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Azerbaijani musician becomes UNESCO Artist for Peace

Azerbaijani musician becomes UNESCO Artist for Peace

The Azerbaijani composer and pianist Franghiz Ali-Zadeh has become the latest performer to be nominated to represent the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Koïchiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO, announced yesterday that Ms. Ali-Zadeh will be formally designated to the post of Artist for Peace for the next two years at a ceremony in Paris, headquarters of the UN agency, on 3 April.

The designation will focus on Ms. Ali-Zadeh’s efforts “to raise public awareness on musical education for orphans and children in need, her contribution to spreading UNESCO’s message of peace and tolerance and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.”

A trained pianist, Ms. Ali-Zadeh composes works that combine the traditional music of her country – especially a genre known as the mugham – with modern music, and her compositions have been played at concerts and festivals worldwide.

Earlier this month the Portuguese actress and film director Maria de Medeiros was nominated as a UNESCO Artist for Peace in recognition of her commitment to arts education and to furthering the ideals of the UN agency.

The Indonesian actress and producer Christine Hakim was named a Goodwill Ambassador by UNESCO at a separate ceremony in Bali earlier this month, with the nomination citing her efforts to raise awareness about the plight of teachers in Indonesia.

Other UNESCO Artists for Peace include the Korean soprano Sumi Jo, the Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil, the Venezuelan actress Patricia Velasquez and the Russian conductor Valery Guerguiev. The agency’s ranks of Goodwill Ambassadors include the former South African president Nelson Mandela, the actress Claudia Cardinale and Princess Firyal of Jordan.