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LAHORE: The six-day All Pakistan Music Conference, a regular feature of Lahore’s cultural calendar for more than last five decades will kick off on Oct 13 at the Alhamra Art Center, The Mall.

The event has a huge contribution towards introducing new talent to music fanciers of the country and revitalising classical and semi-classical music through seasoned musicians and singers.

It used to be held at Bagh-i-Jinnah Open Air Theatre but due to security reasons and for the elderly music lovers who find it difficult to reach the arena after climbing the winding staircase, the venue has been shifted to the halls at Alhamra Art Center.

This year too students from different colleges, universities and schools are expected to attend the conference in large numbers.

The APMC was founded by late Hayat Ahmed Khan and some other music fanciers in 1959 for the promotion of classical music in Pakistan. Ever since its inception, it has been a constant source of inspiration for thousands of music lovers nationwide.

Many renowned musicians and singers like Roshan Ara Begum, Akhtari Bai, Rasoolan Bai, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan have performed at the APMC concerts.

The inaugural evening of the conference will be dedicated to Javed Ahmed Qureshi. On Oct 14th a competition will be held among students for Ghazanfar Trophy and Medal and Roshan Ara Begum Shield. In the evening, students will contest for Syed Wajid Ali Trophy and Jamil Mazhar and Mazari medals, while amateurs will compete for Hayat Ahmed Khan Trophy and Ansari, Abdul Aziz, Pervaiz and Ahmed Meraj medals.

The Oct 15th evening will be dedicated to classical gharanas where seasoned singers and musicians will perform. On Oct 16 folk music, songs, ghazals, kafi and Thumri will be sung. A special evening of classical music will be held on Friday (Oct 17).

The last evening of the festival that falls on Saturday, Oct 18, will be dedicated to semi-classical and folk music.

Prizes will also be distributed among outstanding singers the same evening.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd , 2014