SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan – The largest music festival of the East, “Sharq Taronalari,” has started in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Around 60 countries including Latvia, Burkina Faso, Russia, Japan, Turkey, Austria, Georgia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, China, France, Madagascar, the United States, Thailand, Czech Republic, South Korea, Spain, Estonia, Egypt, and others have confirmed their participation. Media from 15 countries are covering this event.
Music contributes to the enrichment of man’s spiritual world, inspires to noble deeds, and fills the soul with radiant thoughts, and is proved by “Sharq taronalari.”
Sharq taronalari (Melodies of the Orient) is the international music festival held by initiative of President Islom Karimov who is a believer of promoting the cultural heritage of Central Asia, especially of Uzbekistan.
The 9th International Music Festival is currently going on in the main arena of the festival, located on the Registan Square where over 500 people, famous singers, and almost 20 amateur groups of the country are taking part.
The welcome group consists of experts of the Samarkand branch of Tashkent University of Information Technologies and 150 guide-interpreters selected from excellent students of the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages.
The places where the main events of the grand art forum are being held are festively decorated, namely the Registan Square, the Square of Tigers, the amphitheater, “Mujiza,” as well as the Central Park of Culture and Rest named after Alisher Navoi.
The streets of the city and public transport are posted with various posters as well as murals illustrating the emblem of the festival, whereas the facades of the city buildings are embelished with festive lights.
It should be noted that the musicians of only 31 countries participated in the first festival in 1997. As a matter of fact, this number increased up to now and the representatives of over 50 countries, including Madagascar, the USA, Spain, and many others are taking part in the festival. Above all, almost all the best artists from Tashkent, Navoi, Samarkand, and other regions of Uzbekistan, are demonstrating their skills.
It does prove that the interest in Sharq taronalari is increasing on a global scale every year.
Skills of the music forum participants will be assessed by the 11 members of the international jury from 10 countries. More than 31 foreign and 200 local journalists will be announcing the process of the music forum. The Media Press Center is equipped with the up-to-date technology for efficient operation.
The places to meet fans of classical music and the guests of the festival are being held in the amphitheater “Mujiza,” “Nihol,” recreation parks “Yoshlik,” named after Alisher Navoi also in Pastdarghom culture park, in mahallas of the Samarkand district “Kirkdarkhon,” “Obod Turmush,” as well as at the School of Music and Art in Djambai district.
An international and theoretical conference will be held during the festival’s program. So this year’s conference, “Musical traditions of the East,” will be held in the context of contemporary culture. More than 30 leading science and art historians from 20 countries of the East will participate.
The Traditional International Festival is being held from August 25 to 30, in which the best folklore performances will be shown.
Views of the former winners of the festival Sharq taronalari are expressed as well.
Tiny Big Mountain, a member of the art “Big Mountain Dancers” (the USA), winner of the 8th International Music Festival Sharq taronalari, said:
“The festival Sharq taronalari held in 2009 made a great impression on us. We were pleased to be able to attend with our songs, melodies, and dances on the stage with representatives of dozens of nations and nationalities.
“It is a great honor for every artist to participate in the international festival which serves to raise the profile of Uzbekistan, [and] strengthens the bonds of friendship and unity among peoples. I remember how impressed we were seeing shady gardens and parks, beautiful fountains, historical and architectural monuments, magnificent buildings that indicate a high creative potential of the people of Uzbekistan. They are the people known for their long history and great thinkers who have made great contributions to world civilization.
“We knew that the Uzbeks are hospitable people, but honestly, a warm reception exceeded all our expectations. It is hard to put into words our impressions from the festival Sharq taronalari. Every minute of the festival days gave us the most memorable moments. A major festival attended by representatives of dozens of countries, promotes friendship and unity between peoples. We are grateful to the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov for the opportunity to participate in the festival Sharq taronalari. We wish solar Uzbekistan good luck, peace, and stability.”
Fozil Jamshid, the head of the group “Sabo” (Iran), the winner of 1st place of the 4th festival and jury member of the 6th international music festival Sharq taronalari said:
“Sharq taronalari is the bridge of friendship and peace. All my life I will be proud of having participated in the festival Sharq taronalari for several times. It is a great honor for us that our group won the first place in 2003.
“The basic idea of Sharq taronalari is to call to beauty and nobility, likewise maintenance and development, of a unique musical heritage and traditions of the peoples of the world. [This] international festival held once in two years at [this] beautiful land, brings nations and peoples together. It brings together to a single purpose [for] people with different languages, culture, and national values [to be] on the [same] path.
It was the 2,750th anniversary of Samarkand in 2007 when I was participating in the competition, and this occasion was a great source of inspiration for us. Every time I come to Samarkand, I visit its unique historical monuments and places of worship. They reflect the work carried out under the leadership of President Islam Karimov and make the Pearl of the East, Samarkand, even more beautiful and charming. Changes in this ancient, at the same time eternally young, city testify to the high creative potential, talent, and skills of [its] people. Samarkand, known as ‘Decorating the face of the Earth’ has always been a center of science and enlightenment in the East. I would like to note that there are very few cities equal to Samarkand by antiquity and beauty.
“We are deeply grateful to the leadership of Uzbekistan for the creation of [this] opportunity to demonstrate world music and culture of different peoples.”
Written by Halilova Umida from Samarkand, Uzbekistan, through Silk Road Destinations