, and the Taliban’s unjust policies, including preventing girls and women from studying, has only made it worse. When the notoriously inhumane and cruel group was last in power in the late 90s, music was completely banned. Today, they are once again silencing the sound of music. At the hands of the Taliban, the country’s only music school has been converted into a military outpost, instruments have been destroyed, and due to the persecution, musicians have either had to flee the country or go into hiding.

At the age of 21, less than two weeks before the collapse of Kabul, Arson Fahim moved to the US to pursue an undergraduate degree in Piano and Composition at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. To raise awareness about the plight of Afghanistan, he organized the virtual “Concert in Solidarity with Afghan Musicians”, which brought together over 70 volunteer musicians to make a statement in solidarity with Afghan artists.

In the hopes of continuing to use the power of music to make the world a better place and to protest the barbaric ban on music in Afghanistan, we are organizing a second iteration of the concert to be performed live at the First Church of Cambridge on Monday, March 20th, 2023 at 7 PM. This date is also the Afghan New Year, Nawroz, which is an occasion often celebrated with music. The concert will not only be a way to bring attention to an important issue, but also represent a symbol of hope, resistance, and freedom. We are delighted to be joined by Qais Essar, one of the world’s leading performers of the Rubab, the national instrument of Afghanistan. The concert will feature arrangements of Afghan music and compositions by Afghan composers for chamber ensembles and an orchestra formed by volunteer musicians from around the world.


Monday • March 20, 2023
7:00 pm
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First Church Cambridge
11 Garden St.
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
Thanks to our partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and their “Card to Culture” program, Longy School of Music of Bard College can offer free tickets to many of our diverse and innovative performance offerings. See the full list of participating “Card to Culture” organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.