The Crossing conductor Donald Nally and violinist, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture music director, and Pew Fellow Hanna Khoury discuss their experiences of blending musical languages and traditions in a performance that brought together a classical Arab chamber ensemble and a Western choir. Unlike Western music, Arabic music “relies very much on the oral tradition,” Khoury explains. “If you have musical sheets [in Arabic music], they are mostly confined to the idea of a skeletal structure that needs all of these embellishments.”
With Center support, Al-Bustan premiered two new compositions by Arab-American composers Kareem Roustom and Pew Fellow Kinan Abou-afach, inspired by Andalusian poetry, during a concert in December 2015 with soloist Dalal Abu Amneh and The Crossing, as part of Words Adorned: Andalusian Poetry and Music.
Hanna Khoury is a violinist trained in the classical traditions of Arab and Western music. A 2013 Pew Fellow, Khoury is music director of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, and directs the Arab Music ensemble at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania exploring popular culture and nationalism. As a performer, Khoury continues to collaborate with a number of prominent artists including Mandy Patinkin, in addition to solo engagements and residencies throughout the country.
Donald Nally is conductor of The Crossing, a professional chamber choir focused on new music. He is director of choral organizations at Northwestern University and chorus master of The Chicago Bach Project. Nally has held tenures as chorus master for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Spoleto USA, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy.
Colucci’s sound designs for theater are distinguished by their sense of musicality, and what he describes as a “sensitivity to the power of sound to evoke the ineffable.”
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Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania is home to 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items.
Thaddeus Phillips’ new bilingual performance work for theater, inspired by his experience working on Colombian telenovela Alias El Mexicano, premieres as part of the 2015 Fringe Festival.
Founded in Philadelphia in 1980, Piffaro performs 15th- through 17th-century music.
A workshop and small grant opportunity, No Idea Is Too Ridiculous allows Center constituents to explore creativity and risk-taking.
Along with guest curator Aimee Chang and a national advisory committee, Asian Arts Initiative conducted planning for the launch of a new artist residency programt.
Suzanne Carbonneau is a dance writer and historian, and she directs the Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival.
What inspires our imaginations and catalyzes our creativity? As we bid farewell to 2014, we asked members of our cultural community to share something that inspired them this year.
We asked our 2013 No Idea Is Too Ridiculous project facilitators, Kathleen McLean and Mark Beasley, to reflect on where they see constraints to doing creative work.
Cliveden’s David Young on crafting shared histories, the importance of community input in developing interpretive programs, and his vision for Cliveden.
Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX unites distinguished choreographers with a company of world-class dancers to “forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace.”