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The Orchestral Music of Afghanistan: Looking Forward

The Orchestral Music of Afghanistan: Looking Forward is a commissioning and performance project co-curated by Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey and Arson Fahim to celebrate Afghanistan’s history of orchestral music-making while providing a platform for the flourishing creativity of Afghan composers and musicians who are now in exile or hiding, unable to make music in their own country.

In 2022 with the support of the Spitalfields Music Festival, University of Sheffield, Leverhulme Trust, Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, The Henfrey Charitable Trust and other private donors, we commissioned 8 new orchestral compositions and arrangements from Afghan composers.

These were premiered at the Spitalfields Music Festival on 5 July 2022 in London. Several more new pieces and arrangements were performed in Boston on 20 March 2023. The next performance will take place on 15 June 2023 in Oxford in the Sheldonian Theatre.

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