Music for Peace Concert organized by the PMI in Association with UNAI at the United Nations

The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, along with the UN Academic Impact (an initiative of the Department of Public Information of the UN) organized a Special Musical Concert titled: “Music for Peace” on 24 March, 2014 at the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium at the United Nations. The event coincided with Nowruz, the spring festival marking the Iranian New Year The event featured a recital on the Sarod, by one of the greatest living exponents of the instrument, Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan, accompanied by his most accomplished sons, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan.

The event witnessed a packed auditorium of 160 plus, which included nearly 40 Permanent Representatives of UN Member states, in addition to members of the media and several other dignitaries. In his welcome remarks Ambassador Asoke K Mukerji, Permanent Representative of India to UN underscored that the musical concert, was a part of the continuing celebration of Nowruz, that was observed by the UN General Assembly on 24th March, and that the medium of music as an instrument of peace, was a message shared by 1.2 billion Indians globally.

Ambassador Asoke Mukerji makes opening remarks

Mr. Ramu Damodaran, Chief, UN Academic Impact, stated that the Musical Concert was a first step in launching a dialogue through music and bringing people together, as part of the ongoing project series of the UNAI. Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan highlighted the role of music as a binding force amongst diverse societies. In his brief remarks, the Maestro pointed out that the pure sound brings unity, joy and peace.

Deputy Chef de Cabinet Ambassador Noel Sinclair presenting a memento to the Maestro

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The other part of the music- lyrics- has somehow become more important even though the fact is language creates divisions. The performance included Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite hymns, a composition by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, and improvisation on Indian classical Ragas. The performance drew standing ovation from the packed audience, several of whom, subsequently interacted with the visiting artists at a reception hosted at the Indian Mission in honor of the Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan and his group.

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