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Little Girl, Big Dreams: 17-Year-Old Girl Becomes Afghanistan's First Female Conductor

color photo of a night shot of Kabul, showing city lights and mountains
Hassan Reza
/
Flickr/Creative Commons
Kabul, Afghanistan

In a country where music and educating girls were once banned, a 17-year-old girl recently became Afghanistan's first female conductor, according to BBC News.

Negin Khpolwak is a student at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, where recently she conducted a student ensemble in a concert.

"I want Afghanistan to be like other countries in the world, where girls can become pianists and conductors."

Khpolwak's father sent her from their home in Afghanistan's Kunar province, where girls generally aren't sent to school, to a children's home in Kabul when she was nine year old, to get an education. There, in the midst of the city's violence, she was exposed to music. Khpolwak now can play the piano, as well as the traditional Afghan sarod, and she aspires to be a concert pianist and a conductor.

As big as Khpolwak's dreams may seem, they extend well beyond her own personal success. She told BBC News, "I want Afghanistan to be like other countries in the world, where girls can become pianists and conductors."

Read more:

  • Afghanistan's First Female Conductor (BBC)
Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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