Skip to main content

NEC Streams Afghani Residency Events

Check out panel discussion and lecture/performance on your computer

NEC Announces Live Streaming of Two Events February 14 during Afganistan National Institute of Music Residency/U.S. Debut Tour

ANIM Founder Dr. Ahamad Sarmast and faculty discuss launching war-torn Afghanistan’s sole music school in a panel moderated by NEC’s Tanya Kalmanovitch

NEC Intercultural Institute Director Robert Labaree presents a lecture/performance on Afghan and Indo-Afghan Music Featuring Afghan Musicians

BOSTON, MA - New England Conservatory  proudly announces the live streaming of two events at NEC’s Pierce Hall on Thursday, February 14, 2013, during the Afghanistan National Institute of Music’s (ANIM’s) NEC residency, adding a global element to the Academy’s debut US tour.  The two events: a panel discussion on launching a music school featuring ANIM founder Dr. Ahamad Sarmast (the first Afghan with a doctorate in music), and a lecture/performance on the Academy’s native music and music traditions provide a rare opportunity to hear about these topics from the Academy’s founder, faculty and musicians.

What does it take to bring a music school into existence from the ground up? ANIM founder and director Dr. Ahmad Sarmast is joined by ANIM's Afghan and expatriate faculty -- including recent NEC graduate Derek Beckvold -- in a panel discussion moderated by Tanya Kalmanovitch, Contemporary Improvisation, to discuss the on-the-ground reality of music education in Afghanistan, and how ANIM came to be.

Following the in-depth discussion, NEC Intercultural Institute director Robert Labaree presents an enlightening lecture and performance on Afghan and Indo-Afghan music traditions, with Mohammed Murad Sarkhosh (ghichak), Irfan Muhammad Khan (sarod), and Muhammad Ehsan Arfan (sitar), joined by ANIM students.

Afghanistan National Institute of Music Residency at NEC

Thursday February 14, 2013 Events

2:00 p.m. in Pierce Hall, NEC
Panel Discussion: Building a Music School in Kabul
Tanya Kalmanovitch, moderator
Panel Members include: Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, ANIM founder/director
 Derek Beckvold, William Harvey, Norma Ferreira, and Irfan Khan, ANIM Afghan and expatriate faculty members
Click here to view the live video streaming of this event:

4:00 p.m. in Pierce Hall, NEC
Lecture/Performance: Afghan and Indo-Afghan Music and Music Traditions
Robert Labaree, NEC Intercultural Institute director, host
Mohammed Murad Sarkhosh (ghichak); Irfan Muhammad Khan (sarod); Muhammad Ehsan Arfan (sitar) with ANIM students
Click here to view the live video streaming of this event:

For those in the Boston area, after the two live streamed events, NEC presents an 8:00 p.m. concert in Williams Hall featuring a mix of local and international musicians (ANIM small ensembles; Audrey Wright, violin; Jerry Leake, tabla; Eden MacAdam-Somer, NEC faculty member; Community Music Centre of Boston students and NEC students) performing Western classical, Indo-Afghan and world music. All events are free and open to the public. Click here for complete program information of this non-streamed event:

The residency at NEC is part of ANIM’s first tour of the United States (February 2 – 17, 2013. The 46 student musicians (ages 10 – 21) along with 16 Afghan and expatriate faculty members, are led by ANIM founder and director Ahmad Sarmast in the most extended cultural exchange opportunity of the tour. Included in the tour was a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on February 7, as well as a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York on February 12.

In addition to the above events, while in residence at  NEC, the Afghan musicians will take part in rehearsal and performances with NEC students, and participate in instrumental masterclasses, workshops, and small ensemble coaching sessions. They will attend the Feb. 13 performance by the NEC Philharmonia conducted by Associate Director of Orchestras David Loebel; take part in a panel discussion on teaching music in international settings; and get acquainted with their Boston counterparts at mealtimes and during breaks. In addition, leaders of the two schools will engage in round table discussions focused on administration, partnership opportunities, and development.

The NEC residency is being coordinated by Tanya Kalmanovitch, Contemporary Improvisation, and Robert Labaree, NEC Intercultural Institute. Kalmanovitch has returned to ANIM several times in recent years, to teach during the annual Winter Music Academy.

The tour is presented by the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan with funding from the Ministry, the United States Embassy in Kabul, the World Bank, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Inaugurated in 2010, the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) was founded by Dr. Ahmad Sarmast to rebuild music education in Afghanistan after years of war and repression. Integral to the school’s music program is a high-quality academic education, ensuring that students are able to achieve success at the highest level internationally as musicians, music educators, academics and specialists. The institute, located in Kabul, is committed to providing a dynamic, challenging, and safe learning environment for all students, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or social circumstances. ANIM focuses on supporting the most disadvantaged group in Afghan society – the orphans and street-working children – by helping them attain a vocation that will allow them to reach their full potential, while contributing to their emotional health. Through the provision of an internationally accredited curriculum, graduates will have the skills, creative vision and confidence to contribute to the artistic, social, and cultural life of Afghanistan and to the revival of Afghan music traditions. ANIM is the model for future music schools to be built throughout Afghanistan.

Now embarked on its first international tour, ANIM comes to NEC to showcase its students and programs and to learn and be inspired by the work of the Conservatory and to foster international exchange.

Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory in Boston, MA offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars, its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, contemporary improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Programs and Partnerships Program, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors. Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music, jazz, and contemporary improvisation.

NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, century-old, beautifully restored concert hall. These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz, contemporary improvisation, and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.


Ellen Pfeifer, Senior Communications Specialist,

Laura Grant, National Publicist for NEC
978.208.0552; 917.359.7319;