Napa in tune with global music maestros

Four day International Music Festival set to kickstart from Dec 4, featuring notable musicians from all over the world

Our Correspondent December 02, 2014


Music is a language that people the world over resonate with and its harmony transcends borders. Honing in on music’s ability to rivet people, the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) is set to host the International Music Festival from December 4 to December 7.

“The main aim of the festival is to provide the residents of Karachi and music aficionados with an opportunity to listen to quality music,” Arshad Mahmood, director for programmes and administration at Napa, said at a press conference announcing the festival.

Arshad Mahmood and Dr Manuel Negwer

The four-day event will feature musicians from Germany, the United States and Italy along with some of the most celebrated Pakistani artistes. International musicians, including classical string concert Leipzig String Quartet (Germany), pianist Kimball Gallagher (USA) and The Hathor Plectrum Quartet (Italy), will perform collaborative pieces with Napa students and give solo performances. The line-up of local music legends comprises Ustad Salamat Hussain, Ghulam Abbas, Akbar Ali and Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, who will be taking the stage on the second day of the festival.

Dr Manuel Negwer, director of the culture-centric Goethe-Institute Pakistan, spoke about the selection of musicians for the festival. “We have tried to bring musicians who have the ability to give charismatic performances to Pakistan,” he commented. He added, “It is important to bring forth artistes who are able to communicate with the audiences and local musicians through their performances.”

“This festival is an opportunity to showcase some of the local music talents and would be a learning experience for Napa students, who will get the chance to perform alongside artistes of great stature,” said Mahmood. Speaking of the Leipzig Quartet, due to arrive on Thursday for their performance at the festival, Negwer stated, “The most interesting thing about them is that their music is the most purified form of western classical music.”

He added, “Unlike others, they will not use electronic devices to amplify their sound but will do so manually.” Gallagher will perform on the third day, which will include a collaborative piece titled Karachi to Austin, and The Hathor Plectrum Quartet will put forth their performance on the fourth day.

Ustad Hamid Ali Khan

Organisers are hopeful that the festival would disseminate a positive message about Pakistan across the world and would provide musicians at Napa and in general with a chance to be inspired. “When younger people see the instruments being played in front of them, they realise all the possibilities [associated with creating music] and draw inspiration from them,” remarked Mahmood.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd,  2014.

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