The All Pakistan Music Conference is a cultural organization/general public service organization. It was formed on 15 September 1959 in Lahore, Pakistan with the express intention of promoting and perpetuating the rich tradition of the classical/performing arts in the country.
The first festival was held from February 19-23, 1960. The Golden Jubilee celebrations were held from February19-24, 2010. On 15 September 2015, therefore, APMC will complete FIFTY SIX (56) YEARS of its commitment to the Music of Pakistan. We promote art Music of the classical as well as the folk genre. It is the oldest and the largest organization of any art discipline in the country.
Over the years hundreds of live concerts and music festivals have been organized by us on a regular basis. We annually hold a five to seven days festival in which vocalists, instrumentalists and dancers from all over Pakistan participate.
In 2003, Ms. Ayla Raza was given the charter from Mr. Hayat A. Khan to open a chapter in Karachi with an autonomous status.
The 1st Festival – 1960
At the time of independence, Pakistan was so beset with insurmountable social, economic and political problems that fine arts virtually remained neglected. History’s largest migration of people had 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. 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 our classical music.
Forty-five years ago, on 15 September 1959, these concerned citizens met at the famous Coffee House of Lahore and launched a voluntary organization under the title of Qul Pakistan Mausiqi Conference (All Pakistan Music Conference in English).
The 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 culture.
A festival of folk, light, semi-classical and classical music was announced for 19-23 February 1960 at Lahore, Pakistan. Spread over five evening and two morning sessions, the festival was an instant success. Musicians from all over the country 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 life to music in Pakistan, it helped promote this noble art and 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.
Maestros like Qadir Bukhsh Pakhawaji, Nazakat Ali Khan, Salamat Ali Khan, Amanat Ali Khan, Fateh Ali Khan, Barkat Ali Khan, Sharif Khan Poonchwalay, Sardar Khan, Nathu Khan, Allah Ditta Pari Paikar, Shaukat Hussain, Nazim Ali, Munir Sarhadi, Zahida Parveen, Sadiq Ali Mando, Khamisu Khan, Sain Akhter Hussain, Latafat Hussain Khan, Niaz Hussain Shami, Naseem Begum, Nabi Bakhsh, Umeed Ali Khan, Zahoori Khan, Adbur Rashid Beenkaar, Tufail Niazi, Talib Hussain, Lal Muhammad, and of course, Roshan Ara Begum warmed the hearts and uplifted the souls of millions.
The APMC has been a regular feature on the cultural calendar of Pakistan ever since.