The triennial awards, which include $500,000 in prizes, will recognize exceptional creativity, promise, and enterprise in music performance, creation, education, preservation, and revitalization in societies in which Muslims have a significant presence. Award winners will be invited to pursue professional development opportunities arranged in collaboration with AKDN, including commissions for the creation of new works, contracts for recordings and artist management, support for pilot education initiatives, and technical or curatorial consultancies for music archiving, preservation, and dissemination projects.
The awards will be governed by a steering committee co-chaired by the Aga Khan and his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan, and will be administered by the Aga Khan Music Initiative. Nominations for the awards will be solicited from a group of one hundred music specialists around the world. The first awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in Lisbon, Portugal, in late March 2019 and will be co-hosted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Lisbon Municipality.
"The Aga Khan Music Awards will aspire to fill a unique cultural role," said His Highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. "Among the world's many music awards, none of the current awards or prizes focus on the constellation of devotional music and poetry, of indigenous classical music, traditional folk music, and tradition-inspired contemporary music that has flourished in cultures shaped by Islam."
(Photo credit: Sebastian Schutyser)