Festival 2022

Looking Forward: The Orchestral Music of Afghanistan

5th July 7:30pm (2022)


New music by Afghan composers in exile or hiding, performed by the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey, with guest performers on traditional Afghan instruments.

PRICE: £20

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Musicians in Afghanistan have been silenced by the Taliban. Many are now in hiding or have fled the country. In this concert we stand in solidarity with our musical colleagues showing that their voices will not be silenced, but indeed continue to flourish around the globe.

Co-curated by conductor Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey and pianist and composer Arson Fahim, Afghan musicians in exile or in hiding have been commissioned to write new compositions and create arrangements of Afghan traditional songs for a chamber orchestra of instruments from Afghanistan and the Western classical music tradition. 

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey

Featured Afghan composers include Elaha Soroor, Milad Yousufi, Arson Fahim, Meena Karimi, Mohsen Saifi, Qambar Nawshad, Ghafar Maliknezhad, Qudrat Wasefi and Zalai Pakta.

Guest performers

Saphwat Simab (rubab), Shahbaz Hussain (tabla), Yusuf Mahmoud (harmonium/voice), Mehboob Nadeem (sitar) and, William Rees Hoffman (dutar).

w/special guest appearance by Ustad Asif Mahmoud (tabla) and Singers from the King’s College Chapel Choir and Imperial College Chamber Choir.

RUNNING TIME:  75 minutes with no interval

This event is presented with the generous support of The Henfrey Charitable Trust, The New Music Commission Fund, The University of Sheffield, Sir Howard and Lady Stringer, Jon & Julia Aisbitt, Sir Winfried Bischoff, David and Elizabeth Ure, and individual donors.



Short audio clip from the performance:

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Venue information


11-17 Stoke Newington Road
N16 8BH
United Kingdom