Zohra Orchestra

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The Zohra Orchestra is Afghanistan’s first ever all-female orchestra.[1] It was formed in 2015 in Kabul by the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and its founder Dr Ahmad Sarmast, itself formed in 2008 with the goal of bringing a musical education to young Afghans in the wake of liberation from the Taliban, under whom women’s rights were severely curtailed.[2] The orchestra performs traditional Afghan music, as well as Western classical music,[3] and has received numerous awards, including the Queen Soraya Award and the Freemuse Award in 2017, and the Montluc Resistance Liberte Award in 2018.[1]


The Zohra Orchestra has done several high-profile tours since 2017. They have performed at the World Economic Forum and toured the United Kingdom in 2019, visiting the British Museum in London and the University of Oxford.[2]

2019 Tour of australia

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Afghan independence in 2019, the Zohra Orchestra visited Australia on tour. On the 12th and 14th of October 2019, the Orchestra performed concerts in Sydney and Melbourne. The first was held at Monash University, and the second at Sydney Opera House with over 1 500 guests in attendance. The event was co-organised by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Australian government to concurrently celebrate 50 years of official diplomatic relations between the two countries.[1]

In the media



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Canberra, Afghan Embassy-. "Afghanistan's Zohra Orchestra Attracted thousands of Visitors in Australia - EMBASSY OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN CANBERRA - AUSTRALIA". www.canberra.mfa.af. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dowd, Vincent (2019-03-15). "Meet Afghanistan's first all-female orchestra". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  3. "Zohra Orchestra: All-Female Ensemble of Afghanistan - IDEAS". www.ideas.org.au. Retrieved 2020-08-08.

External links

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