Young musicians from Afghanistan Institute begin U.S. tour

Posted on: February 8, 2013

In Tuesday’s (2/5) Washington Post, Katherine Boyle writes, “The barefoot boys sit cross-legged on the stage, tuning their instruments to the droning A of the lutelike rubab. … Before them is an audience of mostly African American boys and girls, listening to Afghan instruments they’ve never before seen up close. … Only 48 hours after touching down at Dulles International Airport, the Afghan Youth Orchestra, visiting the United States this week, had begun its packed diplomatic tour. The young musicians have already played at the Afghan Embassy and the World Bank, institutions that, along with the State Department, are funding the $500,000 tour. … The Afghanistan National Institute of Music, founded in 2010, is the only such school in the country. With 141 students, 35 of whom are girls, it brings music education back to a country that once banned instruments and women’s education. … Cultural exchanges between Afghan and American youths are a priority on the tour. At the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage on Thursday, the Afghan orchestra will perform with the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras. Members of both orchestras met at Strathmore for the first time Tuesday to practice for the Kennedy Center concert. The Afghan ensemble will perform with the Scarsdale High School Orchestra in New York and take classes with students from the New England Conservatory in Boston.”

Posted February 8, 2013