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Letters from Iraq with Michigan Philharmonic

By: | posted on: Mar 24, 2017

Date(s) - 03/24/2017
8:00 pm

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Michigan Philharmonic


$10 for Museum Members and $15 for general public USD
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Arab American National Museum


The Global Fridays concert series at the Arab American National Museum (AANM) welcomes the eminent Smithsonian Folkways recording artist — Iraqi-born, Grammy Award-nominated oud virtuoso and composer Rahim AlHaj – at8 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2017. As a proud Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, AANM is pleased and honored to present this Smithsonian Folkways artist, who last appeared at AANM in 2009.

Set to be released on April 7, 2017, AlHaj’s new Smithsonian Folkways recording, Letters from Iraq, is a poignant telling of war, aftermath and consequences that gives voice to the unheard and vulnerable. For this Global Fridays presentation, AlHaj and members of the Michigan Philharmonic will paint musical scenes of devastation, pain, redemption and hope from the upcoming recording, which is based on letters of eight Iraqi women and children.

AlHaj was born in Baghdad and began playing the oud at age nine. He went on to study under Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player of the 20th century, and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad. Rahim received various awards at the Conservatory and graduated in 1990 with a diploma in composition. He moved to the U.S. in 2000 as a political refugee. AlHaj became a U.S. citizen on Aug. 15, 2008. In 2015, he received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award.  

The Michigan Philharmonic, a fully professional orchestra under the direction of Music Director and Conductor Nan Washburn, performs concerts throughout Southeast Michigan. The orchestra has earned five ASCAP awards from the League of American Orchestras for Adventurous Programming.

 “(AlHaj is)…one of the top oud players in the world…” – San Francisco Chronicle

“…(a) unique combination of traditional and innovative performance techniques. Alhaj’s spontaneous inventions are constantly fascinating.” – Los Angeles Times

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Tickets are $10 for Museum Members and $15 for general public.

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