Magazine article Strings

Cellist Maya Beiser Premieres New Cello Concerto with Dso

Magazine article Strings

Cellist Maya Beiser Premieres New Cello Concerto with Dso

Article excerpt

Maya Beiser and composer Mohammed Fairouz had a story to tell. The Israeli-born cellist and Arab-American composer met in New York through mutual friends, and were immediately taken with one another's music, Beiser says. The duo first teamed up in 2013 with Beiser performing the premiere of Fairouz' "Kol Nidrei" for solo cello.

Three years later, with the help of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Peter Cummings, chairman emeritus of the DSO, the pair are at it again. Beiser premiered Fairouz' latest cello concert, Desert Sorrows, on January 16. "It was wonderful on all fronts," Beiser says of the premiere, "playing with the orchestra-and Maestro (LeonardJ Slatkin is such a wonderful conductor and spirit."

It was Beiser's debut with the DSO, an orchestra she felt was perfect for the premiere. "Detroit has the largest Arabic community in the US, and it also has a huge Jewish community," Beiser says. "We wanted to tell that story because the story of an Israeli-born cellist and an Arab-American composer is an important one. It's important to me and Mohammed, and we wanted to do that in an environment where we could engage the community and get them to start talking."

During the three performances in Detroit, the first of which Beiser notes was extremely special due to the venue, which was a synagogue, the pair "did a lot of outreach in the Jewish and Arabic communities."

"[Fairouz and I] share a vision: We believe in the power of music to heal and unite," Beiser says of the longstanding Arab-Israeli conflict. …

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