$10 Museum Members; $15 general public
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AANM and Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings join forces for an evening of contemporary chamber music by Arab American composers, including Mohammed Fairouz, Kareem Roustom, Michael Ibrahim, Suad Bushnaq, Kinan Abou-afach and Hadi Eldebek. While rooted in Middle Eastern, Arab and western music traditions, the pieces defy categorization, allowing them to bridge the gap between western and eastern music while also defining them as works of chamber music. The program will begin with a 7 p.m. panel discussion with composers (Fairouz, Bushnaq, Ibrahim and Abou-afach) on the creation process and what it means to be a contemporary Arab American composer.

Composers + Music

Mohammed Fairouz
Jebel Lebnan (2011)

Born in 1985, Mohammed Fairouz is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers working today. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice” and by BBC World News as “one of the most talented composers of his generation,” his large-scale works engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purpose. Fairouz’s cosmopolitan outlook reflects his transatlantic upbringing and extensive travels. His catalog encompasses virtually every genre, including opera, symphonies, vocal and choral settings, chamber and solo works.

Suad Bushnaq
The Borrowed Dress (2017, arr. 2018)

Suad Bushnaq is a musically multilingual film and concert composer whose music has been hailed as "reflective and touching" (BBC The Arts Hour), "rich and accessible" (Klarafestival, Belgium), and "beautiful as the sadness of the night and the joy of the daybreak" (Arab music legend Marcel Khalifeh, on her piece The Road to Jenin). The Road to Jenin has recently been nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award in the World Music category, and won a Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Original Score at the Global Music Awards. 

Michael Ibrahim
Gharam (2018)
WORLD PREMIERE

Michael Ibrahim is a dynamic conductor and a recognized innovator in the Arab music circuit. A Metro-Detroit native and founder and director of the National Arab Orchestra, he was born into a Syrian immigrant family of humble origins. Ibrahim’s background and unique approach to composition and improvisation — fusing Western and Arab music idioms — has led to performances in concert halls and venues the world over, features on a number of recordings and film scores and opportunities to share the stage with some of the most influential figures in Western and Arab music.

Kinan Abou-afach
Fiction (2016)

Kinan Abou-afach is a cellist, oud player, composer, and recipient of the Pew Fellowship in 2013. As a composer, Abou-afach crafts music that is​ ​saturated with unique scales, grooves​, and improvisation-esque​ ​​progressions. His compositions are ​​​based​ ​loosely on Arabic modal traditions (maqam)​, while using elements from western traditions (Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Musique concrète)​. He has composed for concerts, film, live theater, and live visual art. Notable commissions and works for Grammy award-winner Jason Vieaux, Ensemble39, Curtis Brass Project, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and the Grammy winning Crossing Choir.

Kareem Roustom
Hanjale (2012, arr. 2013)

Syrian-American Kareem Roustom is an Emmy-nominated composer whose genre crossing collaborations have been performed by orchestras that include the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra. As a composer, Roustom has been described as: “a gifted and accomplished artist…one of the most prominent active Arab-American composers” (Chicago Tribune); “among the most distinctive to have emerged from the Middle East” (BBC Radio 3); “propulsive, colorful and immediately appealing" (The New York Times).

Hadi Eldebek
Istimrar (2013)

Hadi Eldebek is a musician, educator, and cultural entrepreneur. He has delivered 100s of workshops and performances around the world, including Harvard Graduate School of Education, Disney World, The Kennedy Center, and more. He joined Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble at the age of 19, and is currently the artistic director of The Brooklyn Nomads. His recently published TED Talk discussing the importance of arts and funding the artists has gained 1,000,000+ views so far.


Fall 2018 programs are made possible in part by
With media support from

Presented in partnership with Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings with support from Fay Herman and High Wire Lab.
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