All Pakistan Music Conference

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All Pakistan Music Conference
Genre Qawaali, Classical, Pop, Rock, Hamd, Ghazal
Dates Annually
Location(s) Lahore, Pakistan
Founded by Hayat Ahmed Khan

The All Pakistan Music Conference (APMC) was founded 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.


At the time of the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Pakistan was so beset with insurmountable social, economic and political problems that fine arts virtually remained neglected. History's largest migration of people had totally upset the equilibrium of the population not only physically but also emotionally and psychologically. During such times, the arts could not get attention of the people or the government. Pakistani music was neglected more than all else. With the sole exception of Radio Pakistan, not even a muffled sound of music was ever heard. The memory of live music concerts lingered in the minds of a few. If lovers of music had nostalgic memories, the musicians were totally frustrated. The height of despair was reflected in the decision of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan to leave the country. Soon after, Roshan Ara Begum announced that she was giving up Riaz as no one seemed interested in listening to her music. Her announcement jolted concerned citizens into action. Accepting the challenge, they decided to find ways and means to revive and rejuvenate the seemingly lost but rich and glorious heritage of classical music.[1]

On September 15, 1959, these concerned citizens met at the famous Coffee House of Lahore and launched a voluntary organization under the title and style of The All Pakistan Music Conference. The main objective of the APMC was to promote music and musicians by organizing concerts, conferences and festivals. It was decided to hold, as soon as possible, a large event on national level to focus attention on our melodic culture. A festival of folk, light, semi-classical and classical music was announced for February 19, 1960 to February 23, 1960. Spread over five evening and two morning sessions, the festival was an instant success. Musicians from all over the country had participated. People from all walks of life, from all the big cities, Dhaka, Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar, and from towns and villages all over Pakistan attended the concerts in large numbers. The programme started daily at eight in the evening and lasted for five to six hours with the last evening closing a couple of hours after sunrise – a glorious day had dawned. The festival was the first major step which gave new lease of life to music in Pakistan. Followed by monthly concerts, it helped promote this noble art. Simultaneously, the festival helped project musicians. Great masters of whom the general public had not even heard and who were hidden even from the discerning eye were brought to the fore.


The late Hayat Ahmed Khan has been the moving spirit behind APMC. To encourage the classical musicians/vocalists living in obscurity after the independence of Pakistan in 1947, and particularly influenced by Roshan Ara's claim to give up her Riyaz due to the lack of interested listeners, Mr. Hayat along with several music connoisseurs laid the foundation of APMC. This project, he hoped, would rejuvenate interest in classical music in Pakistan. Many well-established artists 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 APMC concerts.[2]

Over the years, APMC has also brought forth several amateurs in the field of classical music. Notable names include Fahim Mazhar, Abdur Rauf, Sara Zaman and several others. APMC attracts music luminaries and aspiring artists alike to keep the classical music alive in the country. Not only that, both vocalists and instrumentalists from Afghanistan, Turkey, India, Japan, the United States and Germany, have benefited from the regular musical sittings held at APMC over the past forty-five years.

The APMC programmes, held on a monthly basis greatly enrich the cultural ethos of Lahore. Besides these monthly mehfils, APMC also hosts a yearly five-day festival in which musicians/vocalists from all over Pakistan perform till the wee hours of morning. Few would know that APMC has also been instrumental in promoting classical dance in Pakistan. Performances of Naheed Siddiqui, Gopi Krishan and Sheema Kirmani hosted by the organization stand as evidence.

Famous musicians at APMC[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ All Pakistan Music Conference » History
  2. ^ All Pakistan Music Conference » Objectives

External links[edit]