Breaking the Silence UK tour by a 45 member Afghan Youth Orchestra is an important debut series of a joint collaboration with soloists and ensembles here in the UK. There will be a number of performances, workshops and educational activities across England – in London, Birmingham and Manchester. By collaborative works the young orchestra members can begin to heal their wounds and build strong bonds within and outside the Afghan Societies.
ABOUT AFGHAN YOUTH ORCHESTRA
The Afghan Youth Orchestra were part of 272 students who were airlifted and was considered, one of the largest group rescues of at-risk Afghans to date.In a long and complex effort, made possible various governments who provided aircraft, diplomatic assistance and temporary accommodation, and the government of Portugal, where ANIM community members have been granted group asylum
Many international artistes, law makers, diplomats, philanthropists military veterans helped including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, conductor Daniel Barenboim, and other members of the artistic community.
The war-torn nation’s first and only music school, it gave Afghan boys and girls the rare opportunity to learn side by side, and to study both Western and Afghan music, while also receiving a general education. Ensembles from the school, including the Afghan Youth Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and Zohra, undertook high- profile international tours, sharing the unique musical traditions of their homeland with enthusiastic audiences
When children play in a musical ensemble they collaborate, listen, share and contribute. AYO’s ensembles are a microcosm of the future and we hope these concerts series shall help to achieve, such a vision.
Navigating a new country, far from one’s homeland, family, and the comforts of familiarity, presents unique challenges for refugees and migrants. Therefore, they have number of British musicians joining in to collaborate with the 45 member Afghan Youth Orchestra.
They recognize the significance of preserving cultural identities while fostering integration into a new. To accomplish this delicate balance, they have organised a variety of vibrant cultural concerts and events that celebrate heritage and nurture community bonds. These concerts will take at prestigious venues in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
These concerts provide a safe and empowering space, for as cultural gatherings are designed to bring comfort and connection. Music events resonate with the rhythms of diverse backgrounds, uniting individuals through shared melodies and joyful rhythm.
The Afghan Youth Orchestra is one of the prime young orchestras, students learn the thrilling responsibility of playing in an orchestra for the first time. The orchestra consists of both boys and girls as they progress in their ensemble and orchestral skills together under the direction of the conductor, Maestro Tiago Da Silva.
In the AYO there is an integrated group of Women musicians who perform as the “Ensemble Zohra” and is the first of its kind within this co-educational environment — a rarity in Afghanistan, until the Taliban came in— the young women of Zohra are defying the odds to attain an education, play music together, and are the first women in their families, communities, and country to learn music in over thirty years. The ensemble consists of over thirty female students from all grades. Initially a small chamber group, it soon grew into what is now a 25member orchestra, comprised of both Western classical and traditional Afghan instruments including a harmonious mix of strings, woodwinds, piano and percussion, rubab, dutar, tambour, sitar, tabla, and qashqarcha, an instrument played mainly in north-eastern Afghanistan.
The Zohra Orchestra currently is led Constança Simas. She is also a professional conductor. She trains young Afghan girls conducting and prepares them to take over eventually
This is an important step in providing opportunities for female musicians to unite in solidarity, deepen their commitment to music, and develop their skills as collaborative musicians. The current upcoming female conductors are mentored via Distance Learning Program partnership with Oxford’s Orchestra of St. Johns conductor, Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey.