Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Rebels for a Cause

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Rebels for a Cause

Article excerpt

KINAN AZMEH and Rami Khalife donated their talent and time to a concert on April 12 entitled "Sonic Dialogue" at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre in Northern Virginia. Organized by the the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development, and American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), the proceeds benefited programs of these two organizations that were selected by the artists.

Azmeh is a classically trained clarinetist with performance experience in the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, the Arab Conservatory of Music in Damascus, Daniel Barenboin's East-West Divan Orchestra and as a member of the New York based NEOLEXICA group, the Syrian pop group Kulna Sawa and his own Hewar ensemble. A Julliard graduate, Azmeh has composed dozens of pieces, including three film scores, and a frequent guest faculty member at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire.

Khalife is an award-winning classically trained pianist at France's Conservatoire National de Région de Boulogne-Billancourt and at Julliard where he studied with Hungarian-American Gyorgy Sandor, a student of Bela Bartok. He has toured the world with his renowned father, Marcel, and established himself as a solo artist, composer and improvisational pioneer.

Together, Azmeh and Khalife have performed in the Middle East and the United States to great acclaim. Their performance at the Rosslyn Spectrum was no exception and demonstrated the significant talent and maturation of the two young artists. In the face of audience expectations for two Arab artists performing a benefit for Palestinians, Azmeh and Khalife defied assumptions, engaged emotions, and reclaimed classical music's roots in the Middle East. …

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