Palestinian and Azerbaijani National Conservatories of Music Sign Agreement

The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) and the Azerbaijan National Conservatory have signed a cooperation agreement that includes exchange opportunities between students and teachers, organizing coordinated workshops, and music research. The agreement also included the hosting and organizing of music performances in the two countries. Mr. Suhail Khoury, General Director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, and Professor Siyavus Kerimi, Head of the Azerbaijan National Conservatory, signed the agreement on behalf of the conservatories. This came during the closing ceremony of the International Maqam Music Competition, which was held in Baku between the 11th and the 18th of March, 2015. Mr. Khoury was invited as a judge in the 4th biennial International Maqam Music Competition in Baku, where musicians and singers gather from countries where the Maqam tradition is central to music: Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, and Central Asia, especially Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. Mr. Khoury noted the high caliber of the competition in general and the Azerbaijani musicians and the Azerbaijan National Conservatory in particular. He also remarked on the disappointing lack of participation from the Arab world, as only two groups from Jordan and Iraq competed. Mr. Khoury made a commitment that a Palestinian group will participate in the next International Maqam Music Competition. The General Director of ESNCM has reported that as an initial part of the cooperation agreement, Azerbaijani musicians who participated in the competition were invited to perform in Palestine as part of the Jasmine Music Festival 2016 in Ramallah. It is expected that the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music will be sending an oud teacher to conduct workshops for teachers and students in Azerbaijan during 2015.