Monday, May 15, 2017

May 21, 2017 7:00-9:00PM Intercultural Journeys: Letters from Iraq

Don't miss an extraordinary evening of music with oud virtuoso, composer, and two-time Grammy nominee Rahim AlHaj. Letters from Iraq brings the untold stories of war and its consequences into vivid focus, as AlHaj and guest musicians weave together a stunning musical portrait of devastation, defiance, and redemption.

Rahim AlHaj was born in Baghdad, Iraq and began playing oud (short-necked Arabian lute) at age nine. He went on to study under Munir Bashir, considered by many to be the greatest oud player of the 20th century, and Salim Abdul Kareem, at the Institute of Music in Baghdad, Iraq. AlHaj received various awards at the Conservatory and graduated in 1990 with a diploma in composition. In 1991, after the first Gulf War, AlHaj was forced to leave Iraq due to his activism against the Baath regime, and arrived in the U.S. in 2000 as a political refugee. AlHaj was naturalized as a US citizen on August 15, 2008.

AlHaj has performed around the globe and is considered one of the world’s finest oud players. He has recorded and performed with many musicians of varied backgrounds and styles including guitarist Bill Frisell, accordionist Guy Klucevsek, sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, and indierockers REM. He has composed for solo oud, string quartet, string quintet, chamber ensembles, symphony, and more. Combining traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary styling and influence, his pieces establish new concepts without altering the foundation of the traditional “Iraqi School of Oud.” AlHaj has released nine albums since 2002, two of which received GRAMMY® nominations. His latest, Infinite Hope (2015), was recorded in collaboration with Amjad Ali Khan, a follow up to their 2008 GRAMMY-nominated Ancient Sounds. In 2009 AlHaj was honored with a United States Artists Ford Fellowship Award and in 2015 the National Endowment for The Arts National Heritage Fellowship.

International House
3701 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, Pa
Tickets: General Admission $15.00
Student $8.00
IHP Member $10.00

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