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Ghafar Maliknezhad

Pianist, composer, arranger and academic, Ghafar Maliknezhad (b. 1987), holds an MA in Art Criticism from Kazakh National Academy of Arts and a BA in music and piano performance from Kabul University. He has taught across numerous subjects including musicology, music criticism, composition, film music and piano. In addition to his compositions for piano and orchestra, Maliknezhad has previously collaborated with Afghan filmmaker Jalal Hussaini, writing the film score for Amir & Sara (2014) which was featured at the Locarno International Film Festival in Italy in 2017. In 2009 Maliknezhad received Best Music award at both the Kabul International Documentary Film Festival and the Tolo Television Film Festival for his film score to The Angels of the Earth. Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August 2021, he had to leave the country and currently lives in München, Germany. 

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Daa Zemoong Ziba Watan  (2022)

Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in Bb, trombone, rubab, dutar, sitar, harmonium, tabla and strings

Duration: 5'

Premiere:  5 July 2022, Spitalfields Music Festival, London. Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra w/Saphawat Simab, rubab, Shahbaz Hussain, tabla, Yusuf Mahmoud, harmonium, Mehboob Nadeem, sitar and William Rees Hoffman, dutar. Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey, conductor

Commissioned for The Orchestral Music of Afghanistan: Looking Forward  project

About Daa Zemoong Ziba Watan

The now traditional Afghan song, Daa Zemoong Ziba Watan (This Is Our Beautiful Homeland), written and most famously sung by Ustad Awalmir, is one of the most beautiful and influential epic poems of Afghanistan in the last half-century. The song, written in Pashto, has a very high position among Afghan musicians, patriots, and artists. Ustad Awalmir lived a simple life, dying in poverty in 1982 and in all of his poems his love for his homeland is apparent. Many different versions and arrangements of this song have been made and recorded to date.

– Ghafar Maliknezhad, June 2022

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