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Echeos of Syria
19 Jul 2013
Ibrahim Keivo the beholder of the ancient Syrian musical heritage. Ibrahim Keivo's singing illustrates perfectly the amazing multi-ethnicity of the Jezireh. This region of the Syrian Mesopotamia where Arabs, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Kurds, Syriacs and Armenians live side by side and share their songs and music is one of the great cradles of civilization. Ibrahim Keivo comes from an Armenian family who escaped genocide. From a very early age he learned to play the lutes of the region: buzuq, saz, baghlama, oud and jumbush. With his astounding knowledge of languages – he is equally at ease in Botani and Kurmandji Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian, Turkish and the various Arabic dialects of the region – Ibrahim Keivo travels through the villages of Jezireh to collect a vast repertoire of songs from the elders: lullabies, dance songs, love songs, epic songs, and religious songs that he performs with remarkable attention to the style specific to each of the cultures. Keivo has participated in numerous festivals receiving prestigious awards.

Kinan Azmeh: Clarinet, Composer. Hailed as a “virtuoso” by the New York Times and "Incredibly Rich sound" by the CBC, Kinan Azmeh is one of Syria’s rising stars. His utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres is now fast gaining international recognition.

Born in Damascus, Kinan was the first Arab to win the premier prize at the 1997 Nicolai Rubinstein International Competition, Moscow. A graduate of New York's Juilliard school as a student of Charles Neidich, and of both the Damascus High institute of Music where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering, Kinan is currently finishing his doctoral work at the City University of New York.

Kinan has appeared worldwide as a soloist, composer and improviser. Notable appearances include: Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow; Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the UN's general assembly, New York; the Royal Albert hall, London; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; the Mozarteum, Salzburg and the Damascus opera house for its opening concert in his native Syria.

As classical Clarinetist, he has appeared as soloist with the Bavarian radio orchestra, the West-eastern Divan orchestra, the Kiev Camerata, the Corasara Orchestra, and the Syrian symphony Orchestra among others.; and has shared the stage with Marcel Khalife, Daniel Barenboim, Zakir Hussein Francois Rabbath, Solhi-al-Wadi, Manfred Leuchter, Kevork Mourad, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

Compositions include several works for solo, orchestra, and chamber music; film, live illustration, and electronics. His discography includes three albums with his ensemble HEWAR, several soundtracks for film and dance, and a duo album with pianist Dinuk Wijeratne. He serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Music Ensemble, with whom he released an album of new contemporary Syrian chamber music written especially for the ensemble by various composers and is on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra.

Rasha Rizk

Education and workshops
2011 Head of the Opera Department in the High Institute of Music of Damascus.
2007-2012 Opera professor at the High Institute of Music of Damascus.
2009 Workshop in Berlin Staatsoper with the bariton Roman Trekel
2007 Seminar with Riccardo Mutti , Malta.
2006 Workshop with Mya Besselink, Damsacus.
2005 Workshop with Caroline Dumas in L’école Normale de Musique, Paris.
1998-2002 Bachelor of Music , major opera, The High Institut of Music ,Damascus.
2000-2002 Student of Natalia Kiritchinka, the Maria Callas competition winner.
1998-2000 Student of the Mezzo soprano, Ghalina Khaldieva.

Opera Concerts
2013 Opera Arias concert in Cairo Opera House.
2013 Songs recital in AUC, of Debussy and R.Strauss.
2011 Damascus, Zeitoon Cathedral, with the Syrian Philharmonic Orchestra.
2010 Montreal, Institut d'Etudes Mediterraneenes, Aria concert with the Canadien Bariton, Marc-Antoine d'Aragon.
2010 Damascus Opera House, Melodies Francaises with Chaden Al-Yafi.
2009 Aleppo, The Four Last Songs, R.Strauss, with Ghaswan Zerekly.
2009 Opera House, Damascus, Melodies Francaises of Faure and Debussy, with Chaden Al-Yafi.
2009 Opera house, Damascus, Mozart Arias with the National Syrian orchestra.
2008 Damascus Opera House, Aria concert, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini.
2007 Beaux Arts Theatre, Damascus, with the pianist Ghaswan Zerekly, R.Strauss, Mahler.
2007 Beaux Arts Theatre, Damascus, Mozart Arias , with the National Syrian Orchestra.
2007 Damascus Opera House, Gala concert for Sada society with the National Syrian Orchestra.
2006 Damascus Opera House, Aria concert.
2004 Jarash Roman theater, Jordan, with the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra.
2004 Citadel of Aleppo, with the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra.

Baroque concerts
2012 Concert of Handel 's Chandos Anthems, Cairo.
2010 Amsterdam, Handel Italian Cantatas, with Contrasto Armonico .
2009 Damascus Opera House, Handel, Frescobaldi, Monteverdi, with Damascus Baroque Ensemble.
2009 Damascus Zeitoun Cathedral ,Handel Italian Catatas, with Contrasto Armonico.
2009 Damascus Opera House, Bach Cantatas Damascus Baroque Ensemble..
2008 Bach Cantatas, San Gandolfo Church, Rome, Italy.
2007 Amman, Arias from The Fairy Queen Purcell.
2007 Damascus Opera House, Bach cantatas, Damascus Baroque Ensemble.
2007 Stabat Mater of Pergolese.
2006 Vivaldi's Gloria.
2006 Amman, Evangelic Church, Bach cantatas.
2005 Amman, Evangelic Church, Bach cantatas.
2005 Amman, Evangelic Church, Handel the Messiah.
2005 Amman, Evangelic Church, Handel the Messiah.

Opera roles
2011 Nancy in the Oliver Twist stage musical, Damascus Opera House.
2011 Nella in Gianni Schichi, Damascus Opera House.
2010 Suzannah in Mozart, Le Nozzeh di Figaro, Damascus Opera House.
2008 Michaella in Marius Constant/George Bizet Carmen, Damascus Opera House.
2004 Jumana in Michiel Borstlab's Ibn Sina (first Arabic Opera), Doha.
2002 First witch in Henry Purcel’s Dido and Eneas, Tunis Opera House.
Arabic Music Concerts

2012 Moscow, Crocus City Hall with ERA.
2007 Damascus Opera House, songs from the classical Egyptian Repertoire.
2006 Damascus Opera House, Tribute for to Suad Muhammad.
2005 Athens, Greece, with the Women Tacht Sharqi.
2004 Franfort, Germany, the International Book Fair.
2003 Badharzburg, Germany, the Syrian Week, Muashahat.
2002 Marseille, France, Festival du Chant Sacré de la Méditerranée.
Jazz Concerts

2013 Beirut Speaks Jazz as a guest artist with Tareq Yamani.
2011 Guangzhu, China, Asian Olympic Games, with Eastmania.
2010 Jakarta, Indonesia,Java Jazz Festival, with Eastmania Band.
2008 Damascus Capital of Arab Culture, with Ittar Shameh.
2007 Jazz lives in Syria with the Syrian Big Band.
2007 Syrian Jazz Festival with Ittar Shameh.
2006 Dubai Jazz festival with Kamal Musallam Band.
2005 A tour with ORMUZ Project, with Ittar Shameh.
2004 Doha Jazz Festival, opening for Dianne Reeves.

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