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2010 Spring "Concert for Peace"
Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Merkin Concert Hall • 129 W. 67th Street • NYC
Tickets: $25, $60, $100; Students: $12 • 212-501-3330
Purchase online at www.kaufman-center.org

Music of Jewish & Arab Composers

Borromeo String Quartet
Members of Imani Winds
Randall Scarlata, baritone

And the World Premiere of Furia by Mohammed Fairouz

In the spring of 2010, Musicians For Harmony presented a concert of contrapuntal dialogue between cultures using the forum of contemporary music in a program featuring works by five of the foremost living composers.  Composers of Jewish and Arab origin came together to showcase the diversities, individual richness and, above all, shared histories and common ground of their respective heritages.
Halim El-Dabh, a revolutionary voice in Egyptian music, is heard through his String Quartet: Metamorphoses and Fugue on Egyptian Folklore. The quartet, written in the 1950s, explores Arab folk idioms, maqam (Arabic modes) and western contrapuntal forms (fugue).  Tobias Picker's Nova followed: a chamber work by "our finest composer for the lyric stage" (Wall Street Journal) written as a companion to Schubert's Trout Quintet.  Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner's Tanz and Máissele, Yiddish for "Dance and Little Story," ends the first half.

The second half of the program opened with the work of a composer who combines his Persian/Jewish background with one of the most distinctive American voices of our time: Richard Danielpour's Third String Quartet was written to commemorate the Holocaust and uses the baritone voice as a vehicle together with the strings. 
The evening ended with the world premiere of a song cycle commissioned by Musicians For Harmony from Mohammed Fairouz, one of the most sought after composers of the young generation.  Drawing on his Persian Gulf and Palestinian origins, Fairouz seeks to confront issues of communication through the rich heritage of music and languages from the Middle East.  The cycle incorporated Arabic, Hebrew and English poetic traditions.

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