Pakistan’s Music Mesmerizes Audience at Cultural Festival

Brussels: The Embassy of Pakistan in Brussels organized a Sitar and Tabla concert at the Belgium’s prestigious International Centre of Fine Arts and Music Bozar on Wednesday. The concert was organized as part of Pakistan’s participation in Asia – Europe Cultural Festival which is taking place in connection with 12th Asia – Europe Summit held in Brussels from 18th to 19th of October. In line with the theme of festival, Asia- Europe connectivity, two European artists performed Pakistani music and earned huge applause from large number of audience including ambassadors of various countries and foreign and Belgian audience representing different walks of life.
Arnaud Eurin a French musician who plays Sitar and Tabla artist Carlo Strazzante a Belgian national of Italian descend, presented classical, Sufi and folk tunes. Ms. Sarah Hashmi a master’s student in Cultural Studies at the KU Leuven University introduced the theme of the programme, the musicians and background of every tune played by the artists.
The concert was opened with pure classical composition by Arnaud based on Raag Multani deriving its name from the land of Sufis Multan. This raag is generally sung in the afternoon. The repertoire included rendition of Raag Bageshri, a classical raga, said to have been first sung by Mian Tansen, the celebrated court singer of the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the sixteenth century. The tunes of qawwalis ‘Mein Nijaam Se Naina Laga Ayi’ and ‘Nit Khair Mangan Sonya Mein Teri’ and folk tunes of ‘Lang Aa Ja Paton Chana Da Yaar’and ‘Damadam Mast Qalandar’, were also played.
The audience were spell bound by the tunes and expressed applause for the mastery of skills of European artists playing Pakistani music. A professor of music at KU Leuven University who attended the evening has expressed interest in forging collaboration between Pakistani and Belgian music.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg Mrs. Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi said that Embassy of Pakistan in Brussels makes every possible effort to promote soft image of Pakistan and to introduce Pakistani culture and traditions in Brussels which is centre of European Union and has big presence of of all the nationalities.

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