Detroit Symphony to premiere concerto inspired by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

Posted on: January 13, 2016

“This week the Detroit Symphony Orchestra gives the world premiere of a major cello concerto written by an Arab-American composer of Emirati and Palestinian descent, performed by an Israeli-born American cellist in a synagogue, in a metro area with the highest percentage of Arab Americans in the country,” writes Mark Stryker in Monday’s (1/11) Detroit Free Press. The first of three Detroit-area performances of Mohammed Fairouz’s concerto, subtitled “Desert Sorrows,” with Maya Beiser on amplified cello, will take place at on January 14 at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, Michigan. “The piece takes its inspiration from the four main angels shared by Christianity, Judaism and Islam…. The music ranges from the apocalyptic to the cantorial…. The concerto grew out of Fairouz’s friendship and collaborations with Beiser,” who with former DSO Board Chairman Peter Cummings “took the project to DSO music director Leonard Slatkin, who embraced the idea…. Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum [in Dearborn, Michigan, said] the most compelling aspect of the premiere is that it will amplify the voice of an original young Arab-American composer.” Read Symphony magazine’s article about how Fairouz and other composers are enriching America’s orchestral life with music inspired by their Arabic, Turkish, and Iranian roots.

Posted January 13, 2016