Central Asian scholars, government officials and international community pay tribute to legendary Nurdjanov at Musical Arts of the Pamirs Book Launch

Date: 25 January 2011

Dr Nizom Nurdjanov speaking at the book launch of The Musical Arts of the Pamirs, with Dr Bahriniso Kabilova on 21 January 2011.Dr Nizom Nurdjanov speaking at the book launch of The Musical Arts of the Pamirs, with Dr Bahriniso Kabilova on 21 January 2011.Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 25 January 2011 - On 21 January 2011, the University of Central Asia (UCA) and the Aga Khan Development Network jointly celebrated the launch of The Musical Arts of the Pamirs, Volumes I, II, and III at the Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe. Two hundred and twenty guests, including government officials of Tajikistan, ambassadors and key members of the academic and cultural community, were present to pay tribute to the decades of scholarship of legendary Tajik scholar Dr Nizom Nurdjanov and his colleagues.

Dr Nizom Nurdjanov presenting a copy of the multi-volume study to Guest of Honour Mr Abdughaffor Abdujabborov, Head of Administration, Ministry of Culture, with Dr Bahriniso Kabilova.Dr Nizom Nurdjanov presenting a copy of the multi-volume study to Guest of Honour Mr Abdughaffor Abdujabborov, Head of Administration, Ministry of Culture, with Dr Bahriniso Kabilova.Guest of Honour Mr Abdughaffor Abdujabborov, Head of Administration, Ministry of Culture, presided over the event. In his address, Mr Abdujabborov lauded Dr Nurdjanov as a great Tajik scholar and welcomed the publication of the series as a valuable contribution to the country’s cultural development.

The event included musical tributes by the Tajik band Samo, who performed songs from the book, and by Dr Elmira Kuchumkulova, a Kyrgyz anthropologist and UCA Research Fellow active in the field of cultural preservation of Kyrgyz music and heritage.

Dr Elmira Kuchumkulova, a Kyrgyz anthropologist and UCA Research Fellow paying tribute to Dr Nurdjanov, with two traditional Kyrgyz songs.Dr Elmira Kuchumkulova, a Kyrgyz anthropologist and UCA Research Fellow paying tribute to Dr Nurdjanov, with two traditional Kyrgyz songs.Addressing Dr Nurdjanov, Dr Kuchumkulova highlighted the vital contribution of his over fifty years of work in the field. “Music has always been an integral part of our Central Asian cultural identity, and we should preserve and use our musical traditions as a basis for continued cooperation between countries and development of the region,” Dr Kuchumkulova stated. “Due to your deep passion and life-long academic work, we, the current and future generations of Central Asian scholars and students, will have a unique opportunity to learn about the rich and diverse musical traditions of our Central Asian region.”

For Dr Nurdjanov, the publication of the Musical Arts of the Pamirs is an especially meaningful achievement in his long and illustrious career. “There is enough material, and there is a wish to cover everything, thereby we are expanding the artistic and cultural heritage of our ancient people,” Dr Nurdjanov stated. “I think that the publication of the book will help bring international attention to Pamir culture, with its originality, beauty, and philosophy and its depth of emotion and reflection.”

Guided by a mission of preserving cultural heritage as an asset for the future, the University of Central Asia first began working with Dr Nurdjanov’s team in January 2009 with the goal of reviving decades of research on the diverse musical traditions of the region. However UCA’s collaboration with Dr Nurdjanov dates back to 2003, when the Aga Khan Humanities Project published his seminal, two-volume work on Tajik Theater. At present, UCA is also supporting the production of The Musical Arts of the Pamirs Volumes IV and V, scheduled for completion in 2011.

In his address, UCA Director General Dr Bohdan Krawchenko emphasized the importance of preservation of cultural history and traditions to inform the next generation: “Tajikistan has a unique cultural heritage that is of international significance. But it has to be stressed, and this is especially an appeal to young people, that culture has to be studied, researched, documented, interpreted, and that to do this at a professional level requires education and a great deal of hard work and dedication. I hope young people will be inspired by Dr Nurdjanov’s work, and that he has the opportunity to mentor and develop them.”

Guests at the event included the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Shabozov Mirgand and representatives of the government of Tajikistan, Professor Mamadsho Ilolov, President of the Academy of Sciences, and ambassadors of Azerbaijan, France, India, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America, Deputy Head of Mission of German Embassy, and Chargés d'Affaires of Japan, among others. Representatives from international organizations including the Asian Development Bank, the Swiss Development Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the United States Agency for International Development, and World Health Organization were also present.

Tajik band Samo, presenting songs from the Musical Arts of the Pamirs as a tribute to Dr Nurdjanov to the audiences'''' delight.Tajik band Samo, presenting songs from the Musical Arts of the Pamirs as a tribute to Dr Nurdjanov to the audiences'' delight.The book launch marked UCA’s publication of the three-volume set, part of a five-volume study on folk music, oral history, and theatre traditions from the Pamir region of Tajikistan. Widely viewed as the most comprehensive work on Pamir music and heritage to date, The Musical Arts of the Pamirs is the culmination of over fifty years of field work by Dr Nurdjanov, along with his colleagues, Dr Fayzulla Karomatov and Dr Bahriniso Kabilova. With support from The Christensen Fund (TCF), and collaboration of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, the series seeks to contribute to the preservation and revitalization of traditional Tajik music.

UCA is also supporting the publication of a two-volume book Kïrgïz küülör bayanï (History of Kyrgyz Küüs), written by Kyrgyz ethnomusicologist Asan Kaybïlda uulu, presenting the findings of Kaybïlda uulu’s two decades of ethnographic research on Kyrgyz komuz music. It contains rich and valuable material on the history of Kyrgyz küü, instrumental music played primarily on the main three-stringed Kyrgyz instrument, komuz. The book will be launched in 2011.

For further information please contact:

Nisar Keshvani
University of Central Asia
138 Toktogul Street, 720001 Bishkek
Kyrgyz Republic
Mobile: +996 (0) 770 822 851
Email: nisar.keshvani@ucentralasia.org

Munira Shoinbekova
Aga Khan Development Network
8-10 Gani Abdullo Street, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Mobile: +992 93 500-82-92
E-mail: munira.shoinbekova@akdn.org

Notes:
The University of Central Asia
The University of Central Asia (UCA) was founded in 2000. The Presidents of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan, signed the International Treaty and Charter establishing this secular and private University; ratified by the respective parliaments, and registered with the United Nations. UCA brings with it the commitment and partnership of the broader Aga Khan Development Network. For more information on UCA, please visit website at www.ucentralasia.org.

The Aga Khan Development Network
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a group of development agencies with mandates that include the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities. AKDN agencies conduct their programmes without regard to faith, origin or gender. For more information on AKDN, please visit website at www.akdn.org  

The Christensen Fund
The Christensen Fund (TCF) believes in the power of biological and cultural diversity to sustain and enrich a world faced with great change and uncertainty. TCF focuses on the “bio-cultural” – the rich but neglected adaptive interweave of people and place, culture and ecology. The Fund’s mission is to buttress the efforts of people and institutions who believe in a biodiverse world infused with artistic expression and work to secure ways of life and landscapes that are beautiful, bountiful and resilient. For more information on TCF, please visit their website at: http://www.christensenfund.org