Wednesday 4 July 2012

Mohammed Fairouz

The BBC World News is broadcasting a documentary about the young Arab-American composer, Mohammed Fairouz, for their series Collaboration Culture. For the documentary, Fairouz developed and unveiled an entirely new dance work, Hindustani Dabkeh, featuring David Krakauer, the American String Quartet and Bollywood star Shakti Mohan. Fairouz, who studied at the Curtis Instute and the New England Conservatoire, lists György Ligeti, Gunther Schuller, and Richard Danielpour as his principal teachers. His style 'melds Middle-Eastern modes and Western structures to deeply expressive effect'. Despite being under 30 (he was born in 1986) his catalogue includes operas (one premiered, one in progress), symphonies (four so far), chamber works, choral music and electronic music.

His opera, Sumeida's Song, is being released on Bridge Records on 1 October 2012. The opera was performed in concert at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. The libretto is based on the play Song of Death by Egyptian playwright Tawfiq El-Hakim and follows the return of the protagonist Alwan to his Upper Egyptian peasant village, and his attempts to bring modernity to darkness in an effort to break a never ending cycle of violence.

The Collaboration Culture programme on Fairouz and Shakti Mohan will be broadcast Friday 13 July, Saturday 14 July, Sunday 15 July

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