Music crossing borders

Upon the signing of a January 2017 executive order preventing foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, “numerous musicians, ensembles, and organizations responded by showcasing art from precisely those places,” the New Yorker points out this week.


A showcase of music on this border-transcending theme will celebrate the music of those seven countries on February 8 at Zankel Hall in midtown Manhattan.

We applaud Kronos Quartet for their concert, “Music for Change: The Banned Countries.” This ensemble, which has been innovating string quartet music for 45 years, will present a musical program of new and remixed music from the seven predominantly Muslim countries targeted by the 2017 travel ban. The program will feature newly composed pieces, songs featuring the Persian vocalist Mahsa Vahdat, and arranged Middle Eastern pop tunes.

The program, says Steve Smith in the New Yorker, amplifies “themes of dignity, resistance, and harmonious existence.”


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