Afghanistan National Institute of Music

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Afghanistan National Institute of Music
Established June 20, 2010
Director Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast

The Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) is a school of music in Kabul, Afghanistan. It was founded by the Afghan-Australian ethnomusicologist Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast, and offers a curriculum combining the tuition of both Afghan and Western music.[1][2] ANIM is a co-educational institute.[3][4]

Per an agreement between Sarmast and the Afghan Ministry of Education, the school accommodates both exceptionally talented students and underprivileged children.[1][5]

In 2013, ANIM's Afghan Youth Orchestra toured the United States, including performances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.[2][5] In 2014 a suicide bomb attack at a student concert killed an audience member and the bomber, and injured many more including Dr. Sarmast, who was nearly killed and lost some of his hearing.[6][7][8] In 2015, the first Afghan female conductor, 17-year-old Negin Khpolwak, held her first concert with an all-female ensemble.[9][10][11][12]

As of 2018 a third of the 250 students are female and the proportion is growing;[9] in 2019, Sarmast will take its all-female Zohra Orchestra on a European tour.[6]


  1. ^ a b Gallagher, Kimball. "Dr. Ahmad Sarmast on the Afghanistan National Institute of Music". Notes on the Road. Archived from the original on 23 December 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b Ross, Alex (March 4, 2013). "Border Crossings East meets West at Carnegie Hall". The New Yorker. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  3. ^ Ryan, Rosanna (August 7, 2015). "Emma Ayres on her new adventure: teaching music in Afghanistan". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  4. ^ Coren, Anna (September 21, 2012). "Music school strikes chord with Afghan street kids". CNN. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b Scherer, Barrymore Laurence (Feb 11, 2013). "Making Music Against the Odds". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Haider, Arwa (December 6, 2018). "Ahmad Zahir: The enduring appeal of the Afghan Elvis". BBC - Culture. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  7. ^ Khalil, Shaimaa (10 November 2015). "Afghanistan's first female conductor". Retrieved 10 December 2018 – via
  8. ^ "The Day Afghan Music Didn't Die". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  9. ^ a b Khalil, Shaimaa (November 10, 2015). "Afghanistan's first female conductor". BBC. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Girls find their Place in Afghanistan's Music Institute". World Bank. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Afghan woman defies odds to pursue her dream". Deutsche Welle. 6 August 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2018 – via
  12. ^ Bezhan, Frud (August 9, 2015). "The Day Afghan Music Didn't Die". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved November 12, 2015.

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