Egyptian Mustafa Said was the big winner in the performance category of this first edition of the Aga Khan Music Awards, today given at a ceremony held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.
Created by Prince Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam and spiritual leader of the Shia Muslims, the prizes are worth 500,000 dollars (about 445,000 euros) and were created with the aim of promoting the artistic and musical creation of Islamic roots.
According to the source of the Aga Khan Network, prizes were awarded to ten winners from seven categories, from 13 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
The awards were delivered by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in the presence of Prince Aga Khan and his brother, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, according to a statement released by the same source.
“The technological forces that are reshaping our world make neighbors living on the other side of the planet now as close to us as the neighbors who live across the street,” Aga Khan said in his speech.
“In such a world, peace and progress require us to promote a pluralistic agenda and invest in a cosmopolitan ethic. These Music Awards aim to be an investment in the direction of this promotion,” he added.
The Music Awards were created to distinguish creativity and potential for an exception, and entrepreneurship in the areas of musical performance, creation, education, preservation and revitalization in societies around the world in which there is a significant presence of Muslims.
The winners will share a total prize pool of $ 500,000 and will also collaborate with the Aga Khan Music Awards in order to expand the impact of their work and develop their careers.
The main jury of the Aga Khan Music Awards included Jean During, an ethnomusicologist and researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research; David Harrington, founding member and first violinist of the Kronos Quartet; Salima Hashmi, painter and curator, former director of Lahore National Arts College; Nouri Iskandar, composer, musicologist, former director of the Arab Institute of Music of Aleppo; and Akram Khan, choreographer and artistic director of the Akram Khan Company.
The world headquarters of Imamat Isamili, an institution headed by Prince Aga Khan, will be based in Lisbon under a bilateral agreement signed in 2015.