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Two Evenings of World Music Concertos Held at Symphony Space 3/18-19


Two performances of three world music concertos will be held in New York City on Friday, March 18 at 8pm and Saturday, March 19 at 9pm at Symphony Space's Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, blending western classical music with folk music and featuring non-traditional instruments played by leading world musicians. Marcel Khalifé, Lebanese composer and oud (Arabic lute) player, will perform as soloist in the U.S. premiere of his own Concerto Al Andalus for oud and orchestra, and clarinetist David Krakauer will give the New York premiere of Ofer Ben-Amots's Klezmer Concerto. The program also features Armenian kanun (zither) player Karine Hovhannisyan performing Khachatur Avetisyan's Concerto No. 2 for kanun and orchestra. The soloists will be joined by a newly-established orchestra, Philharmonia New York, led by conductor Laurine Celeste Fox. Tickets priced from $25 - $45, or $21 - $40 for World Music Institute Friends, are available for purchase by calling (212) 545-7536, or visiting or

The concerts are presented by Direct Cultural Access and the World Music Institute, two non-profit organizations dedicated to bringing culturally diverse and educational performances to the New York area. Harold Hagopian, founder of Direct Cultural Access, says that the format for these concerts will provide audience members with a unique experience. "Each of the three works on the program juxtaposes two diverse musical languages, creating a fusion of sounds that pushes the traditional boundaries of a concerto, and showcases a folk artist in a virtuosic setting. Our goal in bringing these renowned artists together is to celebrate Jewish, Arab, and Armenian culture through music."

About the Artists
Clarinetist David Krakauer is one of the world's leading exponents of Eastern European Jewish klezmer music. Following his world premiere performance of Ofer Ben-Amots's Klezmer Concerto with the Portland Chamber Orchestra in 2006, The Oregonian wrote, "[Mr. Krakauer] didn't just play the clarinet. He threw his head back and unleashed a torrent of notes. ...He's the Paganini of the clarinet." He has also recently performed with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Brooklyn and Dresden Philharmonics, Weimar Staatskapelle, and the Detroit, New World, Phoenix, Quebec, and Seattle Symphonies. Mr. Krakauer has collaborated with the Tokyo, Kronos, Orion, and Emerson string quartets, and has premiered and championed concertos by Osvaldo Golijov, Paul Moravec, Jean Philippe Calvin, and 23 year old rising star Wlad Marhulets from Minsk. His numerous classical and klezmer recordings include Osvaldo Golijov's "The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind" with the Kronos Quartet on Nonesuch, which received the Diapason D'Or in France. Mr. Krakauer is on the clarinet and chamber music faculties of the Mannes College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Bard College Conservatory.
Lebanese oud master Marcel Khalifé has received widespread attention in the Arab world and beyond for his achievements as a performer, composer, and humanitarian. He has given concerts in venues across the globe, including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Konzerthaus in Berlin, Sydney Opera House, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and the Champs Elysées Theater in Paris. His extensive compositions include orchestral and instrumental works, soundtracks, and music for dance, and his lyrical and instrumental recordings add up to more than 20 albums and DVDs. Mr. Khalifé is the Music Director of the Qatar Philharmonic, which performed his works at the Kennedy Center under the baton of Lorin Maazel in 2009. Mr. Khalifé's promotion of arts and culture and humanitarian contributions in the Arab world has earned him numerous awards, including the 2005 UNESCO Artist for Peace.

Kanun player Karine Hovhannisyan is a graduate of Tigran Chukhadjyan and Arno Babadjanyan Music Scools, and a winner of the Sayat Nova Competition. In 2007, she released an album of classical music works for the kanun on world music label Traditional Crossroads. She has participated in the "White Nights Festival" in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Rudolstadt Festival in Germany. Ms. Hovhannisyan is on the faculty of the Komitas State Conservatory and a member of the Armenian State Dance Ensemble.

Conductor and Music Director of Philharmonia New York, Laurine Celeste Fox is known for her musical scholarship, which has resulted in the discovery of a number of forgotten works which she and her ensembles have premiered. American premieres have included Handel's Dettingen Anthem, Franz Schubert's "Tantum ergo," and Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga's "Agar," "Erminia," and Obertura, Op. 20. In recent performances as a guest conductor she has appeared at Carnegie Hall with guitarist Nilko Andreas Guarín, Lincoln Center with Opera Eurydice, Town Hall (NYC) with the Association of Dominican Classical Artists, Miller Theater with the Boricua College Chorus & Orchestra, and in Russia with the Symphony Orchestras of Maikop and Sochi. Ms. Fox is a scholarship alumna of The Juilliard School, and a medal winner in the 1995 Vienna International Conducting Competition.

About the Presenters
Direct Cultural Access is a non profit organization founded in 1989 to sponsor multi ethnic arts projects. It has commissioned works from composer Alan Hovhaness, and funded recordings and concerts of artists from around the world who seek to combine more than one ethnic culture to create a new work of art.

World Music Institute is a not-for-profit concert presenting organization dedicated to the research, presentation and documentation of the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world. Since its inception in 1985, WMI has worked extensively with diverse community groups and organizations and has presented more than 1,500 ensembles and soloists representing over 90 countries and regions. WMI has brought many musical, dance and ritual traditions to the New York stage for the first time, including Laotian sung poetry, folk music of Khorason and Bushehr (Iran), songs of the Yemenite Jews, Bardic divas of Central Asia, trance ceremonies from Morocco, music from Madagascar, and Theyyams (masked dances) of Kerala, South India. Many artists have been given their U.S. or New York debuts by WMI.


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