Free On Demand Concert: Beyond Words with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

March 15, 2024

Click here for the free on demand stream of the Beyond Words Concert in Wellington, New Zealand.

Concert Program:
Valerie Coleman Umoja – Anthem of Unity
Traditional arr. Hamish Oliver Hasbi Rabbi / Molla Mamad Jan
OUM arr. Tom McLeod Daba
Reza Vali Funèbre for Solo Violin and String Orchestra
Kyriakos Tapakis arr. Tom McLeod Mantilatos
Arvo Pärt Silouan’s Song
John Psathas Ahlan wa Sahlan (World Premiere)

Conducted by Fawzi Haimor, featuring powerful Moroccan vocalist OUM and oud virtuoso Kyriakos Tapakis, the NZSO performs works from Valerie Coleman, Reza Val, Arvo Pärt, traditional song and the world premiere of a new work from Aotearoa New Zealand composer John Psathas.

Psathas’ Ahlan wa Sahlan, composed in collaboration with OUM and Tapakis, uses the Arabic welcome to let people know they are in a place where they belong. Finding inspiration in a quote promoting peace, love and forgiveness from Mosque attack survivor Farid Ahmed’s memoir Husna’s Story, Psathas, OUM and Tapakis have fused together musical styles from Eastern and Western cultures in Ahlan wa Sahlan.

This work has been created with guidance from The Central Iqra Trust and Muslim communities from across Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Orchestra also plays the NZ premiere of a work by Reza Vali, whose artistry combines Western orchestration with Persian style, as well as African-American composer Valerie Coleman’s work Umoja, the Swahili word for ‘unity’ and Arvo Pärt’s spiritual and meditative work Silouan’s Song.

Vocalist Abdelilah Rharrabti, vocalist and daf musician Esmail Fathi and saz player Liam Oliver from Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Simurgh Music School perform Traditional songs of the Middle East.

Beyond Words is a symphonic expression of peace and unity performed as a prelude to Unity Week and other activities across Aotearoa New Zealand – let the NZSO take you on this journey beyond borders, beyond words.

This project is supported by the Ministry for Ethnic Communities.

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