The four-day (Oct 27-31) music conference, which was first held on Sept 15, 1959, will mark its golden jubilee this year.
Conference Secretary General Dr Ghazala Irfan told Dawn that security measures had been taken for the conference keeping in view the current wave of terrorism. â€œWe shall depute armed security guards all around the open air theatre,â€ she said. She said closed circuit cameras would be installed at the venue, which would have only one entrance.
To a question about participation by amateur, professional and budding vocalists and instrumentalist, Ms Irfan said she had confirmation from almost all artists scheduled for the event. â€œOnly Hamid Ali Khan and Shafqat Salamat Ali Khan will not be able to participate in the conference because both are abroad,â€ she said.
About the participation of students from educational institutions, she said 60 students had been selected for various competitions at the conference this year.
She said the event was being organised despite the current wave of terror attacks because â€œwe do not want to break with the tradition of holding the conference without any gapâ€. She said the venue for the conference was also the same for the last 50 years.
The conference, being organised in collaboration with the Punjab Arts Council and Lahore Arts Council, will open with a seminar on cultural and aesthetical traditions at Alhamra Art Centre on The Mall. Students will compete for Ghuzanfar Trophy, Syed Wajid Ali Trophy and Jamil Mazhar and Mazari medals on Oct 28. The competition for Hayat Ahmed Khan trophy and Ansari, Abdul Aziz, Pervaiz Murad and Ahmed Meraj medals will also be held on Oct 28. Professionals will present folk music, geet, ghazal, kafi and thumri on Oct 29, classical music evening will be held on Oct 30 and the conference will conclude on Oct 31 with folk music, geet, ghazal, kafi, thumri, trana and khayal performances. The conference will start at 8pm sharp every day.
A brief background of the music conference is that some people met at the famous Coffee House of Lahore in 1959 and launched a voluntary organisation under the title and style of The All Pakistan Music Conference. The main objective of the conference was to promote music and musicians by organising concerts, conferences and festivals.
A festival of folk, light, semi-classical and classical music was announced in February 1960. Spread over five evening and two morning sessions, the festival was an instant success.
Musicians from all over the country and people from all walks of life and all big cities like Dhaka, Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar attended the concerts. The festival was the first major step which gave a new lease of life to music in Pakistan. Maestros like Qadir Bukhsh Pakhawaji, Nazakat Ali Khan, Salamat Ali Khan, Amanat Ali Khan, Fateh Ali Khan, Barkat Ali Khan, Sharif Khan Poonchwalay, Sardar Khan, Nathu Khan, Allah Ditta Pari Paikar, Shaukat Hussain, Nazim Ali, Munir Sarhadi, Zahida Parveen, Sadiq Ali Mando, Khamisu Khan, Sain Akhter Hussain, Latafat Hussain Khan, Niaz Hussain Shami, Naseem Begum, Nabi Bakhsh, Umeed Ali Khan, Zahoori Khan, Adbur Rashid Beenkaar, Tufail Niazi, Talib Hussain, Lal Muhammad, and Roshan Ara Begum have performed at the conference through all these years.