Musician Featured in ROLLING STONE Heading to Philly

Hailed as a “virtuoso” and “intensely soulful” by The New York Times, Grammy-winning, Syrian-born clarinetist Kinan Azmeh will perform in a collaborative LiveConnections Presents concert this May at World Cafe Live.  He will be joined by the acclaimed Aizuri Quartet, praised by the Washington Post for “captivating” performances that draw from a notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions.” The finale of the LiveConnections Presents season will take place on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:30PM, and will span classical, jazz and Arab musical languages.

“LiveConnections turns 10 years old in May, and this concert kicks off a full year of 10th Anniversary programming,” says Executive Director Melinda Steffy. “It’s the first of our ‘10 Collaborations for 10 Years’ — a series of innovative, community-based projects that engage in important social conversations through music.”

The collaboration draws on the artists’ inventive and thought-provoking approaches to music-making, featuring works by Armenian priest Komitas Vartaped, Russian composer Yevgeniy Sharlat, and a world premiere of a work by Kinan Azmeh.

In addition, students from LiveConnections’ “Immigrant Songs” after-school program will open the show with their original stories and songs. LiveConnections’ program engages refugee teenagers who have been in the U.S. for less than 3 years in story-telling and song-writing aimed at boosting English language skills and helping students build connections in their new community. The program takes place at Northeast High School in collaboration with HIAS Pennsylvania.

Recently, Kinan was named composer-in-residence with Classical Movements for the 2017-2018 season. His compositions include works for solo, orchestra and chamber music, as well as film, live illustration and electronics. He is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble with whom he was awarded a Grammy in 2017, and serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players, a pan-Arab ensemble dedicated to contemporary music from the Arab world.

The Aizuri Quartet are no strangers to Philadelphia audiences.  The ensemble was the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia from 2014-2016, and are currently the 2017-2018 String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presenting five unique programs throughout the season. The Quartet has performed extensively throughout the United States, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Paris, Dresden, Bremen, Salzburg and Abu Dhabi, and has commissioned and premiered new work from a variety of composers.

Tickets to the May 31 concert are currently on sale; general admission is $30, with student tickets at $20.  For more information, visit liveconnections.org.

SERVICE DETAILS

LiveConnections Presents

Kinan Azmeh + Aizuri Quartet
Thursday, May 31, 2018
7:30pm

World Cafe Live3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia 
$30 general admission; $20 students

Liveconnections.org/azmeh

ABOUT AIZURI QUARTET: Praised by the Washington Post for “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was awarded First Prize at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan, and Third Prize at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. Through its engaging and thought-provoking programs, the Quartet has garnered critical acclaim for bringing “a technical bravado and emotional power” to bold new commissions, and for its “flawless” (San Diego Union-Tribune) performances of the great masterpieces of the past in which “every note is lovingly crafted and savored” (Washington Post). Based in New York City, the Aizuri Quartet is the 2017-2018 String Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, presenting five unique programs throughout the season. Previously the Quartet was the 2015-2016 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and from 2014-2016, the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. The Quartet has performed extensively throughout the United States, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Paris, Dresden, Bremen, Salzburg and Abu Dhabi, and has commissioned and premiered new works by Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Lembit Beecher, Paul Wiancko, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Gabriella Smith, Rene Orth, and Alyssa Weinberg. Formed in 2012, the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail. For more information visit aizuriquartet.com

ABOUT KINAN AZMEH: Hailed as a “virtuoso” and “intensely soulful” by The New York Times, “spellbinding” by The New Yorker with “incredibly rich sound” by the CBC, Kinan Azmeh’s utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres has gained him international recognition as a clarinetist and composer. Kinan was recently named composer-in-residence with Classical Movements for the 2017-2018 season. His compositions include works for solo, orchestra and chamber music, as well as film, live illustration and electronics. His discography includes three albums with his ensemble Hewar,  several soundtracks for film and dance, a duo album with pianist Dinuk Wijeratne and an album with his New York Arabic/Jazz quartet the Kinan Azmeh CityBand. He serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players, a pan-Arab ensemble dedicated to contemporary music form the Arab world. His is a frequent guest faculty at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and is on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble with whom he was awarded a Grammy in 2017. For more information visit www.kinanazmeh.com.

ABOUT LIVECONNECTIONS: Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, LiveConnections inspires learning and builds community through collaborative music-making. In 2008, a team of artists, educators and entrepreneurs founded LiveConnections to address declining music education in Philly schools and tap into the people-connecting power of music. Bridge Sessions, our signature interactive educational programs, blend live performances with hands-on activities, introducing public school students and people with disabilities to diverse musical cultures. Our in-school and after-school residencies provide students with sustained, in-depth music-making experiences. In addition, our critically acclaimed LiveConnections Presents concert series features collaborative concerts that cross musical boundaries. We are a nonprofit organization in residence at World Cafe Live. For more information, visit liveconnections.org.

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