New Sounds from Arab Lands is presented in collaboration with and curated by the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
The Aga Khan Music Initiative is a music and arts education program with performance, outreach, mentoring, and artistic production activities worldwide, launched by His Highness the Aga Khan to support talented musicians and music educators working to preserve, transmit, and further develop their musical heritage.
The event will feature a discussion with Fairouz Nishanova, Director, AKMI, Theodore Levin, Professor of Music at Dartmouth College, Kay Kaufman Shelemay, The G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and a performance by the New Sounds ensemble of young, eminent, cosmopolitan musicians from Syria and Tunisia whose music is inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the Arab lands but often uses instruments that are not native to the Middle East. AKMI is affiliated with the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard and MIT. Organized in association with the Harvard University Committee on the Arts (HUCA).
Kinan Azmeh, clarinet
Basel Rajoub, saxophone
Jasser Haj Youssef, violin, viola d’amore
Feras Charestan, qanun
Khaled Yassine, percussion
Fairouz Nishanova is a cultural development specialist with a lifelong love of performing arts, music and dance that embraces the many styles and traditions of the lands where she has lived, worked, and travelled. Born in Sri Lanka to Uzbek parents, she grew up in Amman, Jordan and studied economics and international relations at Moscow State University and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). After working at the United Nations, she joined the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, where, since 2005, she has served as Director of the Music Initiative, based in Geneva, Switzerland.