SOAS University of London

SOAS Department of Music collaborates with BBC Radio 3

1 May 2013
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The SOAS, University of London has teamed up with BBC Radio 3 for the 2013 World Routes Academy. The scheme, now in its fourth year, provides talented young world music artists based in the UK with the chance to explore their musical roots by learning from and performing with a great musician from their country of origin.

World Routes Academy is in essence about music and education; through the collaboration, BBC Radio 3 and SOAS will combine their expertise, ideas and knowledge to further understand how traditional music is transmitted orally across generations.

In 2013, the scheme will focus on the Mugham tradition of Azeri singing with World Routes Academy protégée, Fidan Hajiyeva.  SOAS music lecturer Dr Lucy Durán will follow Fidan’s musical progress as she learns from her highly acclaimed mugham mentor Gochaq Askarov. Her journey will be documented in programmes recorded on location in Azerbaijan and London, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s World Routes.

World routes pic
World Routes Academy protégée Fidan Hajiyeva sings mugham on Azerbaijan radio, accompanied by Mirjavad Jafarov (tar) and ensemble, Baku, April 2013. Photo: Dr Lucy Durán

Dr Lucy Durán said: “The collaboration will allow us to publicly demonstrate how SOAS music department’s expertise can contribute to the Academy’s scheme to foster talent in the UK, and to create a better understanding of the process of how musical knowledge is passed down through oral cultures. Specifically, we are sharing ideas drawn from the music department’s research project, ‘Growing into Music’, which has filmed children learning mugham in Azerbaijan, following their progress between 2009 and 2011. These are some of the same children we have recorded for World Routes Academy this year, some now professional musicians”.

BBC Radio 3, Senior Producer James Parkin said: “At the heart of the World Routes Academy has always been education, so teaming up with one of the world’s most respected international music departments is a thrilling development.”

The project culminates in performances by both protegée and mentor at UK festivals over the summer, including WOMAD at Charleton Park, and the BBC Proms on Thursday 22nd of August at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  

The first programme to highlight this partnership between Radio 3 and SOAS will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s World Routes on Sunday 5th of May from 22:00 – 23:00.

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Discover more on Dr Lucy Duran's Growing into Music project.