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Mohammad Qambar Nawshad

Mohammad Qambar Nawshad (b. 1996) is a composer, arranger and percussionist, and conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Afghanistan, now in exile in Portugal where the Afghanistan National Institute of Music is currently being re-established. Nawshad’s arrangements and compositions have been performed and recorded regularly by orchestras in Afghanistan with broadcasts of his work and orchestral performances featured on national television.

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Hope  (2022)

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

Duration: 7'

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

About Hope

The piece that I have composed is called Hope. It is my experience that hope in human life is as valuable as wings are for a bird! Without it, life would be meaningless—imagine a body without soul and movement. However, hope needs to be created, needs to be given, needs to be spread. I strongly believe that hope is the most important principle of human life. Hope gives us energy, opens the doors that otherwise seem impossible to penetrate, and it gets us ready for the strong and positive actions needed for our futures.


As an Afghan artist I believe it is my responsibility to take action in the current turbulent, chaotic and uncertain situation of Afghanistan by writing this piece of music. In this composition I wanted to indicate and reflect how the civil war began in Afghanistan, based on my parents' experience who witnessed the first half of the ruinous imposed war.


Afghanistan and the people of this land, went and are still going through many imposed unusual problems and obstacles, in the past forty years, two talented generations of Afghanistan have just vanished between the leaders of greed, but on the contrary, it was the innocent people of an entire nation who paid the price for the evil deals that were made in the past, but they never lost hope and they continue to live. However, while I was reviewing my parents' stories of the past, I then decided to write about hope because I thought music can express my feelings better than words. So now here we have Hope. Never lose hope.

– Mohammad Qambar Nawshad, June 2022

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