August 29, 2013
Text of President Islam Karimov’s Welcoming Address at the Official Opening Ceremony of the Ninth Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival

Dear participants of the festival!

Esteemed guests!

Ladies and gentlemen!

I have a tremendous pleasure to greet you all, dear participants of the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival, who have gathered here at this glorious Registan Square in one of the world’s most ancient cities – Samarkand, and express my most earnest reverence to you all from the bottom of my heart.

I convey my deep honor and gratefulness to high-ranking guests, namely, the UNESCO Director General Ms. Irina Bokova, the Secretary General of the International Association of Culture and Arts Ms. Kuo Li Min, the Secretary General of the International Organization of Folklore Art Mr. Moon Hyung Suk, the Chairman of the Association of International Art Festivals of Asia Mr. Chen Shenglai, the Adviser to President of the Republic of Korea for culture and arts policy Mr. Hyung Wan Li, as well as all of our dear friends who take part in the current forum of music and arts.

The eminence and status of our festival is indisputably added up by the participation of world-renowned music figures – chief of the Timitar International Music Festival of Morocco Mr. Brahim El Mazned, President of the Japanese Music Association Mr. Kawasa Tadasuka, and also the Minister of Information and Culture of Afghanistan Mr. Said Mahdum Rahin along with the Kuala Lumpur mayor Mr. Datuk Ahmad Feisal Talib.

The current music fair is enhanced in its significance also by the attendance of one other esteemed guest – member of the United States Congress, the famed politician Mr. James Patrick Moran. I would take this opportunity to welcome the honorable ambassadors and other representatives of foreign countries in Uzbekistan, who are present here at this feast of music.

We greet you, dear guests from 52 nations of the world, with joy in Eastern manner and with words “Welcome to the splendid land of Samarkand, welcome to the hospitable Uzbekistan!” Respected friends!

Today, we hold the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival in our country for the ninth time. And in every occasion, we come to be convinced time and again of the adequacy of our decision, backed by the UNESCO, to organize this music festivity in this very city of Samarkand.

This most ancient town, one of the centers of world culture and civilization during centuries, is a symbol of the legendary East – charming with its globally celebrated architectural monuments, wielding immense potential and boasting a fabulous nature – and irrefutably deserves to host most prominent international forums.

The unique stage on the Registan Square that is correctly considered the heart of this marvelous and blessed city, I feel confident, will afford a special spirit, beauty and a peerless sound to the national classical melodies, which are going to leave a lasting trace in the memories of thousands of art lovers.

If one is to briefly convey the idea and goals of the Sharq Taronalari Festival, it is noteworthy that it deserves attention primarily by its designation not merely to promote music art, but also uplift its influence on people, glorify the noblest of hopes and aspirations through the medium of music, and, what is crucially important, it facilitates the further consolidation of friendship and harmony, peace and accord among peoples by bonding together the representatives of diverse ethnic groups without the help of any translators. Esteemed participants of the festival!

In your faces, we first and foremost see the gifted figures of arts and selfless people who magnanimously serve to further the gracious mission of perpetuating and augmenting the greatest and priceless spiritual wealth, namely, the classical art of the East, in order to pass it carefully on to the posterity.

In this regard, it is truly difficult to overestimate the significance of such festivals as the Sharq Taronalari, especially in our restless and extremely complicated times, of festivals which brightly display the infinite power and impact of the music art that serves to revise the sources of values common to the entire human race, to materialize the most critical undertaking by making diverse peoples closer together, by cementing mutual understanding among them, the peace and harmony in the region and the world in general.

This is the reason we receive you, the representatives of various nations and continents, as our dearest guests, as bearers of the great ideals of humanism, and we bow to your talents and mastery. Dear festival participants!

We all understand well that the thorough preparations and the creation of necessary conditions for holding the increasingly eminent Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival at a high organizational level, to be sure, demand for great efficiency and responsibility.

I deem it my duty to express, on behalf of you and all of us, sincere gratitude to all those who, sacrificing their virtue and energy, has fulfilled this task with dignity. That category of people will include primarily the residents of Samarkand who have earned renown across the world for their superb qualities like hospitality, kindness and generosity of soul.

Employing this opportunity, as a man who was born and raised in this ancient and young city that remains the most beloved and dearest place for me, I would like to say that I have a boundless pleasure to express again my filial love and dedication to all of my revered fellow country men and women.

Dear compatriots!

Esteemed guests!

I mentally embrace you all and congratulate you on the opening of today’s terrific festivity – the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival.

Let me wish you all a sound health, happiness and prosperity, and every success in the work of the forum! Thank you for attention!

A Festival of Arts and Friendship

The ninth Sharq Taronalari (Melodies of the East) International Music Festival started in Samarkand on August 27.

Music is a great magnum opus of the human race, while song is a medium of spiritual communication between people. National melodies, songs and dances harbor the soul of a people, its sacrosanct thoughts and feelings; this is the very reason they pass from one generation to another.

Spearheaded by the initiative of President Islam Karimov, the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival serves such a noble mission like the federation of friendship and cooperation bonds among peoples and encouragement of jovial feelings in the hearts of people through the medium of music. This festival of music, run every two years since 1997, serves as an important factor in promoting unique musical heritage and traditions of peoples over the world, in revitalizing the forgotten methods and schools and in boosting the international standing of our country.

Our national music art dates pretty far back into the antiquity. Notably, a bony nai (a wind instrument) made 3,300 years ago has been discovered in the village of Muminobod in Samarkand region’s Urgut district. On the other hand, musicians and singers are depicted on the world-famed frescos of Afrosiyab. The understanding of the philosophical and aesthetic significance of music by our great forefathers also epitomizes the ages-old musical traditions of our people. Abu Nasr Farabi led a profound study of the origins of sounds, harmony and rhythm in his multivolume work “Misiqa haqida katta kitob” (A Large Book of Music). With the help of various tables and schemes, he outlined rules for performing melodies with instruments like rubab, tanbur, kettledrum, harp, psaltery, nai.

In his “Canons of Medical Science”, Abu Ali ibn Sino pointed out that the treatment of cardiac and neural diseases with music yields a remarkable effect. The contemporary method of music therapy is built currently on that principle.

Komil Khorezmi invented Khorezmian notes which he used to write down his introduction to the maqom “Rost”. His volume “Tanbur chiziqlari (Tanburi Lines) includes invaluable information on the history and theory of national music. Along with all spheres of science and culture, the music and song art was dreadfully advanced in the Amir Temur epoch. Samarkand used to gather the most celebrated musicians, singers and poets, host poetic contests (mushoira) and musical soirees. In his “Zafarnoma”, the renowned historian Sharafiddin Ali Yazdi wrote thus, “singers endowed with good voice used to sing songs and recite ghazels. Some displayed their talents in Turkic, while some others demonstrated it in Mongolian, Chinese, Farsi, Arabic…”

Following nearly six centuries, this tradition has acquired a second birth by the initiative of President Islam Karimov in the form of the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival. And today, Samarkand draws together the musicians from both the East and the West who familiarize the participants and guests of the carnival with an incomparable national musical culture of their own peoples. …In Samarkand’s Registan Square, at 7 pm of August 27, ancient minarets and blue domes are iridescent. The beauty of magnificent monuments affords the event with an expressly festive mood and spirit of grandeur. The imposing amphitheater on the square is overcrowded with spectators who have flowed here for the opening ceremony of the traditional Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival. They include participants of the gala and guests, art figures and amateurs, music academics, foreign journalists and tourists.

The ceremony attendees welcome the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov with a storm of applause.

Karnai and surnai melodies fly over the Registan. The floor is given to President Islam Karimov.

Greeting the participants and guests of the 9th Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival, the head of our state underscored the essence and significance and the important role of the fete in cementing the peace and harmony among peoples and the world in general, and wished the participants of the festivity every success in their creativities.

The UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, who spoke at the occasion, noted that a particular significance is attached in Uzbekistan to the promotion of culture and arts, and that the Sharq Taronalari Festival, organized by the initiative of President Islam Karimov, is a bright confirmation to that attention.

Under the sounds of fanfares, participants of the festival – artists from 52 nations of the world – rise to the arresting stage. Eye-catching works have been marshaled in Uzbekistan during its independence years in the thorough study and promotion of the national music art. The list of erected facilities includes the building of the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan, dozens of theaters and culture palaces, colleges and lyceums teaching arts. The folklore of Boysun, the shashmaqom, katta ashula, Navruz – masterpieces of world culture – are included in the UNESCO World Intangible Heritage List.

In line with the Resolution of President of the country “On State Program for Consolidating the Economic and Technical Capacities and Bolstering the Activities of Children’s Music and Arts Schools for 2009-2014” signed 8 July 2008, music education has been consistently advancing and refining.

Review contests “Yagonasan, muqaddas Vatan”, “Nihol”, “Kelajak ovozi”, “Yangi avlod”, “Mardu maydon” and the like facilitate the discovery and demonstration of talents by the youth of Uzbekistan. The Asrlar Sadosi International Festival displays a harmonic combination of traditional spiritual heritage and the contemporary art of our nation.

Music is a potent force capable of uniting diverse nations and peoples irrespective of their language, religion, traditions and customs. As the head of our state notes, the Sharq Taronalari Festival urges every person to be kind and compassionate and reinforce the spirit of community and unity.

This festival is built on these very universal values, owing to which it has been attaining a growing popularity and acknowledgement in the world community. The fete has earned a worthwhile place in the range of major music forums across the globe. It is brilliantly confirmed by the steadfast rise in the number of participant countries and persons, representatives of international organizations, celebrity art figures. In particular, the initial festival in 1997 gathered representatives of 31 nations, while the current festival has grouped art connoisseurs from 52 countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and America. The pageant is held under UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) – indicative of its high status and standing.

The feast also serves to discover new names in arts, to invigorate creative search, exchange views and expertise. A variety of cultural events organized as part of the fete, notably the academic conference “Music Traditions of the East in the System of Contemporary Arts”, open wide opportunities for that.

Along with this, the forum demonstrates the richness and individuality of the music art of our people to the world as well as the economic and tourist potential of Uzbekistan.

In addition to performances on the main stage at the Registan Square, the festival participants also are expected to present their contest shows and hold meetings with art lovers in the city’s amphitheaters like Mujiza, Nihol, Yoshlik Leisure Park, in Samarkand, Pastdarghom, Jambai and Akdarya districts.

Participants and guests of the music forum are to visit unique historical monuments in Samarkand, as well as oriental bazaars that epitomize the legendary charm of the East, and familiarize with the creative works undertaken during independence years.

Theatrical-like show at the opening ceremony of the international music festival has been said to have impressed the participants and guests of the feast to the end. The occasion was also aired to a number of foreign nations through satellite.

(Source: UzA – Uzbekistan national news agency)


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