Afghanistan National Institute of Music’s Composition Residency with members of the Zohra Orchestra


This Saturday is the Afghanistan National Institute of Music‘s Composition Residency Premiere with members of the Zohra Orchestra. This program is directed by Niloufar Nourbakhsh نیلوفر نوربخش, Creator Development Fund grantee. Premieres by Shukria Hameedi, Meena Karimi, Marzia Anwari, Sevinch Majidi, Shogufa Khan, Gulmina Khoshdil, Qudrat Wasefi, and a collaboration between Siavash Kaveh and Niloufar Nourbakhsh will be streamed on New Music USA‘s YouTube channel at noon ET.

This program is the result of a series of composition online workshops at ANIM with members of the Zohra Orchestra. Throughout these online workshops seven young female musicians from the Zohra Orchestra were mentored by Nilofar Nourbakhsh to compose solo and chamber pieces. Benjamin Wu and Qudrat Wasefi provided professional support on-site.

In its original format, composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh was supposed to travel to Afghanistan in July 2021 for workshops and rehearsals with the goal of a final live performance in Kabul and hopefully in New York City later the same year; however, Covid-19, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and most devastating of all – the return of the Taliban – interrupted this project in many ways. The team had to adjust the program multiple times. All the classes moved online, and eventually when traveling to Afghanistan was not an option anymore, they decided to video record these pieces at Afghanistan National Institute of Music in August, 2021 and to showcase them in the format of a live streamed online concert.

Since August 2021, all members of the Zohra Orchestra have been evacuated alongside other students, faculty, and staff of ANIM.

This program was made possible with the partnership of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) and support of Turn the Spotlight Fellowship, New Music USA, NY Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program, and members of Zohra Orchestra.

Site Coordinators: Dr. Benjamin Wu, and Qudrat Wasefi
Video and Audio Recordings: Qudrat Wasefi and Najib Angar
Video Editor: Qudrat Wasefi
Audio Mix and Master: Niloufar Nourbakhsh and Siavash Kaveh
Creative Director: Niloufar Nourbakhsh