Crossover musician and vocalist Rhiannon Giddens to become Silkroad’s next artistic director

Posted on: July 29, 2020

“Trained as an opera singer, Rhiannon Giddens, … a virtuoso fiddler and banjo player with a soulful voice … has delved into African-American and old-time traditions,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Tuesday’s (7/28) New York Times. “She won a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant in 2017 and wrote an opera based on the autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, a Muslim man from Africa who was enslaved in South Carolina…. Now she will have a new, global curatorial canvas for her genre-skipping ideas. On Tuesday, Silkroad, the cross-cultural music organization created by Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, announced that Ms. Giddens would be its next artistic director…. ‘This is a great opportunity to bring together what I’ve been doing and what they’ve been doing,’ Ms. Giddens, 43, said…. Silkroad began … as the Silk Road Project, an effort to bring together performers, and music new and old, from the cultures centering on the ancient network of trade routes between East Asia and the Mediterranean. It has since expanded into a multifaceted performing, education and social justice organization…. Her role will occasionally showcase her as a performer, including at a Silkroad concert available online starting Wednesday through Tanglewood.”

Read Rhiannon Giddens’ recent article in Symphony magazine.