Spiritual Sounds of Central Asia: Nomads, Mystics and Troubadours
Alim & Fargana Qasimov (Azerbaijan), Tengir-Too (Kyrgyzstan) &
Bardic Divas (Kazakhstan)
Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall
$360 / $280 / $200 / $120
Some $120 seats may have restricted view
Approx 2 hours with an intermission of 15 minutes
. Meet-the-artists session after the performance
Click here for details of Lecture Demonstration by Masters from Central Asia

An enchanting musical adventure through the Caucasus,
Tianshan and over the Kazakh Steppe

Alim Qasimov
"one of the 20th century's greatest singers" - Folk Roots]UK^
IMC/UNESCO Music Prize winner

Bardic Divas
"Uljan Baibussynova sang more deeply from the chest than any mezzo ever does"
- The Independent, UK

"Intimate, multi-coloured world" - The Independent, UK

In this fascinating performance, three Central Asian vocal traditions accompanied by indigenous instruments are brought together in one scintillating showcase illustrating the diverse musical cultures of the Silk Road.

Alim Qasimov, a "living national treasure" of Azerbaijan, is an internationally renowned master of mugham, an Azerbaijani form of improvised singing. Acclaimed for his vocal dexterity and emotional delivery, Qasimov won the International Music Council/UNESCO Music Prize in 1999 and has been hailed by French newspaper Le Monde as "one of the most beautiful voices of our era". Qasimov and his daughter Fargana, also a gifted mugham singer, are leading performers in opera Layla and Majnun of the Yo-Yo Ma Silk Road Ensemble's tour this year.

Via Kyrgyz ensemble Tengir-Too, the striking sounds from Tianshan are brought into the concert hall. The group's music is rooted in the culture of nomads. Since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the ensemble's founder Nurlanbek Nyshanov has helped revive a wide range of traditional instruments. While reclaiming the past, he also innovates by composing works for small ensembles, which traditionally would have been performed by soloists only.

Accomplished musicians Ardak Issatayeva and Uljan Baibussynova from Kazakhstan sing and accompany themselves on long-necked lutes known as dombra. Issatayeva's warm alto voice, together with Baibussynova's evocative renditions of didactic poetry, a traditionally male bardic genre referred to as zhyraulik, present the colourful nomadic art at its best.

The performance will be accompanied by a video introducing the life and musical cultures of Central Asia. The three groups have toured England and the US to great acclaim. Make sure you catch their groundbreaking Hong Kong debut.

Concert supported by the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia, a programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture