Negin Khpalwak loves music more than most people love, well, anything.

Growing up in a small village in Afghanistan, she taught herself how to play piano, not revealing her musical interest or prowess to her family. Her passion had to remain a secret because music and playing instruments were considered blasphemous and strictly forbidden under Taliban rule.

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Many instruments and recordings were destroyed, and musicians caught disobeying the ban could have one of their hands cut off. The law effectively ended Afghanistan's vibrant and beautiful musical history. 

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The woman leading this world-renowned orchestra is one of a kind. She's so fun to watch.

I'm not used to seeing a woman in this job, and it's so fun to see.

Maestra.

It's not a word that's used very often. Less than a dozen women lead major U.S. orchestras. Which is why I'm stoked to introduce you to Alondra de la Parra!

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