Sadie Harrison premiere at the World Economic Forum with Afghanistan’s first women conductors

UYMP's Sadie Harrison helps to write history as she dedicates two pieces to Afghanistan Women’s Orchestra ‘Ensemble Zohra’. Her new piece, Sapida-Dam-Nau (New Dawn), is to be premiered this month alongside interludes from Gulistan-e Nur (The Rosegarden of Light)., which will be conducted by Afghanistan's first female conductors. Sadie talks about this opportunity and her new work.

Sadie writes:

It has been an unbelievable honour to write for the young women of Ensemble Zohra and I am thrilled that my new work Sapida-Dam-Nau (New Dawn) will be premiered at the Closing Concert of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on 20 January 2017 conducted by Kevin Bishop with subsequent performances at the  Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich, Centre for the Arts, International School of Geneva, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche (Berlin), Großer Saal des Musikgymnasiums Schloss Belvedere (Weimar). 

On ANIM’s website, Ensemble Zohra is described as ‘the first of its kind  in the country'. It consists of over thirty female students from grades 6 – 12, led by young female conducting students who are the first female conductors in the country’s history. This ensemble is an important step in providing opportunities for female musicians to unite in solidarity, deepen their commitment to music, and develop their skills as collaborative musicians. Ensemble Zohra is prominently featured on the album "The Rosegarden of Light," released internationally on Toccata Classics and Naxos in 2016. Via this album, the Ensemble has been heard on radio and online broadcasts all across the world.  The young female conductors are overseen by Ustad Kevin Bishop.

 

SAPIDA-DAM-NAU PROGRAMME NOTE: 

The AWO is unique in its integration of traditional and western instruments, including the tanbur, ghichak, dilruba, sitar, rubab and qashkarcha, instruments which feature alongside compliments of strings, woodwind, percussion and piano. Sapida-Dam-Nau integrates the instruments into a piece which celebrates the unique sound of the ensemble. The huge variety of sounds are transformed into jubilant peals of bells and two contrasted melodies. The first melody is lyrical and reminiscent of the English pastoral and the second is joyous in character, inspired by an Afghan-Indian scale associated with early morning. The title is suggestive of the music that might be heard at dawn in both my home town of Shaftesbury and in Kabul and also celebrates the ‘new dawn’ of music in Afghanistan. It is particularly wonderful that this rebirth is being spearheaded by the Afghanistan Women’s Orchestra ‘Ensemble Zohra’ (Venus). The commission was generously supported by a 2016 Finzi Trust Scholarship.

 

Alongside the performances of Sapida-dam-Nau, the World Economic Forum Closing Concert and following European concerts will feature two of the Interludes from Gulistan-e Nur (The Rosegarden of Light) written for Ensemble Zohra and US ensemble Cuatro Puntos in 2015. It is absolutely wonderful that they will be directed by Afghanistan’s first female conductors - Negin Khpolwak and Zarifa Adiba, students at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Negin will conduct Bahar-e nastaran-bihag (Radio Piece) with Zarifa conducting Watan Jan (Dear Homeland). Kevin Bishop, Director of Orchestral Studies at ANIM (and conducting tutor to the young women) says, 'it is an important and symbolic gesture for a woman to take a public, leadership role in Afghanistan- and it is one that does not come without risks. All of our young ladies have been very brave and defied the odds against violence and poverty to come to school each day.’ It has been my honour to be associated with all the young people at ANIM, but particularly with these women who are quite simply helping to rewrite history!

 

All the tour dates are listed on our performances page and full details of the tour including information about live streaming of the World Economic Forum Closing Concert and associated Press Conferences can be found at:

1. https://www.weforum.org/press/2016/12/afghan-women-s-orchestra-zohra-launches-tour-at-world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2017-in-davos

2. #zohratour 

3. Webcast live at www.weforum.org

 

(11 Jan 2017)

Recent news

  • Why is gender still an issue in music? - Hilda Paredes

    On 23 November, 2017, at the Creative Arts Building in Huddersfield, Hilda Paredes will participate in a panel which will address why gender is still an issue in music and how the music community can work to break down these barriers.

  • ‘The Scream’ for String Orchestra - Thomas Simaku – World Premiere

    Based on Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, Thomas Simaku’s new work, The Scream, will receive its world premiere in Cambridge on 17 November 2017. It will be performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by King’s College Director of Music Stephen Cleobury. 

    Of this substantial piece lasting 20 minutes, Thomas Simaku writes:

    ‘The iconic painting by Edvard Munch was the main impulse for writing this piece - hence the title. Its “silent scream” whose echo spans (and can be heard) well beyond the painting's time and frame, struck a chord with me for its resonance with our modern times.

    In no way programmatic, the music here focuses on the concentrated form of expression that emanates from the space, the colours, and the gritty intensity of the “deafening silence” in Munch's painting.

     

  • Violin Muse CD release

    On 20th October, Madeleine Mitchell’s new CD, Violin Muse, which features new music by British composers,will launch. This CD features the work Aurea Luce which was written by our house composer, Sadie Harrison, for Madeleine.

  • 20th London New Wind Festival goes International!

    UYMP is very pleased to report that Catherine Pluygers has announced the programme for the 20th London New Wind Festival, which for the first time is featuring international composers.

  • Jo Kondo - 70th Birthday Concert

    Here at UYMP, we are very pleased to announce that a chamber concert, on Tuesday 31st October 2017, will be held at the Tokyo Opera City to celebrate our house composer, Jo Kondo’s 70th birthday.